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It has become clear over the last number of years that there are huge benefits to virtualization, allowing for better utilization of physical systems, improved backup options, easier replication and more flexibility in the deployment of new systems. The next step in this evolution is towards cloud services, but there are a lot of reasons that companies hesitate in migrating their IT systems to ‘the cloud’. These vary from concerns around performance to potential difficulty in moving systems to a different provider if required, but a core concern that we meet continuously in different guises is around security of data and systems - these can be classified under the three tenets: Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability. Other potential concerns would be issues around manageability of systems, Backup and Disaster Recovery.
There are 5 Key reasons why a company should look at Cloud Computing, namely
Performance of critical systems is a key concern for any IT manager or director and perceived performance can be affected by actual system performance and also by connectivity. We can guarantee server performance levels through reservations of compute resources (or even through provision of dedicated physical servers where necessary) and we can guarantee high speed network connectivity but it is a simple fact that some applications in their native form perform better when running in your local network where there is almost no network latency and no bandwidth restriction. To help alleviate this potential problem, we have several solutions; Digital Planet can provide your company with an MPLS link to our cloud environment which can result in very high bandwidth, low latency connectivity from your offices to your cloud servers (this can also be used to provide you with high-speed internet access from your office). Another option that we can offer is to use an application presentation technology such as XenApp to securely present access to your applications back to your users in a manner that will not be impacted by any latency or bandwidth issues along the way.
2. Physical Security and location of data
This is a very understandable concern. When you move you data to a cloud environment, you often have no way of knowing where it is physically located or how well it is secured. Digital Planet operates from a private cage within two Tier-3 datacentres in the greater Dublin area and we welcome any potential customers to come and view our facilities. We are happy to show you exactly where your data is being stored and the security measures in place to protect it.
3. Logical Security
Data is extremely valuable to any company. At Digital Planet we believe that the best way to reassure customers as to the security of their data and systems is through transparency. During the design phase of any engagement we go through the security of the solution in detail, showing you network design, firewall configuration and all of the other elements that combine to ensure that your systems are secure. We can provide a high security service whereby your data remains encrypted in transport and at rest through disk encryption and secure VPN technologies.
We guarantee the availability of our infrastructure through our Service Level Agreements and this is only possible due to the fact that we have built redundancy into every element of our design, ensuring that there are no elements that can cause our infrastructure to go down. We have a private AS (Autonomous System) where we run full BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) peering with multiple tier-1 providers and from this throughout our network, compute platform and on to storage and backups, everything is redundant and clustered with multiple paths and no single points of failure.
5. Exit Strategy
Digital Planet virtual servers run on VMware vSphere which adheres to the Open Virtualisation Format (OVF), allowing for easy conversion of VMs to other standards to run on other VMware and non VMware based platforms. Digital Planet also provides the ability to (a) download your virtual servers over the internet or (b) return them to you on external USB media that you provide. In these and in all other areas, we believe in proving our quality through transparency. We know we have developed a very high quality solution so we have no reason to hide this from our customers. We prefer to discuss the design through a workshop with our customers and address any specific concerns in this way.
How Our Solutions Service Your Business Needs
Digital Planet's Managed Cloud Solution combines the benefits of Multi-tenancy production environments with enterprise scale managed services across the entire solution suite. We deliver the full suite of IT systems required to run your applications and databases. The benefit of a fully managed solution is that our responsibility only starts by delivering the systems.
We will also take responsibility for managing your operating systems and monitoring and alerting on your applications. Our 24x7 team of engineers will monitor the entire environment and work with you to resolve all issues, regardless of whether they relate to the Cloud Infrastructure.
The Client has full access to the Digital Planet Network Operations Centre for support when required. “Outsource the Services, not just the Servers” Important : Via our Self-Service Portals, you still retain full management of your environment with freedom to deploy your IT requirements at will.
Digital Planet's Public Cloud Solution offers the benefits of Multi-tenancy production environments at a lower cost to that of the Managed Cloud but does not deliver the same level of services.
The infrastructure is fully managed by Digital Planet on a 24x7 basis but the Operating Systems and Applications are managed and monitored by the client and access to the Digital Planet Network Operations Centre is not provided with this solution.
It is suitable where the client only wishes to outsource their hardware requirements and does not wish to outsource any associated services.
Digital Planet's Private Cloud Solution provides clients with dedicated IT infrastructure in the Cloud. This is a preference for customers who have a large environment and can make use of physical infrastructure due to the number of VM’s they require.
Also, some applications are not suitable for virtualization and require dedicated hardware. Another benefit is that it may overcome perceived security concerns that a client may have.
These concerns are disseminating regarding the Cloud but some customers still prefer the perceived security of a dedicated environment. Again, the solution is fully Managed to Operating System level and fully monitored and alerted to the Application layer 24x7.
Disaster Recovery solutions have proven to be a costly investment in the past with the requirement to fully replicate your current IT environment in a second location, usually a Datacentre.
With the advent of the Cloud, these solutions can now be delivered at a fraction of the cost with required IT Infrastructure being made available only as required.
Servers can be provided as standby and charged at a fraction of the cost of full production DR servers. A DR solution can be combined with an On Line Back Up solution to deliver both data protection and business continuity in the event of a DR incident.
On Line Back Up is and has been taking over from the traditional model of using Tape Libraries on site and changing tapes every night. This model is cumbersome and can be inefficient and unreliable.
We have all heard the stories where companies thought they were fully backed up until they required a data restore only to realize that nothing had been backed up for the previous 6 months as the solution stopped working without anyone realising.
On Line Back-Up is seamless and the routine is run out of hours and checked on a daily basis by our engineering team to ensure that the Back Ups were successful. The service also includes data restores as the client requests and is the safest way of ensuring your data is protected.
Desktop as a Service
Digital Planet’s Desktop as a Service offers you an easy alternative to the traditional corporate desktop environment. Digital Planet’s Desktop as a Service makes it easy for businesses to move their entire IT estate to the Cloud.
With state of the art security and unbeatable performance, Digital Planet’s Desktop as a Service can reduce your operational costs while improving your user experience and level of end user security.