Coreix is a London-based hosting provider that has been operating since 2003 offering co-location, public cloud and hosted private cloud services, in addition to managed services such as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) mitigation, monitoring and business continuity.
Coreix says it differs from other hosting providers in the level of support offered to customers, including 24x7 support from Tier 3 technicians who are for the most part certified to Red Hat and Microsoft engineer standards. This means that if a problem develops at any time, the customers can pick up the phone and speak directly to an engineer who can fix it as soon as possible.
This and its five data centres clustered around London means that Coreix has found favour with clients in the legal and financial services sectors, which need a mission-critical provider that can guarantee that data is being kept inside the UK.
The firm has high-speed fibre connections between all sites, enabling it to offer disaster recovery and business continuity services that span multiple sites. A managed replication service keeps data in synchronisation between a customer's site and their infrastructure on Coreix, or between Coreix sites for customers operating a hosted private cloud, and the firm is able to advise on best practice for regulatory compliance.
Based on these capabilities, Coreix is in the running for the V3 Technology Awards for 2015 and is hoping to pick up the reader votes for Best Business Continuity Provider. We caught up with Coreix chief executive Alan Dean (pictured) to find out how the firm's year has turned out, and how it expects 2016 to shape up.
V3: What have been the highlights of 2015 for Coreix so far?
Dean: We've become members of the EU Code of Conduct for data centres, and we're continuing on a path of certification towards that, plus we're undergoing accreditation for the Investors in People Gold standard focused around redeveloping our employees and making sure that everything is in place for that.
Earlier this year, we also passed the 500-customer mark. We have quite a diverse range from financial customers and enterprise customers to wholesale customers in the foods industry, for example.
We've also rebranded the business, so that when any new organisations or potential customers go onto our website they will get a clearer view that we do dedicated servers, managed services, private cloud, co-location and networking.
The issue we had is that, as we grew from a company that was offering dedicated servers and managed services into a company that was also offering various cloud services and co-location, the message had become muddied.
It wasn't totally clear what we did when you first landed on the page, so we took a step back and made sure that everything we do fits within four core ‘pots' of business, those being dedicated servers, cloud services, co-location and managed services.
Those are represented on the front page by four block colours, and all our documentation is now coded using the same colours, so it is really clear to the client what service they are looking at.
What are the biggest trends that you see affecting your sector of the IT industry?
The core trends we're seeing, as more and more people are moving to cloud and virtualised infrastructure, are often coming down to compliance. That's a big one for customers. Where their data is, how it is being stored, who can access it, especially with cloud infrastructures where you're on a shared platform. That can be a major concern for some customers.
We are also seeing issues with input/output operations per second capacity on hard drives, so a major move is occurring to hybrid or full flash-based solutions for the underlying infrastructure, internally for customers and on cloud platforms.
Clients are also asking for full encrypted hard drives and end-to-end encryption. This is becoming quite common. A lot of companies, especially the larger SMEs and above, want cloud infrastructure, but they want the data security that comes with having dedicated infrastructure.
It comes down to creating a balance between the efficiencies that come with a cloud platform and the data security that is inherent to a dedicated platform, which is why I believe we're seeing a lot of private cloud and hybrid cloud as it allows you to retain more control than you would with public could, where you start getting customers asking ‘where is my data?'
We're based only in London at the moment, so the data in our data centres is in London, but I think it's a question for cloud operators that is becoming more of an issue lately.
Another thing we have seen a degree of, with the number of DDoS attacks increasing year on year, is that when you have consolidated underlying hardware infrastructure it becomes much more difficult to protect from a large-scale DDoS in terms of ensuring that it affects only the client that's being attacked.
We've invested heavily in DDoS mitigation, but when we have clients looking for mission-critical hosting, a decision they have to take into account is that at the end of the day, the underlying hardware is shared and there are possibilities that mean other customers can affect your service.
What are your plans for the coming year?
We're in the process of preparing a new data centre for opening in Stratford. That will be a primary data centre for us, staffed 24x7, as part of the Olympic legacy regeneration project, and that should be coming online in Q3 next year. That will be a fairly large site for us, making up about 240 racks of capacity.
We're quite excited about that, especially as it's the first data centre project I've been involved with in the past 10 years that isn't to all intents and purposes a warehouse in the middle of nowhere. It's going to part of a larger project, an environment where there are small and medium businesses around, and there's Loughborough University coming in and the Joint Academic Network, plus several of the large car manufacturers.
This feeds into another project we're working on with an architecture company that's looking at virtual desktop infrastructure so they need a lot of graphics throughput, and that means they need a particular level of connectivity, and that's one of the core issues we're looking at: how to provide adequate connectivity to your data.
We're also looking at implementing a new portal for our clients. We already have a portal where clients can see information about their solutions, so if they have co-location they can trigger a remote reboot if required, but we're looking to give more power to customers, especially cloud and virtualisation customers, to help them more easily manage that infrastructure.
For example, we want to give them the ability to spin up a disaster recovery cloud instance by building that as an option directly into the portal. It's just giving them more control, really.
Beyond that, we are looking to moving into EMEA, so beyond just London for our data centres. We do have points of presence in EMEA and APAC, but they are just for connectivity purposes, so we're looking at opening a data centre in Western Europe sometime next year. At the moment, we are looking at Paris or Amsterdam, but it is still in the works. Bulgaria is a possible wild card!
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