Accountable IaaS at the Edge
By leveraging partnerships with best-in-class tech companies in the most connected hubs in the world, Voxility is offering a reliable and transparent answer to the so-called cloud versus on-premise question
Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Vivek Valmiki
The information age shows no signs of slowing down.
We are producing and consuming data at a rate that continues to exponentially rise. Today we talk about the world’s collective data usage in the realm of zettabytes, or a trillion gigabytes – a volume of data generation which was passed in 2016.
The ability to store, analyse and leverage information has created unprecedented opportunities for internet companies and their customers to thrive in the hyper-connected era.
For instance, the worldwide infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market grew by more than 31 percent in 2018 to $32.4 billion according to Gartner, which cites the ability to scale as fundamental to capturing market share in a crowded industry.
The so-called top five – AWS, Microsoft, Alibaba, Google and IBM – accounted for almost 77 percent of IaaS business in 2018, with further consolidation expected to be confirmed for 2019.
But it would be wrong to suggest that the conversation is simply being steered by the big players.
Rather, momentum towards total cloud solutions is actually starting to wane, with enterprises increasingly finding that a cloud-only approach to IaaS is not the silver bullet they were looking for.
Enter Voxility, an IaaS provider which is disrupting the direction of cloud adoption by offering a fundamentally alternative offering, a blend between the automation of the cloud and on-premise infrastructure which leverages the power of prestigious partnerships with blue chip companies in the world’s most connected locations.
“There is a misconception that the cloud infrastructure as a service market is just a battle among giants like AWS, Google and Microsoft Azure, and it is something I feel very passionately about,” says Maria Sirbu, Voxility’s Vice President of Business Development.
“As these tech giants have gone mainstream, they’re revealing the limitations on their public cloud services. Today, there’s growing pressure on enterprises to be transparent about their data in terms of who manages it, and where and how it is hosted. Because of this, IT managers want more security and control over their infrastructure, and are increasingly experiencing that cloud giants cannot offer them this.”
Sirbu’s observations are backed up, fittingly, by more data. She cites a report commissioned by Fortinet that found almost three quarters of enterprises have moved apps to the public cloud, and then for a variety of reasons and circumstances, decided to move it back into their on-premise or private cloud infrastructure.
“You ask whether I find the IaaS space an exciting one to be in at the moment, and my answer is a resounding yes!” Sirbu says. “I could not be prouder of the position we have moved Voxility to, which is the result of continuously acknowledging the influence of datacentres and bare metal within the whole cloud era.”
The Voxility way
So, what position has the company moved itself into in this dynamic, fast-moving market?
In short, Voxility markets itself as an infrastructure and a service provider in the biggest internet hubs in the world, which translates into layman’s terms as renting premium dedicated infrastructure, internet access, premium support and value-added security options in more than 20 carrier hotels worldwide.
“It is an easy OPEX-based IaaS model where physical hardware in physical locations can be rented, just like how other tools or a flexible office space is rented in other industries,” Sirbu explains. “We bundle this with internet access, value-added security options and global hubs to provide a comprehensive, dedicated solution that competes with the cloud-based IaaS offered by cloud giants.
“We believe we have created a perfect blend able to meet real companies’ needs no matter what phase of their journey they are in. We can deliver a huge amount of infrastructure in days with no setup fees, full console access and up to 12 times cheaper than major cloud providers, charged by the hour.”
Price, however, is not how the company chooses to differentiate itself.
Instead, Sirbu likens Voxility to a group of top-end restaurants with à la carte menus, the firm only selling high quality options across all of its five categories.
For example, its dedicated servers segment functions exclusively in partnership with HPE and its variety of hardware models, while internet access is provisioned through collaborations with more than 1,500 border gateway protocol (BGP) internet operators to enable quality provision at a regional level.
In terms of value-added services, Voxility has built and deployed its own cloud DDoS mitigation service which is now serving customers from 75 countries, while colocation services are provisioned in partnership with datacentre heavyweights.
Added to this, the company has its own staff in each of its 20-plus locations – what Sirbu calls an extension of customers’ own hands – to ensure its service standards are delivered at all times without a reliance on third parties.
At the edge
The VP of Business Development calls it an old school model of serving the internet with secure infrastructure for any cloud environment.
“And what else does this mean?” she asks. “Crucially, it makes us accountable to our customers. We’re able to answer a variety of questions such as where is my data located, who touches my hardware, how is my data stored, and can I access my own infrastructure 24-seven?
“This is a real differentiator as the same cannot be said about cloud-based IaaS, which provides no details about exact storage and location.”
In terms of locations, Voxility is wholly transparent, the company’s so-called ‘restaurants’ being located in 20 of the best-connected parts of the world to ensure their à la carte menus contain the best ingredients.
Indeed, location has become an increasingly important part of the IaaS conversation.
“Fortunately for the common data consumer we have reached a level where talking about flexibility or scalability is obsolete,” Sirbu continues. “It was on-trend for a network to promote itself as flexible and scalable five years ago. Now, everything happens at the edge.
“This is a distributed computing paradigm, which brings connectivity and data storage closer to the location where it is needed to improve response times and save bandwidth.”
With distributed datacentres in Europe and North America, Voxility has placed itself at the most vibrant network edges around the world, the firm coming a long way since Sirbu joined in 2011 when it worked from just four locations.
The latest addition to the list is Madrid. Excluding Russia and Turkey, Spain ranks as the fifth largest internet consuming country in Europe, making it a natural move given Voxility is already serving customers in the top four (Germany, UK, France and Italy).
“Our main focus with our PoP in Interxion, Madrid, is to get on board with local Spanish players, networks which we otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach because of their regional-only presence,” Sirbu explains. “But we also have the attention of global players who want to add Spain as a node to their operations, and now they are deploying global private networks with us.”
The power of partnership
As with the company’s other locations, the venture into Spain will utilise its relationships with world-renowned datacentre and telco companies, the ingredients which make up the Voxility menu and differentiate it in terms of quality and reliability.
HPE, DELL, Equinix, Digital Realty, TeliaSonera, Comcast, NTT, CenturyLink and Orange are just some of the reputed names the firm collaborates with, the move away from joining a race to the bottom in terms of price an example of some bold decisions the company has taken over time.
“We have been able to generate significant growth over the years mainly due to the quality of these companies’ services and the brand awareness that comes with it,” she adds.
“We are the talking about the world’s largest carrier hotels, and they know what they are doing. Any network on the planet wants to co-locate and get access to their ecosystems of clouds and networks. However, this does not come cheap, so we have always sold services for their quality and not for their price, and looking back this has been one of the best decisions we have ever made business wise.
“One thing is for sure. You have a certain peace of mind when working with these providers – you can easily sleep at night knowing their quality becomes your quality.”
Sirbu also reveals that most of the company’s partnerships are somewhere between six and nine years in existence, long-term synergies that have shaped the Voxility of today and will no doubt serve to power its expansion plans in the future.
And it is here where the conversation draws to a close, the VP of Business Development upbeat about the firm’s progress towards its latest target.
“Our CEO mandated us in 2018 to make Voxility available at the edge in 50 large markets, and I expect us to be there in the next three to five years,” she says. “We are nearly halfway there as another four locations are expected to come online imminently.
“We are continuing to build a legacy around IaaS at the Edge, and together with our value-added services like DDoS protection, I am excited about what lies ahead.”