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Cloud Computing Enables Business Efficiency and Cost Savings

Cloud computing systems are impacting business organizations significantly. The costs in maintaining an IT infrastructure to ensure continuous service availability within the organization is becoming complex and running costs are increasing. IT managers or executives are keenly aware of the issues in managing an IT infrastructure. Cloud computing service models provide an alternative to existing IT infrastructure in overcoming issues of IT management and as a business enabler with significant cost savings.

What is Cloud Computing?

Simply put, cloud computing is a method of providing a standard set of shared computing resources with the objective of providing ubiquitous IT services delivery. Cloud computing can be understood as an approach to a shared infrastructure in which large pool of systems are linked together in public or private networks to provide IT services. Cloud infrastructure normally consists of clusters of servers, networked storage, and related hardware with adequate fault tolerance to provide service availability. Cloud computing services focus on the user, since they decouple computing services from underlying technology resulting in extremely user friendly. The need for adopting cloud services is very much in demand by enterprise organizations, government, educational institutions, SMEs and also small organizations and individuals.

In cloud a business company can use an appropriate resource to accomplish a task and return the resource back to the pool. From the perspective of the user the technology virtually remains invisible. Cloud computing service is available for many service areas and the major services are: IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and PaaS. They are briefly given below:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) allows users to obtain storage, networks, and basic computing resources as a service. Users can deploy systems software (an OS) on the infrastructure.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) provide the facility to build and deploy newly developed applications on the cloud infrastructure. PaaS also has the ability to provide a computing environment and the related development and deployment stack needed to deliver a solution to the consumer.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) offers to deliver the application in which the processes are matured to run on a cloud infrastructure. The application can be accessed from clients in different locations through a web-browser. A typical example is web-based email.

The cloud computing services are available as three models namely the private cloud which is a secure infrastructure owned and used internally by an organization, like in a corporate office; the public cloud model which allows global use of resources, but the infrastructure is owned by one party, for example Gmail from Google; the other model is called the hybrid cloud which is a combination of both private and public cloud model scenarios.

Cloud models provide services that are not easily available in a normal client server based network infrastructure. The advantages of using a cloud in businesses are many. The advantages include,

  • The ability to scale up or down as the need for resources increases or decreases. This is also known as elasticity
  • Provisioning and de-provisioning of resources is automatic respectively with self-service metering
  • Centralized pooling of IT resources (storage, data and applications)
  • Billing and metering of service usage. Users can monitor their resource usage and pay for per resource or pay for each service availed.
  • Applications and services are available efficiently and without disruptions
  • Reduced costs in IT infrastructure maintenance and management

Larger enterprises have higher IT budgets and they are able to reach the global market quickly by using the internet. SMEs often face the challenge of competing with bigger enterprises and the cloud provides the much needed leverage for them to capture potential opportunities found beyond their geographical boundaries.

The Cloud Maximizes Business Performance

During the last decade, the technological advances in electronics and digital equipments have progressed rapidly resulting in massive use of hardware components to increase the operational efficiency in IT environments. This trend has invited many issues related to manageability of resources, high costs for running the equipment and power related issues for efficiently using IT infrastructure to achieve business objectives. CIOs and IT managers often come across these issues in their day-to-day working. The need to manage IT as a unified resource gave rise to cloud computing because the infrastructure is scalable, flexible, and can be managed by the users themselves. Moreover, the cloud can provide superior computing performance for business operations and market expansion without failure. This paved the way for adopting cloud computing models that are currently available from major IT and data center vendors.

      • Elasticity: In a normal client-server system the resources are fixed and are designed for certain amount of computing power, network and storage. When the need for more storage or computing power arises additional hardware is required. Similarly when the volume of transactions is low, the higher configurations and resources become redundant. In the case of a cloud, the resources are available to expand as the business data expands and can also scale down. This feature offers the availability of bandwidth, storage, etc the company can utilize the exact amount of resources required and pay for what is used.
      • Economy of Scale: Cloud computing provides the ability to allow many companies to share their best practices and technical expertise. For example, a SME may not be able to incur cost on hiring skilled personnel, but by collaborating in a cloud they may obtain this benefit without any cost.
      • Self-service and Metering: This is ideal for most companies because IT staff in a company can request the amount of resource required to fulfill the company’s needs. Cloud service providers offer an interface by which the user can request the resource, or a seat or license for one or many user(s). The user is billed for the type of resource and the number of resources used in the system.
      • Business Process Services: The cloud infrastructure can has the ability to handle repetitive business processes such as payroll processing, supply chain monitoring, automated production processes, etc. A self-service interface allows the use of this service and customization is also possible.
      • Security and Management Services: Cloud services use the same internet data-links for transferring data and they co-exist with the world-wide web. Hence it critical to protect these systems from viruses and threats related to data protection and privacy. A well-planned security strategy is mandatory for companies planning to adopt any type of cloud service.
      • Optimized IT and cost benefits: IT optimization is possible in a cloud computing because resources are configured for maximum cost-benefit. Cost benefit is high in the cloud because the cloud models supports massive scalability to meet periods of demand while avoiding extended periods of under-utilized IT capacity. Users with a mouse click can quickly expand or contract a service without requiring overhauls to the core data center. Business companies can eliminate cost on deploying and running an on-premise IT infrastructure. There is cost savings in personnel too. The other cloud benefits include low cost of ownership, which fosters higher profitability, enabling a business to more easily reinvest in their business expansion programs.
      • Collaboration Services: With the cloud it is easy to collaborate because of its ability to use networks on the internet. The cloud platform can collaborate between employees, partners, businesses and customers in different locations. Social business collaboration is quickly gaining popularity. This service enables companies to collaborate with the right experts at the right time to achieve business goals.

The services mentioned above are broad in nature and available with any cloud service. Companies that rely heavily on the internet to expand their business and retain customers require better performing IT systems where cloud computing service is an ideal option. SMEs derive many attractive benefits by using the cloud service because adopting an appropriate model for their business is proved to drastically reduce their IT infrastructure and resource costs. An SME can simply deploy an application in the cloud and avoid the costs of managing the application (namely IT staff, storage, hardware, network, etc). Further, the application running on a cloud is highly efficient and available 24×7 without break downs, resulting in customer retention and a happy user experience.

‘Do we need a Tier 4 Datacenter in India’?

One of my new ‘Techie’ colleagues, an Engineer from a premier college, asked me this question during the course of one of our discussions and I laughed it off and let him go. But internally I was deeply amazed and shocked to understand the technological illiteracy of our ‘educated engineers’ generated by our present institutes.

The very next week I purposefully went to his house with a relaxed mind and asked him the basis of his question. Though he was surprised with me retrieving our casual conversation (‘casual’ in his perspective) was elaborative in putting forward his thoughts/questions.

  • Why does a developing country (where the DC industry is still in its nascent stage) like India need a Tier 4 DC?
  • Does the Indian environment, resources & government complement/contradict this initiative?
  • Does a Tier 4 DC address all the present and futuristic concerns/requirements of the related industries?
  • Would it generate the targeted amount of technological curiosity, interest, business and in due course ‘DC Market’?
  • Would this be a good business proposition for a bold Entrepreneur?
  • Going by the fact that a DC would be obsolete after 8 years, would it be a cost effective enterprise?

After listening to all his questions, I could comprehend that even after a decade, the expanding knowledge & activities of DC industry hasn’t been still able to drive out completely the ignorance lurking in the minds of our young DC industrialists & potential clients.

In this context, I could recollect and share with my friend my childhood memories wherein my grandfather used to save his money in his pillows and his bed covers. Even after the advent & growth of the banking sector, it took considerable number of years for him and even for my father to understand the need of the banking set up and its importance and the security, safety and other value added benefits it offered. Somehow I could relate the same with the present status of the DC market with the only change in scenario that we were now operating in a post liberalization era.

I took up the responsibility of presenting the entire picture, status & progress of the DC industry and the rationale behind the necessity for a Tier4 DC in India.

I was happy to know that my friend was aware of the fact that the economic, political and social environment in India was keen on enhancing Indian research capabilities and make ourselves self reliant in the field of technological research, development and infrastructure.

Since my friend was a Techie and had been working with us over a month it was relatively easy for me to reiterate that a Tier 4 DC strongly differentiates itself from a Tier 3 with the ‘Redundancy’ feature —– which offers exclusive ‘Backup’ facilities only in a Tier 4 set up.

I added on to my flow of conversation with my bold talk that ‘Calculated risk taking’ is what differentiates a Leader from a follower and if one had to create a market then he needs to have the right vision, put in the necessary effort to plough, seed, manure and water the market & then work patiently to reap the harvest.

My friend could catch the ‘pride’ in my eyes when I was stating that our CtrlS DC is TIA-942-2 Tier 4 Complaint on

  • Architectural requirements
  • Electrical requirements
  • Mechanical requirements
  • Telecommunications requirements

For his better understanding, I then proceeded to highlight few among the 1800 parameters a DC is checked upon for Tier 4 certification. I knew that the adage ‘Seeing is believing’ is widely rampant and guided him to the related link http://www.ctrls.in/datacenter.php for him to check upon the below mentioned features of India’s first and Asia’s largest Tier 4 Datacenter, CtrlS.

  • Designed ground-up to be a DC
  • Exclusive Datacenter service area
  • Largest tier 4 DC (3.4 lakh square feet of DC space)
  • Operational capacity of 20,000 racks across 3 DCs
  • Dual active power sources of total capacity of 58 MW
  • 8 – Zone security with an uptime of 99.995%
  • 448 Bit military strength Protection. Encryption at an average of 1 billion guesses per second.
  • Scalability for over a decade
  • Multiple tenant structure
  • Internet Exchange Platform (IXP) Datacenters
  • Captive power plant
  • Most energy efficient DC: Design PUE of 1.45
  • 18 MW gas based in house power plants
  • Load bearing capability of 1500-2100 Kg/sq m
  • Double layered Heat resistant walls
  • Earthquake resistant seismic zone — ‘Level 3’ designed structure
  • 5 layer, 2 hr fire-separated thermally insulated Server rooms
  • 4 underground HSD tanks 210 KL capacity
  • Floor underneath has ‘Moisture sensitive’ sensors with instant cooling effects.
  • Meet-me / Internet exchange rooms
  • 1000 BCP seats in each DC location ‘Work area’
  • ‘Staging room’—Controls Storage
  • Network operation control room
  • CC TV’s & Video Camera’s in place to monitor & secure ‘shared work areas’
  • Conference rooms for controlling conversations
  • ‘Total Ownership’ philosophy
  • Rest and recreation facilities

8 Zone security offered by CtrlS

  • Zone 1 security: crash proof compound wall to withstand an impact of ten ton truck collision at 80 Km/hr.
  • Zone 2 Armed guards—Building perimeter & Watch tower
  • Zone 3 Card access—Datacenter perimeter
  • Zone 4 Baggage scanner /Metal detectors —DC security check
  • Zone 5 Man trap – DC Server area
  • Zone 6 Card access to operate lifts
  • Zone 7 Biometric secured entrance to the main DC area
  • Zone 8 Biometric card access to the racks

He gave me a ‘five’ after going through this simple 5.45 minute CtrlS DC tour & I didn’t find the necessity for his oral endorsement to my views.

We ended up our techie conversation over a cup of tea with a strong conviction that if ‘business continuity’ &’ IT security’ were to be one’s need, Tier 4 Datacenters are here to address this need.

Come, Host in India at CtrlS Datacenters for a Latency Free Website Speed.

Total Ownership in the DC industry!

‘Adding value to customers is just not fundamental to us; it defines our very purpose’ —- This belief has been the core of the birth, existence and growth of CtrlS

After careful study, observation and analysis of the Data Center market and the functioning of its major players, we at CtrlS have understood how challenging it is to assume and practice the role & responsibility of ‘Total ownership’ towards Self, products, services & most important of all, our Clients.

Having decided to position ourselves as the pioneers of this industry, we were audacious enough to accept this challenge. So right from the embryonic stage of the birth of CtrlS, we decided to genetically nurture our each and every cell with the warmth of this belief and be totally responsible for our people, products, services and be reflecting so to our Clients / potential Clients.

For the structure of Ownership to be built, first and foremost we created a solid foundation & had laid the bricks for our foundation with our synchronized values of

1)    Dependability:

We know that ‘Trust’ forms the basis of all relationships whether professional/personal and more so for the players of this industry who base their fulcrum of ‘infrastructure ingredients’ outside their circle of influence for their business success & continuity. This resulted in the below mentioned conscious decisions being taken with regards to our organizational structure & functioning.

  • Team: We formed a team of ‘Specialists experienced in managing IT Infra business’ because we understood that we had embarked on an industrial journey rather than a ‘Project’.
  • Full Scale automation: Set up custom & purpose built automation of complete process cycle in place to ensure efficiency in a fixed cost environment.
  • Tried and tested SOP’s: Fully tried and tested SOP’s for process adherence encoded in our DNA as a IT Infra business.
  • Creation of COE’s: To promote expertise based on cumulative knowledge pool since we are into infrastructure business and not Software business
  • Sharing Specialist experience: Update self with our Specialists’ experience and Specialist experience to pass on the same to our Clients.
  • Committed ‘Expertise’: Cloud Capabilities ‘developed & offered’ as a Service provider and not as an aggregator with an outsourced model.
  • Multiple redundancy networks: Catering to the unaddressed business requirement by ensuring highest levels of fault tolerance validated by ‘Zero’ instance of complete network outage in CtrlS history.
  • Purpose built DC: Tier-4 DCs built ground-up for highest efficiency ratings in India & highest level of disaster protection.
  • ‘Cost optimization’: Efficiency aimed & delivered across the spectrum with TCO benefits ranging from 20 to 40%.

2)    Innovation:
 
CtrlS had discovered the fact that this industry exists and grows on the oxygen of ‘Innovation’ and thereby to create new benchmarks through its products & services has designed & set up

  • An Innovation bench
  • Professional service capabilities
  • Legacy Application support

3)    Responsibility:

We are here to fulfill and exceed our ‘Client’s expectations’ rather than revolving around the ‘Product’ / ‘Service’ concept. Hence the involvement of ‘people’ becomes but mandatory in our endeavor to ensure a near 100% success rate. With this realization, our Team has churned & come up with our code of Organizational Values and ‘Work’ ethics.

Organizational Values

C – ‘Challenger’ for Industry Standards & ‘Committed’

T – Total Ownership

R – Reliable value addition to clients

L – Loyal

S – Service Delivery for Customer Delight

Work Ethics

  • Commitment                              Initiative
  • Belonging                                  Stewardship
  • Fellowship                                 Passion
  • Engagement                              Pride

With these established Values & Ethics, we have targeted defined Organizational and Employee empowerment.

 Organizational empowerment                                                          Employee empowerment

Enhanced Employee Motivation                                                           Exceptional performance

No / Low employee attrition                                                                 100% ‘Work’ commitment

Strong ‘work commitment’                                                                    Long term Career vision

‘Work’ Passion                                                                                       Organizational Commitment

Team synergy & productivity

 

Trans Union, AZB & partners, AIRCEL, The Abraaj group, One Assist, emPay, NSEiT, EKYC are among few of our reputed Clients who have experienced the Total ownership of CtrlS.

CtrlS has assigned itself the ‘total ownership’ to serve the deserving in the waiting.

CtrlS:Providing Continuity, Customization, Compliance and Control in the Cloud

Post launch of our Cloud Product – Ctrl4C, CIO review magazine has covered it as “Product of the Month” in their May issue. It also features CtrlS in “20 Most promising Cloud Computing Product companies in India” listing positioned at number 2.

Sridhar

With the advent of cloud computing many enterprises today are able to meet their hardware and software requirements with IT infrastructures hosted in huge data centers. Data centers have become an absolute necessity helping enterprises to not only reduce the hardware and software costs but also curtail the ever increasing operational costs. Hence there is no doubt in saying that the future of storage and processing lies in cloud computing and virtualization provided by these data centers. Aiding enterprises, carriers and hosting providers with power, flexibility and economics of cloud computing infrastructure is CtrlS Datacenters headquartered in Hyderabad.

Founded by CEO Sridhar Pinnapureddy, in the year 2008, the IT infrastructure and managed hosting provider delivers infrastructure-on-demand services with automatic scaling of applications, thus exploiting the key benefits of cloud computing. Additionally, with a combination of highest uptime SLAs, low latency networks, 20 percent savings in energy consumption, CTRLS provides benefits to clients with improved business performance, cost effectiveness, and elimination of capital costs required for IT operations. This flexibility also includes security, cost stability, and enterprise-grade performance of a dedicated private datacenter. Based on these factors, the company offers its niche cloud products-CTRL4C and MyCloud.

A four Copy Cloud: CTRL4C

CtrlS, catering to the needs of businesses which wholly revolve around continuity, compliance, customization and control, build a cloud suite that has been built to combat the 4 ‘C’ factors that are key to effective business management. The Four Copy Cloud, CTRL4C is built on the practices mandated by NYSE and RBI for 100 percent data availability and accessibility by provisioning 2N+N network, making it disaster proof. Governed with unique features such as complete compliance and customization, the product offers complete control over IT operations. Thus, with Tier 4 DC offering 99.995 percent infrastructure uptime, it provides the very foundation of the 4C cloud.

MyCloud

Moving on, the company aids enterprises who are on the lookout to harness the power of the RISC, by providing scalability and flexibility of a cloud infrastructure, through MyCloud. With MyCloud, companies get instant deployment of infrastructure for critical business applications or automation projects with ensured cost savings as MyCloud slash Cap-ex to zero. MyCloud also offers capacity on demand with any component mix, be it backup and storage or application and server hardware.

In addition to Ctrl4C and MyCloud, the company further provides certain cloud services for each specific cloud domain, specifically, private cloud, real cloud and the enterprise cloud. In the Private cloud through its range of hypervisor platform, aids companies in meeting the hardware requirements which have been coupled with security and stability. While most customers fall behind in finances while adopting the private cloud, CtrlS, with its cost effective structure provides an advantage. The company further provides a multi-layered management model with its Real cloud, offering a choice in OS images, together with unmatched connectivity and near instant scalability. Companies hence put up and manage applications with ease. Finally, with Enterprise cloud a complete authority is provided to oversee collective resources with use on-demand. Thus, individual elements like memory and disk space are easily scaled and commissioned, making operations live on-demand.

Array of Security Measures

Even though customers benefit from the cloud, security issues are always at the back of their minds. CtrlS averts the concern with its 4C architecture by integrating a list of modules for compliance with an array of security measures. Offering security on a packaged basis (Silver, Gold, Platinum), the company’s security measures range from SSL Encryption, DDoS protection, Web Application Firewall to Host Based Intrusion Detection Systems. Additionally, the Gold and Platinum customers benefit from managed services aligned with the security operations center for proactive monitoring.

Expertise in DRM as an Emerging Differentiator

Moving ahead, the company also boasts of expertise in DRM, through its Disaster Recovery on Demand and Zero Data Loss solutions. CtrlS aids enterprises to bounce back from a disaster, ensuring speedy recovery through its DR on Demand product. With individual IT disaster recovery plans coupled with pay-per-use solutions and negligible cap-ex on disaster facilities, CtrlS makes recovery simple and economical. Taking DR on Demand forward is Zero Data Loss, enabling safeguarding of data by surpassing the Security protocols setup by the Exchange Board of India (SEBI) recovery point for exchanges and depositories.“With CtrlS’s cost effective Zero Data Loss, you can have all the advantages of building your own infrastructure at the fraction of the cost and in almost no time,” says Pinnapureddy.

CtrlS with its secure and fully redundant networks, offering 99.995 percent uptime with zero data loss proves to make a distinction from other competitors in its space. Certified as the Tier 4 datacenter and leveraging over with its 5 ‘9’s capable cloud, CtrlS further plans on building its 4C platform with added ‘control’ capabilities making it user friendly. By providing a rich API aligned with an external SLA management, user experience and provisioning systems, the company continues to offer security, cost stability and enterprise-grade performance creating a robust cloud infrastructure that guarantees success for the enterprise.

Courtesy: http://www.cioreview.in/magazine/CtrlSProviding-Continuity-Customization-Compliance-and-Control-in-the-Cloud-IZNY355416412.html

Data Center Infrastructure is the key to Cloud Service Availability

Cloud computing services are basically provisioned in data centers. Organisations while planning to adopt cloud computing systems must ensure to evaluate the data center which provides the underling foundation and infrastructures for a cloud service model. Tier 4 standard data centers are ideal for clouds because they provide adequate redundancy and fault tolerance to ensure service uptime and zero data loss which is important for cloud service availability.

Widespread interest in cloud computing systems among IT circles is fostering the evolution of different infrastructure models, service levels, and application platforms. Basically cloud computing is a model or infrastructure that provisions resources dynamically and makes them available as services over the internet. Cloud models and services can be accessed by organisations by availing resources as appropriate to satisfy their IT needs. Cloud service levels include Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS) and Software as a service (SaaS). Cloud computing models are classified as three major types’ namely private clouds, public clouds and hybrid clouds.

Cloud service infrastructures have the ability to scale up or down in terms of storage, compute, and network depending on usage. Organisations view the cloud as a viable alternative to outsource their entire IT infrastructure primarily due to cost savings in terms of capital and operational expenditure. Many organisations have adopted CtrlS cloud model(s) in their business operations and are able to realize business advantage. Cloud computing services are available with Data Centers (DC) in different variants to fulfill organizational business needs. An organisation planning for adopting cloud computing model for their IT operations must ensure to critically understand the architecture of DC from where cloud model is availed.

The key criteria for evaluation include:

  • The underlying infrastructure
  • Redundancies
  • Connectivity
  • Uptime
  • SLAs
  • Services
  • These six areas must be considered by organisations from the perspective of cloud capabilities for continuous service availability and reliability. The above criteria are explained in a bit more detail to provide further understanding on existing cloud capabilities available with CtrlS Data Centers.

    The underlying infrastructure of DC plays an important role in cloud computing because when business grows the infrastructure has to accommodate increasing volumes of data and network traffic. The increasing surge in online transactions both by users and businesses require a cloud infrastructure to handle high volume data growth in terms of storage, network and processing. Most organisations have stringent policies on data privacy. CtrlS Data Centers offers private cloud models for businesses and organisations. Private cloud models offer fully secured data network with robust security features to protect information from falling into wrong hands. The cloud infrastructure is fully flexible, it allows users (organisations) to provision and monitor their resources themselves with automated metering service. CtrlS DC infrastructure is fully equipped to handle high volumes of data and perform complex processing on them without affecting efficiency and performance for users.

    Redundancy in DC is a measure of fault tolerance and also classifies the data center standard. DC standards are basically classified between Tier 1 to Tier 4 standards depending on their power capacities and their ability to quickly restore operations in the event of outage or in the event of component failure. CtrlS data center operations handle lot of mission critical data used by enterprise organizations. Hence the infrastructure cannot afford to experience any type of systems failure. CtrlS DC is built to fulfill Tier 4 standard where each component in the data center is provided with adequate backup components thus ensuring zero outage. Tier 4 data centers have the ability to respond automatically to any kind of failure or hardware malfunction. Hence failure on any one component does not affect other components in the infrastructure thus ensuring zero data loss and zero downtime. Organisations desiring to adopt cloud computing must check for redundancy in DC which has an effect on cloud service availability. Availability is a critical business need.

    Connectivity refers to the network connections on how the components are connected with each other to send and receive data in the DC. DCs are driven by consolidation, virtualization and adaptive architectures that enable flexible visions such as IT as a service, cloud computing and autonomic computing. I/O is a key differentiator because connectivity encompasses many components such as switches, routers, gateways and backbone networks and is measured in terms of throughput and bandwidth. CtrlS cloud models are virtualized to support Ethernet and Fiber channels while each virtual machine (VM) is viewed independently for its configuration. VMs are stored in centralized storage which separates the VM from a single physical server. In order to support multiple VMs in the data center the network infrastructure must provide reliable, flexible and secure data transport. CtrlS data centers are equipped with switching architectures to deliver low latency, throughput and high speed inter connects to support cloud models for efficient transport between servers, storage and end users.

    CtrlS DC is built on Tier 4 standards to ensure fault tolerance and provide guaranteed 99.99% data center uptime. This is an important Service Level Agreement (SLA) metric in terms of service availability and quality of service guarantee. SLAs are defined for the services available in cloud computing models. The user (organisation) may choose the right amount of resources in the cloud and adhere to the corresponding SLAs that define with each resource. For example, SLAs are defined specifically for resources such as storage space, backup, network bandwidth, number of VMs used, etc. SLAs that define security, data privacy, firewalls, uptime, etc are common to all users. The organisation must ensure to define SLAs to be specific, measurable, achievable and timely and most importantly there must be no room for any ambiguity for both cloud service provider and users. CtrlS SLAs are defined to revolve around performance metrics that meet business needs for users availing cloud services.

    CtrlS DC provide additional services and features that include different levels of security, firewalls and intrusion detection systems to mitigate any types of attacks and intrusions. This ensures the entire cloud model fully secure. Further users availing cloud models from CtrlS benefit from a wide range of services such as automated monitoring, UI for resource provisioning, zero downtime, zero CapEx (capital expenditure), etc. Tier 4 standards provide the much needed fault tolerance to ensure high availability at all times.

    Data centers are the foundation for clouds. They provide the underlying infrastructure for clouds to run. Data centers are built with thousands of servers, storage disks, switches, routers and other components to provide security, virtualization and application resilience. In a cloud models users normally look for scalability, reliability and service availability at all times. CtrlS cloud is available for enterprises either big or small. Organisations availing the cloud can benefit immensely in terms of speed and efficiency to generate business value.

Benefits of Total IT Infrastructure Outsourcing

With total IT infrastructure outsourcing on the rise, many companies look at it as a cost saving factor. Cost saving is one of the many benefits that total IT infrastructure outsourcing has to offer. However, having just this one factor in mind isn’t enough; there are other factors and benefits that come along with total IT infrastructure outsourcing to be considered. This will help you make a sound decision in this crucial aspect of your business outsourcing.

IT infrastructure outsourcing has emerged as one of the most sought after service for small and medium enterprise. The reason is obvious; tough competition in the market with competitors who come with big and established brands to their credit. Given the scenario, survival in itself seems a herculean task. Technology and IT have a major role to play in a business setup where the primary goal is national and international brand management. Big companies have both, the manpower and the money power to have the best in IT infrastructure and technology working for them. On the other hand, small and medium businesses which are still struggling to find their foothold in the market may not be in a position to invest in the sort of IT infrastructure that can give them a level playing field with industry biggies.

IT infrastructure outsourcing can be a blessing for such companies who want to have the best and the latest technology working for them without having to drain their finances. Though many big brands have also started considering IT infrastructure outsourcing as a very viable option to save cost, they look at outsourcing for just a few aspect of their IT needs. On the other hand, a small and medium enterprise may look at it as the affordable option. Though cost saving is a major factor in total, it is just one part of the whole story.

Let us consider four major benefits that come from total IT infrastructure outsourcing.

Competitive Edge
For a company to gain and maintain a competitive edge, it needs a more responsive IT infrastructure. IT infrastructure that can respond to changing business needs, technological advancement and need for competent workers is essential. Outsourcing your IT infrastructure needs, gives you the needed expertise to handle all these aspects proactively and with ease, saving you a lot of time and hassle.

Flexibility and Agility
The rapid advancement in technology and a corresponding change in market scenario, demands a more flexible and agile IT infrastructure. This is especially essential to accommodate the introduction of new products and services faster and with greater efficiency. Outsourcing your IT infrastructure can help you setup an IT infrastructure module that will guarantee operational excellence. This will in turn, will help you focus on exploring new markets and reaching new customers.

Money Management
With the global financial crisis hovering, there is a much greater need for businesses to protect and maintain the operation expenditure of the business. Total IT infrastructure outsourcing will help release some of your capital expenditure, thus enabling you to divert those funds into your operation expenditure and giving you more financial flexibility and better fund management options.

Manpower Management
Manpower management is crucial from any business point of view. You would want to hire and maintain employees who are highly productive definitely. But you also need to concentrate on your core business module if you are to increase your competitive edge. Outsourcing your IT infrastructure will free you from the hassle of maintaining an in-house IT team. This will help you have more people concentrating on strategically important aspects of your business like sales, marketing, business development, and so forth.
It is very crucial that you consider these benefits when looking for a total IT infrastructure outsourcing provider. Keep all these factors in mind and choose a IAAS service provider whose goals for your business encompass all of them.

Manage your Private Clouds with Full Scale Automation

Organisations adopt private clouds to eliminate issues in security and data privacy. Private clouds offer immense benefits in terms of reliability, availability and scalability. Private cloud offerings from CtrlS Data Centers provide the best in class cloud infrastructures that can scale up or down according to varying application loads and operate your business without disruptions and latency. Full scale automation is a set of intelligent tools in our cloud infrastructures meant to provide efficiency in process cycles thus minimizing human intervention in fast changing application loads. Private cloud infrastructures in CtrlS are fully automated to simplify management tasks for administrators and users alike.

Private clouds are receiving much greater attention nowadays due to its unique benefits in narrowing the growing gap between business needs and in-house IT capabilities. Cloud computing systems offer a consolidated platform with immense benefits in terms of compute, storage, networks and servers for enterprises looking to outsource their IT infrastructure. Cloud solutions from CtrlS offer scalable private cloud platforms for enterprises to take care of their growing demands in sharing compute resources across multiple applications dynamically as compared to traditional environments which are static. Automated provisioning, orchestration and capabilities in self-service are the key characteristics of private clouds to address operational challenges and to handle automation at scale. In order to overcome virtualization challenges in complex IT environments, full scale automation from CtrlS is the most ideal solution for enterprises planning on private cloud deployments.

Given below are key private cloud strategic differentiators from CtrlS in relation to business agility:

1. Standardization : Standardization refers to the efficient use, management and maintenance of technology resources. Open cloud standards are available for enterprises by which they can move on or off easily.

2. Business agility : Agility in a private cloud accelerates the creation and provision of services required by enterprises. Business applications experience peak loads in their operations at certain times. Private clouds must allow business users to provision resources by themselves independently to handle resource requirements to use their applications while restricting access to authorized application owners.

3. Superior performance and resiliency : This feature ensures reliability and service availability in private clouds. Dynamic resource allocation strategy offers resilience and superior performance.

4. Resource Optimization : Leverages existing resources for optimal use in order to reduce costs.
Full scale automation in a private cloud transforms application resources, provisioning and de-provisioning of workloads, and also helps in migrations. In manual systems these activities would require days or weeks to accomplish, but now they can be accomplished within minutes. Service menus and standardized templates are readily available to reduce human error. Cloud automation from CtrlS also transforms SLAs and end-to-end performance by way of policy driven provisioning and built in analytics thus setting the stage for self-service capabilities. Recognizing the fact that many enterprises are adopting private clouds, CtrlS offerings on private clouds are intended to increase IT agility, maximize employee productivity, accelerate business and IT alignment, optimise resource utilization and reduce costs.

Salient Features of Full Scale Automation Differentiator

In CtrlS, multi-tiered IT services and support are delivered by NOC (Network Operations Center) help desks. Normally data centers while developing solutions for managing incidents respond to problems rather than to prevent them proactively. Some of the striking features of full sale automation services include,

NOC Support : NOC support system automates incident ticket processing and prioritizing it for immediate response. Proactive problem prevention is one of the core functions in IT service delivery. This support is ensured in private cloud systems.

Incident Lifecycle : When an incident occurs the processes are automated for resolution and classified for its severity with quality audit. It is highly important to note that incidents are often indicators of bigger problems or underlying errors. Hence any incident that may arise is handled with high priority to prevent further errors and problems.

Customer Portal Data Flow : Data flow through servers and systems for voice data and network services are managed and measured for communications providers. Customer portal is automated to bring all functions under technical and non-technical areas for fully convergent billing solutions based on different types of service usage.

Automated Provisioning for Cloud : Automated provisioning enables users to configure resources as per their application needs.

Automated metering and Billing : Usage reports to clients and Admin is automatically sent with billing information based on resource usage. The user friendly interface allows better control on billing / metering.

Service Automation and Alerting : Services are automated for load balancing, cluster and firewall management. Incidents or errors are sent through email or SMS to ensure timely intervention. Alerting is also automated.

Automated Restful APIs : Restful APIs are a set of principles used to design web services that focus on usage of system’s resources such as how the state of a resource is addressed and the status is sent via HTTP to wide range of clients. This entire process is automated in the private cloud systems.

CtrlS Data Centers innovate constantly to improve the existing infrastructure with new features and services. To illustrate an innovation, in addition to the features explained above our data centers have planned to implement learning management system (LMS) solutions in the cloud and auto-correction and correlation engine to generate alerts sent by the monitoring team. The LMS shall provide training portal for real time scenarios supported by centers of excellence (CoE).

Full scale automation for private cloud systems in data centers is the most viable option for enterprises to overcome issues in reliability, protection, compliance, SLA and governance. Through full scale automation CtrlS attempts to overcome challenges in traditional data centers and offers full service capabilities by eliminating manual intervention in operations.

Significance of Tier 4 Data Center

The Tier 4 Data Center is receiving accolades from some and being shrugged off by some as an unnecessary purchase. After examining the facts and the advantages of a Tier 4 Data Center over the other Tiers in the Tier Classification System, we can conclude that a Tier 4 Data Center indicates the most robustly designed data center. This being the case, a Tier 4 Data Center is of special significance in businesses, especially so when the nature of the business has high availability requirements. A Tier 4 Data Center indicates the most robustly designed data center.

The debate on whether there is really a need for a Tier 4 Data Center still rages on. Some in the industry feel that there isn’t a real need for a Tier 4 Data Center and that the costs involved in the installation may not be worth the advantages of it. Before we discuss the significance of a Tier 4 Data Center and see why it would be a good choice for your business, let us get into what this Tier classification is all about.

Over the past decades, much advancement has been made in the Data Center Industry. Considering the different design topologies and associated site availability metrics with regard to Data Centers, the need for the Tier Performance Standards was clearly visible. An analytical approach to evaluate the performance of a Data center became of increasing significance with the tremendous growth of the Data Center Industry. The surge of increase in the number of data centers and the correspondingly significant increase in internet business interests made it necessary to come up with clearly defined performance criteria to assess the efficiency of data centers and help businesses make an informed strategic choice. There are a number of approaches to the Tier system of Classification like the Ten Tier Classification and the 11 aspects of data center performance defined by the Syska Hennessy Group. However, the four tiered classification system of the Uptime Institute is considered to be the most reliable. Each level of the tier was established from the 60’s onward and each of them represents an increased level of performance.

Tier 4 data center

This being said, it is obvious that the highest Tier to be defined, which is the Tier 4, represents the highest level of performance. Of the many advantages provided by a Tier 4 Data Center, a significant feature is the Fault-tolerant functionality. This enables the site infrastructure to sustain unplanned failures that would otherwise adversely affect the critical load. Being fault tolerant, the computer equipment of a Tier 4 data center will not be impacted if there is a single failure of any distribution element or capacity component. The system will automatically respond to prevent further disaster on site. The Tier 4 Data Center also has multiple distribution paths which can serve the site’s computer equipment simultaneously. This was not a feature of the Tier 3 data center. The IT equipment will all be dual powered providing further backup. The site availability expectation of a Tier 4 data center is 0.4 hours and availability percentage is found to be 99.99%! This is of vital importance to businesses with high availability requirements. Industries which deal in market transactions, E-Commerce, financial settlements, and the sort most benefit from a Tier 4 data center. The Tier 4 data center has come to be known to be reliable and robust and represents the highest level of reliability, security and availability among all the Tiers which makes it the ideal choice for corporations.

To reiterate, the significance of a Tier 4 Data center in corporations with high availability requirements cannot be underestimated. The Tier 4 classification indicates the most robustly designed data center to be found thus making a Tier 4 Data center the most obvious choice for corporations globally.

Making a Dent in India’s IT Universe

Mr. Sridhar Reddy, our CMD, presented at a recent event – Convergence India 2014 held at Delhi. He was moderator for the session “Cloud Solutions for Business- Building a successful and secure business on cloud”. The event was covered by many media partners. Communications today was one of them and published excerpts of his presentation as guest column in its February edition.

IT Infrastructure

Brief on CtrlS by Gartner in MQ for Cloud Enabled Managed Hosting

CtrlS Datacenters Ltd.

CtrlS Datacenters is a managed hosting provider in India, as well as an early public cloud provider in India. It targets enterprises and the banking and financial services sector. It offers cloud-enabled hosting, with multitenant, single-tenant and customer premises options, as well as related managed services. It also provides colocation services. Its cloud data centers are located in Hyderabad and Mumbai.

Strengths
■ CtrlS has good data center infrastructure. It invests in high-grade data centers, an important requirement in India due to the country’s generally poor infrastructure. It is also expanding its data center coverage outside India to support foreign and local MNCs with inbound and outbound hosting requirements. It has data centers in the U.S. and United Arab Emirates, and it plans to extend its coverage to Singapore and Australia.
■ CtrlS provides high-availability services through its high-grade data centers, multi-availability zones and three-way disaster recovery architecture, with a zero-data-loss guarantee. It also has strong security implementations, with good certifications. It is strong in the banking and financial services sector.
■ CtrlS has strong IT services skills, with experience of supporting secure payments and financial transactions for banking and financial services organizations. It tends to take a solution-led approach, which differentiates it from infrastructure-based players.
■ CtrlS is a good choice for Web business hosting in India, as its cloud platform is built for a public cloud service. It has implemented an automated system for monitoring Internet performance in real time that can automatically divert Web traffic to alternative Internet links in cases of degradation.
■ CtrlS is price-competitive, with a choice of hourly and monthly plans. Pricing is also transparent, as in a typical public cloud service. CtrlS also provides volume discounts for enterprise deals.
■ CtrlS has a well-designed cloud management portal, which is easy to use and offers a good choice of features. Customers also say that CtrlS provides good service quality and is very responsive to their requirements.

Cautions
■ CtrlS is still largely a player in India. It is beginning to expand its presence outside its home country, but most of its staff and skills are still concentrated there.
■ CtrlS is relatively young compared with the large and established players in the Asia/Pacific market. The company is funded by private investors and has been investing heavily to support its growth strategy. It has completed its investments in data centers. Over the next three years, it plans to continue to invest aggressively in IT infrastructure, product development and managed services capabilities. It has secured funding for this investment, supported by its strong revenue growth in the past few years. The outlook for CtrlS is positive, although it needs to mature further to compete in a market dominated by large players.