Today's guest post is by Rafie Issa, Deputy CEO at Agnitum Information Technology AB.
Swedish companies are no strangers to the cloud. By the end of 2014, almost 40 percent of businesses located here were running some part of their business in the cloud, according to a Eurostat survey. Data storage and email topped the list of functions that Swedish companies were supporting in the cloud. But a significant number of companies were using the cloud to support database hosting and financial processes too.
At Agnitum, we’re proud to have helped many of these companies start their journey to the cloud with solutions hosted either in our state-of-the-art facilities or in our customers’ data centers. We also offer public Oracle Cloud services, enabling complete integration with private cloud options.
To make sure that we could meet the expanding needs of our customers—especially those that require a cloud option—we recognized the need to build a more modern and secure infrastructure. Equally important, it had to give us the capability to offer our customers flexible pricing options aligned with their individual needs.
Data Protection Is Key
Sweden is extremely eager to support the cloud. Just recently, Sweden cut its energy taxes on facilities by 97 percent to persuade cloud-supporting data centers to move here, effectively reducing power costs by 40 percent.
But like all countries in the European Union, Sweden takes data sovereignty and security very seriously. When the General Data Protection Rule (GDPR) comes into full force next year, all organizations that process personally identifiable information of EU residents will be required to adhere to a wide range of data protection policies.
Businesses that don’t comply or fail to safeguard data can expect fines of up to 4 percent of annual global turnover, or 20 million Euros—whichever is greater.
Without a doubt, many companies—even those that have already begun their journey to the cloud—remain concerned about data security. According to a Harvard Business Review report, 62 percent of companies said that concerns about data security keep them from fully embracing the cloud. One-quarter of the companies said they worry about compliance issues.
Concern over cloud security is so deep that the global cloud security market is expected to reach almost $14 billion by 2024, according to Grand View Research. While cloud technology is generally proving itself to be as secure—maybe even safer—than on-premises technology, worries persist.
With that in mind, it was clear to us that only the most reliable private cloud appliance would meet our needs and those of our customers.
Over our 10-year history, we’ve established ourselves as an early adopter of innovative new solutions. That’s why we wanted to make sure that any investments we made to better support cloud services furthered that tradition.
Originally, we considered building our own platform. That’s not unusual, as Oracle’s EVP David Donatelli explained at Oracle OpenWorld this year, IT organizations at many companies often think they can assemble the components of a cloud-hosting platform that is as effective as a prebuilt engineered system. However it wasn’t a difficult decision for us to forego the DIY option. In the time it would take us to research the components, purchase them, and then build and test the system, opportunities would certainly have been missed. But more importantly, we weren’t confident that any platform we might self-assemble would be cost-effective enough nor scalable and flexible enough for us to meet the needs of our cloud customers.
Keep It Cost Effective
Because so many companies are pressured to reduce costs, we made it a priority to provide our clients with right-sized compute capabilities that could be efficiently scaled up or down as they need them.
We also determined that we needed a flexible infrastructure to accommodate the different paths our clients and prospects are taking to the cloud. High on our list of platform features was the ability to easily integrate our private cloud solutions with any of our customers’ on-premises systems, as well as applications already running on the public cloud.
The clear choice for us was Oracle Private Cloud Appliance (PCA).
Just as stated, PCA really is “an easy-to-acquire, easy-to-deploy, ‘turnkey’ solution that integrates compute, network, and storage resources to enable agile and efficient data center deployments.”
PCA features unified, secure management with browser-based, at-a-glance visibility of all hardware components and secure, encrypted remote access.
Flexible Compute Capacity
But as important as security is to our customers, managing costs remains a top priority too. With the PCA, we are able to offer our customers the level of compute support they need, as they need it. Here’s how.
With PCA’s Trusted Partitioning capability, our customers have the ability to license software based on what they use, not on our system’s total capacity. This enables Agnitum to provide our customers with the resources they need, when they need it and at a very effective low cost.
As their requirements change, we can scale the compute resources in increments of a single compute node at a time. This flexibility allows customer to spin up resources very quickly according to their requirements to match their growth.
As a Wikibon research report noted, Trusted Partitioning allows “customers to dramatically reduce Oracle database licensing costs.” PCA, it said, “provides greater pricing granularity and flexibility for virtualized environments.”
Equally important, PCA helps us support our customers’ workloads no matter what software they have been running. An agnostic platform, the appliance gave us the ability to efficiently support customers running Microsoft Window, or any Linux or Oracle Solaris-based applications.
And because many of our customers are already Oracle Database users—as are many of the companies we’re eager to support—we can efficiently migrate data onto the PCA platform.
In our data centers, PCA frees our team to focus their time and energy on tasks that generate more value for Agnitum. By investing in an integrated system, administrators can prioritize delivering flexible services and addressing strategic needs. They can respond to their customers’ evolving needs rather than taking time to plan for and handle configuration of hardware infrastructure from scratch.
Like so many of our customers, we’re excited about the opportunities for growth that the cloud represents to the Swedish economy. With PCA, we’re confident that we can successfully support our clients’ growth initiatives while helping to maintain data security.
Learn more about our story.
Rafie Issa is Deputy CEO at Agnitum Information Technology AB. Agnitum is an IT and cloud services provider based in Sweden. They have a 10-year history of supporting their end-customers on Oracle solutions and have garnered a reputation for being early adopters of the latest innovations.