Cloud Computing

Where is my data?

Datanet have been providing Cloud services pretty much since we started in 1996, it’s only in the last few years that the term cloud computing has been coined.

In simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of on your company fileserver or your computer's hard drive, the cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet.

Over the years while giving presentations or talking about hosted services we have used a cloud to represent the data centre server  and storage infrastructure accessed via the Internet. Cloud computing may also be referred to as “utility computing” a reference to the way that you pay for what you use and often the capital costs are spread across all customers, similar to the way you pay for your electricity at home.

Flexibility is one of the characteristics of Cloud computing as your compute and storage requirements can be scaled up or down as required and often on short term contracts. The software application licensing model is also very flexible also often on short term contract, usually monthly.

Reliability and uptime are a key requirement and expectation from Cloud computing. In Datanet’s case our Cloud platform is built on best of breed EMC storage with vast high speed storage capabilities together with Dell blade servers providing huge amounts of RAM and processing power. All residing in a number of Tier3 data centres with (optionally) VMware Site Replication Manager (SRM) managing a complete failover solution with a recovery time objective and recovery point objective (RTO+RPO) of less than 15 minutes.

One of the key characteristics of cloud computing is the flexibility that it offers and one of the ways that flexibility is offered is through scalability. This refers to the ability of a system to adapt and scale to changes in workload. Cloud technology allows for the automatic provision and deprovision of resource as and when it is necessary, thus ensuring that the level of resource available is as closely matched to current demand as possible. This is a defining characteristic that differentiates it from other computing models where resource is delivered in blocks (e.g., individual servers, downloaded software applications), usually with fixed capacities and upfront costs. You also benefit by owning a (virtual) share of an expensive high availability compute and storage platform which might be prohibitively expensive if deployed on premise.

Where is my data? (Whose cloud is it anyway!)

When you take cloud services from Datanet you can be assured that your data will be stored in our UK data centres. This is particularly important for data protection compliance especially if you are a ISO27001 registered business like Datanet. Generally professional services businesses: legal, financial etc. will be advised to ensure their data is stored in the UK. Try creating a virtual server on, say, Amazon’s or Microsoft’s cloud services. One of the first things you will be asked is which geographic region you want the data to reside in and in Europe that will be Dublin or Belgium, there is no UK option.

The weakest link

If you are moving to a cloud service for your internal applications, you will be making the connectivity from your users’ desktops to the cloud-based systems a whole lot more critical to your day-to-day business so you need to consider connectivity between your premises and the cloud (datacentre). Datanet can advise on your connectivity options and identify and resolve any weak links in your ability to access your cloud hosted data and ensure you have the best possible cloud experience.

Call our team today on 01252 810010 to find out more about your cloud options