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Gary Coates is the General Manager of Serverhouse, which runs a number of data centres along the South Coast delivering a range of services including provision of data centre space, Colocation, Managed Hosting, IaaS and VPS.

What Gartner’s Magic Quadrant Can Teach SMEs About Public And Private Cloud Options

When Gartner released their latest view of the Magic Quadrant for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), many analysts were surprised to see that eight cloud service providers had been dropped from the rankings. What became clear very quickly was that the new view of the market included only the six largest players. The changes were due to what Gartner called more “stringent inclusion criteria.” The result was that the only players left on the board were global vendors with both IaaS and Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions. Whether or not you agree with Gartner’s approach, they are reflecting a trend which shows a diminishing number of large, dominant global players with integrated offerings. While this is good news for large corporations looking for a seamless service, SMEs may get lost i...

Is It Possible To Future-Proof Your IT Investment In A Time Of Innovation?

Some of the technologies we use and now take for granted were unthinkable to most of us just five years ago. With that rapid change in mind, is it possible to develop an IT investment strategy when game-changing technologies can appear seemingly overnight? Most SMEs just want their systems to work, of course, and have no interest in leading the pack when it comes to technology. The challenge comes if your competitors take advantage of new developments in a way that is disruptive to your industry – but this doesn’t mean you need to overhaul your whole IT strategy just in case such an event occurs. The best approach is to keep an eye on the trends and develop an infrastructure that suits your current business needs and has the flexibility to develop as your business grows or changes over tim...

Has The Buzz Finally Died Down On Cloud?

There was a time when you couldn’t read any IT news story or visit any tech event without someone mentioning the cloud. It was, at one time, hailed as a cure-all for any IT worries from cost concerns to the rapid scalability required by start-ups. Part of the reason we hear the buzzword less now is that it’s settled in to IT infrastructure – most companies use SaaS solutions such as Salesforce or Cisco WebEx and wouldn’t be keen to return to the old process of software being loaded from discs and updated laboriously one machine at a time. Is it time for us all to throw out our hardware and software and accept that cloud has gone from the new kid on the block to the standard? Dropbox Takes Back Its Infrastructure There was an interesting story last year about how Dropbox had decided to take...

TCO Calculations Should Include Value Added

We’ve all got used to the idea of factoring in the total cost of ownership (TCO) for any investment. However, it’s worth considering a couple of other numbers – one is the total value that the investment will deliver and the other is the negative cost of not taking action. This can help you allocate the appropriate budget in a way that delivers long term benefits to the business and doesn’t prove to be either a financial or logistical burden. How Do You Calculate TCO? The first step is to establish the TCO. Let’s take the example of colocating some new servers. The initial cost is the hardware and this will require maintenance and potentially a series of upgrades. Colocation requires an investment in space, including maintenance and support charges. In addition, you need to look at the ext...

Data Protection: Is Your Infrastructure Up To The Demands Of GDPR?

The news that Carphone Warehouse was fined £400,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a data breach in 2015 has made a lot of people nervous. It is the largest fine ever to have been issued by the ICO and suggests that a new precedent is being set after years of negligible fines. In addition, the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into force in May of this year includes much more stringent rules regarding a business’ obligations to store, protect and manage customer data. Many companies are currently looking at their policies and procedures when it comes to areas such as opting people in to marketing list, managing customer requests for data and IT security. These all play a valuable role, but they need to be backed up by the right infrastructure to make...

Got Your Head In The Clouds? It Might Be Time To Look At Simpler Solutions

A recent outage at the hosting company OVH meant that many of their clients were unable to access their servers for more than 12 hours – which is a long time in the fast-paced business world, and almost an eternity for e-commerce companies. With 50,000 websites down due to the failure – caused by a leak in the water cooling system and compounded by a fault in the alerting system – many will be asking if there’s a way to avoid such problems in the future. The short answer is that there is no way to avoid it – no system is ever entirely fool-proof. A large and complex cloud environment as found at OVH can be harder to fix and restart if anything does happen. As OVH found, the restart sequence can be halted by the detection of additional faults which slow down the process. Does th...

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