And, before long, our business was booming.
As more clients came on board, our server farm grew to a peak of 200 virtual servers hosted in our data centre.
All the while, our team focused on supporting and providing all our clients stable, secure solutions at a predictable cost.
Everything was going well. However, as we continued to grow, a few cracks were starting to show.
This was happening industry wide and businesses, like ours, were finding the infrastructure they’d built to support their clients, which had been state of the art at the time, was starting to show their age.
Technology was changing. Our clients’ businesses were changing.
And, to continue to fulfil our vision, we were determined to keep pace and innovate.
Old fashioned infrastructure
When we started 11 years ago, having our own private data centre made sense.
Other options, such as the cloud, were too expensive and unproven while using someone else’s physical infrastructure didn’t provide the security or reliability we wanted for our clients’ data.
However, operating a data centre is pretty involved!
You need servers, networking paths, software, air conditioning and power for it to run, along with built-in redundancy, backups, and more.
Suffice to say; it is all pretty costly just to keep it maintained.
Then, add support tickets and P1 (major) incidents which needed the team to spend time dealing with, and the costs were starting to add up.
Looking at our bottom line, we realised this was not how we wanted to operate. We didn’t want to be in fight or flight mode – we wanted to thrive.
And, our business needed to be stable because our clients were relying on us to provide a reliable, consistent platform to host their data and business systems.
Downtime and data overloads
While we were grappling with the cost of our infrastructure, we were also aware of our clients’ goals.
They wanted to grow, and incorporating more, and more powerful, technology into their businesses were a crucial part of this.
Unfortunately, our older infrastructure was struggling to host what our clients needed it to.
Making matters worse, as anyone that’s dealt with hosting would know, if there was a data overload, it would affect multiple clients – slowing down the performance of their systems. A compounding effect that was an issue for the whole industry.
This led to downtime and not a great experience for our customers – both of which needed our team to spend time sorting out.
Things were good when they were good, but that wasn’t good enough for us. We wanted to deliver a great experience on rare occasions that things went wrong.
Sitting back and looking at everything, we realised we had to look beyond the capability of what we’d built. We had to find a new solution – one which would remove the limits from both us and our clients’ businesses.
Welcome to the cloud
Fortunately, a few important things had happened since we last searched for a solution.
Technology had improved – enabling faster internet and wide area network delivery speeds, while data throughput had increased its efficiency.
Fibre was rolled out throughout the country, and there had been an increase in capacity and density of the main internet cable that connects New Zealand and Australia.
These improvements meant that servers based in Australia were now an option. Servers run by the likes of Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Alibaba.
The reasons that had stopped us going with a cloud solution initially – cost, speed, and that it was new – didn’t apply any more.
So, we pulled out our criteria (reliability, security, and predictable cost) and went searching for a cloud provider who would allow our business to help our clients achieve their goals now, and in years to come. (Act 3)