Why we build our own cloud

The Cloud

About seven years ago we decided to build our own cloud computing platform.  As you can probably imagine, this was not a trivial decision. It required computing platforms, high end disk systems, networking, data centres, lots of engineering time to build it all and pretty much two (or more) of everything to maximise availability.

At the time many people thought we were slightly crazy, and they told us so; “What about Amazon, Google and Microsoft? How will you ever compete with those giants?”

It turns out you don’t actually need to take them on. There is plenty of room for independent operators, but only if you know what you’re doing.

CommArc has always been a little different, and this is something we can put down to our founding principles plus our ongoing mission to stay independent and always look at technology through the eyes of our customers. Our perspective has always been a little off mainstream: not buying into to the latest fads and trends but preferring to focus on what makes your business run better.

As it turned out, the CommArc Cloud was very complementary to the larger cloud platforms. These multinationals (e.g. Google, Microsoft, Amazon) are very large and scalable, and just the place to access your non-critical / localised data, your email and your specialised cloud applications. However, they will never offer the flexibility, customisation and localisation that CommArc offers.

Being an engineering business, we have all the in-house capability to design, build and support our own platform. It made good sense for us to utilise it.

We are local and you can talk to us at any time (try that with a multinational). Your data is right here in New Zealand, we are not reliant on undersea cables, we backup to disk and air-gapped tape (all part of the service), we provide a whole load of additional-value services and we do all of this at internationally competitive rates. Oh, and just quietly, our annual availability/uptime is actually better than theirs!

Our CommArc Cloud platform will continue to grow and we will continue to invest in the most appropriate technologies for our customers. Strategically, this year we are looking to move our Auckland Cloud into a larger facility with higher specification, we are currently investigating the latest solid state technology for our storage arrays, and our compute power is also growing as the base compute technology accelerates. We are also implementing new security platforms across our facilities and we are building out processes to permit the constant evolution of our cyber-security model.

We may never have the capability to match the scale of an Amazon, Google or Microsoft, but we can develop the all-important hybrid services to host your specialised applications, back your data up and glue all your business services together. And of course, where the big guys do it faster, better or cheaper, then we will be leveraging this as well.