What’s your cloud made of?

ByJanuary 22, 2020
What's your cloud made of?

iland has been providing cloud services for mission critical application protection, performance, and security for over a decade. During that time, we’ve worked with a wide range of partners and technologies to understand our customers’ needs, and deliver solutions that fit those needs – without compromise.

Today, if you visit www.iland.com, you will see that our software partners include enterprise leaders like VMware, and household data protection providers like Veeam and Zerto. Working with these leaders enables us to achieve great success in industry reports like the Gartner MQ for DRaaS, where we’ve been a leader for four consecutive years.

Under the covers

But what about all the physical hardware under the covers that makes it all possible? Now, admittedly, iland’s marketing focus has been on the service levels and capabilities that we deliver including; 100-percent SLAs, optimized RTO/RPOs, comprehensive security, etc. Ultimately, it is our service quality that our customers value. However, we do occasionally get questions about the physical equipment we use and, perhaps more importantly, the reasons behind our choices. 

For this blog, let’s talk about iland’s storage infrastructure that drives our cloud services. For example, we selected our storage provider, HPE Nimble, based on their ability to meet our demanding performance, agility, economic, security, and insight requirements. In our view, laying the right data storage foundation is critical to the rest of the infrastructure stack, and meeting our customers expectations.

To white-box, or not white-box

It’s for this reason that we do not use “white-box” storage. If you are unfamiliar with this term, it’s a reference to the off-brand infrastructure built by independent vendors. In the server world, think of the generic white tower with no vendor label on the box. The balance that iland strikes for our customers is the need for enterprise capabilities adjusted for economics. In other words, our customers have minimum performance and compatibility requirements for their applications, but at the same time, they have economic considerations to adhere too.

For iland’s storage, we have been partnering with HPE Nimble for years. We are, by far, one of the largest users of their storage in terms of capacity and volume of workloads. Let’s talk about why HPE works best for us and our customers:
  • Performance – If you run or protect an application in the cloud, performance must be top of mind. Given our history and focus on performance, it should come as no surprise that we offer an HPE hybrid flash tier as part of our standard offer. We also offer all-flash for I/O intensive workloads. In both cases, we realize that one-size doesn’t fit all, and customer environments are unique. Working with HPE, we can deliver the flexibility our customers need to balance price and performance.
  • Agility – While growth is great for the business, it can be painful for IT. Today, many of the hyperscalers (especially those offering VMware solutions) can’t scale their storage independently from compute. Performance-intensive apps need more compute (less storage) while higher capacity needs may likely be more storage-centric. In either case, you want to be able to pay for what you need – and not waste resources on excess capacity or compute. Isn’t that why you went to the cloud in the first place?. While there is more tech in play than just storage to effectively right-size the provisioning of customer resources, HPE provides a great complement to our other tech, including VMware, to ensure customers receive the right amount of storage.
  • Economics – If you subscribe to the notion that companies are in the business of making money and reducing costs, then you need to look at the economics of your cloud provider. Does their technology efficiently drive UP utilization and drive DOWN waste (i.e. cost). Do they pass the savings on to the customer? Capabilities like virtualization, dedupe, tiered storage and automation all help to increase efficiency and reduce costs. This isn’t just about price-per-GB. It’s about the Total Cost of Ownership. In other words, a storage platform without advanced features may cost less per GB, but be much more expensive to the organization in total cost. With HPE, we know we have the best technology to deliver superior performance, agility, and economics to the customer.
  • Security – For most cloud customers, security is top of mind, or at least should be. There have been far too many recent cybercrime incidents to ignore. So the question is, are you able to defend, protect, and recover your data as needed? With HPE storage, we know the data is secure through native encryption. And coupled with our physical and people-based security protocols, customers likely have better security-at-scale than what was possible on-premises.
  • Insight – Last but certainly not least, in the era of using artificial intelligence to predict and proactively respond to customer needs within the array itself, HPE InfoSight provides the analytics we need to stay ahead of our customers growth, performance, and capacity requirements. We have been using InfoSight for years globally as part of the broader HPE Nimble deployment. And, as mentioned, the predictive analytics we leverage enables the team to identify workloads that need attention and also assist with right-sizing during the onboarding process. Ultimately, our goal with the tech is one and the same: improve the customer experience
That’s a quick primer on our choice of storage, and our satisfaction with HPE. In coming blogs, we will touch on other areas of the stack – including hypervisor from VMware and security with Trend Micro.  
Justin Augat

Justin Augat

Justin Augat is Vice President, Product Marketing at iland Cloud. In this role, Justin manages iland’s corporate, product, and technical messaging, content, and product launch activity. Prior to iland, Justin held several cloud marketing leadership roles including Director of Product Marketing for Dell Technologies, and Head of Cloud and Services Marketing at Hitachi Vantara. Justin received a BS in computer science and mathematics and earned a MS in Finance and an MBA from Boston College.