Iland's cloud infrastructure service has been shortlisted for Best Cloud Service at the V3 Technology Awards this year.
The product gives IT teams more visibility and control over cloud networks, and V3 spoke to Lilac Schoenbeck, iland's vice president of product management and marketing, to get an insight into the firm's success and its plans for the year ahead.
V3: What has iland focused on this year in terms of cloud services?
Lilac Schoenbeck: As always, iland's 2014 initiatives were defined by customer needs. As such, we focused on two primary areas: giving teams more visibility and control into their cloud via the iland Enterprise Cloud Services portal, and addressing complex disaster recovery challenges with our disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS).
In February 2014, we officially announced our Enterprise Cloud Services portal that enables customers to manage, monitor and protect workloads via a single, intuitive dashboard.
This unmatched visibility allows teams to jump-start cloud capabilities, control and predict costs, manage resources and ensure compliance. It is also available in the iland cloud app, giving teams access and control on the go.
Customers also provide immediate feedback and request new features through the portal itself, which drives our quarterly release cycle and roadmap. Throughout the year, enhancements were made that allow customers to configure recovery plans, set alerts to avoid potential issues, manage cloud resources at different data centre locations and forecast cloud spend for the month ahead.
We also launched our Disaster Recovery Planning & Assessment Service that arms companies with the comprehensive analysis needed to plan and execute rapid recovery, regardless of their IT footprint.
The service is based on iland's eight years of proven cloud-based DR experience. In less than a week, iland's team of experts thoroughly assesses a company's technical, procedural and business needs, educating customers on key considerations that many overlook.
V3: What are the biggest trends in cloud computing?
Perhaps one of the biggest trends we are helping to drive forward is cloud-based disaster recovery (DR). As outage horror stories put a spotlight on the need for DR, IT and business teams will increasingly turn to DR-as-a-service (DRaaS) providers to overcome traditional budget, resource and complexity challenges.
Multinational corporations of all sizes are increasingly seeking to have global DR footprints to ensure continuity for their customers around the world.
Mobility trends also play into DR. Today's mobile mentality puts extra pressure on IT teams to ensure downtime is minimised, but it also gives IT additional devices to ensure employees have access to the systems they need when disaster strikes.
The key is to develop a solid DR plan that allows IT to fully leverage the benefits cloud delivers, and DRaaS providers will play an important role.
Many times, IT will use DR as an entry point to cloud and expand their initiatives. At the same time, as increasing workloads are hosted in the cloud, cloud-to-cloud DR will also grow in prominence and ease.
Another significant trend is that enterprises are increasingly looking to the cloud for big data compute and storage. Again, these companies expect the same level of visibility and control as they do in their own data centres, so it is critical for cloud providers to deliver that functionality.
V3: What are the biggest cloud concerns and challenges for firms and IT managers?
Visibility into cloud environments continues to trouble many teams, as IT and business users struggle to satisfy compliance requirements, optimise performance and make sense of complex cloud pricing structures.
Customisable, real-time alerting capabilities with optimisation guidance are key so that teams can conveniently address issues and extract the best performance and value from their cloud environment.
When it comes down to it, customers are demanding more insight to improve overall ROI, and service providers must deliver the necessary tools in a platform that is intuitive and mobile.
V3: What are your plans for 2015?
Iland is planning to enhance its existing public cloud offering with an eye towards meeting even broader enterprise-class requirements. These requirements range from simplifying the management of cloud resources, to incorporating additional best-of-breed technologies into our service offerings, to offering more managed services for organisations seeking more ongoing management of their cloud.
On the DRaaS side, we will be focused on expanding our professional services capabilities to support managed DR services, for those who require it, as well as professional services structured to help customers address compliance needs.
Bolstered by enhanced DR capabilities in our ECS portal, our DRaaS service will be elevated to ensure that with self-service or with managed support, our customers are able to have the most straightforward DR plan in place to meet their individual needs.
What do you think the biggest tech trends will be in 2015?
As ever, it's an interesting time in the tech space, and a few things stand out to me. One is further advances towards the Internet of Things as mobile control and management steps up the pace, while another is an increase in the number of applications developed with cloud in mind and delivered as a service to a range of devices.
Another standout is security enhancements at the application level. However, although still a concern, security will not impede progress to the cloud. Rather, organisations will weigh the risks and benefits and move forward according to the level of risk they are willing to accept. This differs from before, when organisations required 100 percent protection.
Fail-over glory stories will also emerge. As more people move to DRaaS, you'll start seeing stories about have and have-not success and failure stories. After an emergency, some companies will be able to tout continuity while others will not - and DRaaS will be the difference.
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