by Hamish Barwick

Getting the right data centre connection

Dec 15, 20144 mins
Data Center

After its acquisition of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provider Infraserve in March 2014, the International Cloud Integrators Telecommunications Alliance (iCITA) found itself in need of a new data centre provider.

ICITA provides consultancy and infrastructure services to the IT industry. The group required a global vendor that could provide the necessary security, compliance and connectivity to help the organisation serve its Australian customers.

“We researched the larger data centre companies and Equinix came out as being most aligned with what we wanted to do,” said iCITA CEO, Damien Stephens.

“We were starting to get demand from companies in the Asia Pacific region who wanted to test out the Australian market. We saw an opportunity to start branching out and offering disaster recovery as-a-service [DRaaS].”

The organisation took space in Equinix’s Sydney data centres, SY2 and SY3. ICITA’s DRaaS is provided to enterprise-level IT departments that need to backup/host data in Australia.

According to Stephens, demand for DRaaS is growing because of concerns about the security of some public clouds.

“Organisations do not want to have their operations potentially jeopardised due to poor performance and uncertain security guarantees,” he said.

“Many companies that jumped into the public cloud in 2012 have had bill shocks or struggled with internal compliance. They are now removing parts of their network away from public cloud to rationalise cost versus performance.”

As an example, Stephens claimed several companies are bringing part of their network back behind the corporate firewall and putting non-critical compute and storage systems into a public cloud.

“DRaaS is an insurance plan for a lot of organisations that are jumping straight into public cloud. It’s a way for companies to have a copy of their data rather than just relying on the large-scale public cloud,” he said.

“We believe a hybrid cloud model is the perfect balance of cost, performance and security. We employ a dedicated team that specialises in hybrid and performance infrastructure.”

ICITA is connecting with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure as these two vendors also use Equinix data centres around the world.

“Connecting to public cloud providers like AWS is an important factor for iCITA as we offer DRaaS across the Asia Pacific region to our customers,” he said.

“With latency and performance being a key requirement for cloud solutions, having the ability to connect with more than 120 network carriers in Australia for disaster recovery will become a competitive advantage.”

Now that iCITA is in two of Equinix’s Sydney data centres, it is eyeing the data centre provider’s Melbourne facility, ME1, which is due to open in December 2014. The $66 million 105,000 square feet Tier III facility will provide capacity of 1500 cabinets.

Stephens confirmed there are plans to offer DRaaS to existing or new Melbourne clients. After Melbourne, Equinix’s Hong Kong data centre is the “next cab off the rank,” most likely in the first half of 2015.

He explained that Hong Kong is a good place to start serving the APAC area because of the country’s links to China.

“There are Chinese businesses setting up in Australia who want infrastructure in both Hong Kong and Australia.”

According to Stephens, its customers could get approximately 110 milliseconds latency from Sydney to China. Chinese customers would be able to back up data as part of their disaster recovery plans to the Equinix data centres in Hong Kong or Singapore.

iCITA eventually has plans to offer its DRaaS offering using Equinix facilities in Europe, the United States and United Kingdom.

It has already worked with New York-based company, OS33, to get the firm a connection into the Equinix SY2 facility as well as iCITA’s Central Coast data centre called WDX.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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