InTechnology 4th Generation Cloud
12 July 2011
Harrogate based Managed Service Provider InTechnology has today announced its commitment to a multi-million pound investment in its 4th Generation Cloud Infrastructure during 2011. This includes substantial further enhancements to its network, its data centres, its virtualisation infrastructure and its support operation.
Acclaimed technology entrepreneur Peter Wilkinson, InTechnology's CEO and founder comments: "InTechnology has always pushed the technology boundaries, since its heady, pioneering days establishing the UK's first genuine business ISP (Planet Online) and developing the UK's most successful consumer ISP (Freeserve). We also pioneered off-site data storage (VBAK) and developed one of the UK's first corporate hosted IP telephony services (Unity). With the benefit of that considerable learning behind us we have gone on to develop one of the UK's most complete suites of pay monthly voice and data services."
Wilkinson believes this latest push to keep InTechnology's infrastructure at the leading edge is "business as usual, and completely aligned with a commitment to always deliver genuine enterprise grade solutions".
Those three words, 'genuine Enterprise grade', are key for Wilkinson. He is outspoken in his views regarding the liberal use of what he describes as 'marketing fluff' - a network, he suggests, is not always what it seems; neither is resilience...or support...or service. According to Wilkinson these terms (and others too) are becoming dangerously generic and are used by too many service providers in an attempt to 'big themselves up' without proper concern for how such misleading bravado may impact the customer".
It's one thing to make exaggerated claims, suggests Wilkinson, but if the provider can't deliver it's the customer that suffers. "That's not our way. Our 4th Generation Cloud investment is all about giving our customers complete confidence that we are committed to the highest standards in infrastructure, security, support and service".
Wilkinson continues: "Our progression from 1st to 4th generation started with server farms and a pretty basic network infrastructure. However we learned quickly and when we suffered a double network failure (a double ring wrap) we committed to doing something about it and started our ongoing upgrade journey. So over the years we've added layer-upon-layer of redundancy, security and backup to our infrastructure."
"Our commitment now to our 4th Generation Cloud adds additional network cross-over (meshing) to ensure lightning fast self-healing in the event of multiple fibre break; it adds new 10GB links to increase speed and bandwidth; it adds additional links into our points-of-presence and across our multi-vendor network as a whole we've doubled up on routers and switching gear to robustly underpin resilience".
Beyond these upgrades to its network, InTechnology has also committed to a new, next generation power-efficient data centre in Reading. Work has already started and the site will be commissioned in Q1 / 2012. The company selected Reading because of its proximity to London, distancing itself from perceived terrorist risk and addressing published power outage concerns affecting the Capital. The choice of next generation power efficient technology (such as cold aisle containment) will enable InTechnology to remain competitive - where many may not - as the impact of increasing power charges from utility providers feeds through. A further additional data centre is also in negotiation.
InTechnology has also committed to the complete update of its server and virtualisation infrastructure, using only best-in-class vendors such as Cisco, HP, EMC and NetApp. The whole operation is monitored 24/7 by InTechnology's own Network Operations Centre, itself an acknowledged Centre of Excellence and reference site for HP OpenView.
Wilkinson states that InTechnology's 4th generation investment is not just about pushing technology. The simple fact, he claims, is that "InTechnology's infrastructure underpins its entire business operation. Our network, our data centres, our platforms are our 'Cloud' and the delivery vehicle for our services. They need to be rock-solid".
Wilkinson continues: "I remain as committed today, as I did when we started, to tangible differentiation in the best interest of our customers".
"So I would urge organisations looking to move their IT infrastructure into the Cloud to see beyond the marketing hype. Ask probing questions of your service provider: check their pedigree; drill into their financial standing; ask what they actually own and what they outsource; ask how they underpin their 99.999% availability promise and ensure their SLAs. Above all visit them, kick the tyres, see their infrastructure and meet their management team. Peel back the hype and get to the facts".