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Putting others to shame

Some companies have such a large global brand presence that there’s an unquestioning assumption that the services they offer are top of the tree. In the cloud hosting space this dynamic is even more marked. But despite the familiarity of the cloud, it’s still an evolving market and one which in some areas is clearly characterised by immaturity.

Nowhere is this more obvious than among those providers who offer hosting but don’t provide service and even have questionable product stability. In other areas of technology provision this would be almost unthinkable and it would be a brave vendor that goes to market with a service that isn’t supported. This can be sometimes offset by low pricing but at what cost?

In e-commerce for instance companies that are serious about their online business simply can’t afford to offer their products or services from websites that are not supported. And here’s why.  In 2013 $1.2 trillion of online sales where generated by approximately one billion customers from all over the globe. The online market is huge and growing rapidly year-on-year.

Online businesses that have slow and unsupported websites are to put it bluntly going to pay the price. In 1994 an average webpage consisted of 14.1kb of information and 2.5 objects. In 2012 and average webpage consisted of 684kb of information and 83 objects.  More recently, the HTTP Archive report showed that in 2014, average sites had grown to being juts under 2Mb. These things are not getting any smaller. Hold these figures in mind when you consider that 47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in two seconds while 79% are less likely to buy from the same website again if performance is poor. All of this means that 68% of shopping carts are abandoned because of poor website performance.

Poor performance can be attributed to several causes such as a shared infrastructure and lots of network hops as data travels from a server to the customer’s device. Unfortunately, at many cloud service providers, especially some of the large ones this is seen as acceptable.

At Cogeco Peer 1 we know this is not acceptable. That’s why we have a deep partnership with Magento, the e-commerce platform of choice for many online businesses, and a dedicated high-speed fibre network for our customers’ exclusive use.

Our optimized Magento hosting enables truly unstoppable e-commerce which translates into better performance, more traffic and conversion growth which means increased revenues and higher profit – and these are facts.  And critically, our service is supported by unrivalled, personal service with 100% guaranteed uptime SLAs, which is exactly how hosting for e-tailers should be.

What should you look for in a Magento-optimized hosting provider?

Read our eBook to discover what’s important in achieving incredible results for truly unstoppable eCommerce.

New data center opens in Montreal


Last month, we officially opened a new Cogeco Data Services and Peer 1 Hosting data center in Montreal. This was a landmark development for our company, done largely in response to growing market-demand for non-stop IT services.

The new 100,000-square-foot facility is an important move for our organization and customers alike. It will play a significant role in helping our customers transform their IT infrastructure – providing them with true agility to respond to change, while concurrently enabling them to drive innovation within their businesses.

Ultimately, our customers will be able to tap into the speed and flexibility of the public cloud, but also have peace-of-mind that their most mission-critical applications are hosted securely in one reliable facility.

But what exactly will the data center offer? In essence, the facility will host a single-point suite of services – from Cloud and Colocation, to Backup and Connectivity – supporting customers’ core, legacy and emerging applications.

Having all of these services in one place will enable us to take the complexity of IT off the hands of our customers, to let them concentrate on their core business.

Some other facts about the new data center include

The facility was built to exceed Tier 3 standards, and is the 21st  location in our organization’s collective data center fleet.

The data center represents a commitment in the order of more than $100 million over time.

As a state-of-the-art cloud and colocation facility, the center is the first of its kind in Montreal.

The facility is the first in Canada to offer consumption-based power billing.

The center was designed for a capacity of up to 16.5 Mega Watts, allowing customers to grow without constraint, while maximizing efficiency.

The facility is highly secure, offering 100 per cent uptime guarantee, around-the-clock monitoring and video surveillance.

Designed for reliability and scalability, the center offers 24/7 year-round tech-to-tech support
 and, is equipped with state-of-the-art chillers, N+1 power, cooling and network redundancy, high-density cabinets and hot aisle containment.

To find out how secure hosting services take a load off your mind, download our Uncompromising infographic.  

About the Author

Duncan McGregor
VP of Managed IT Services and Engineering

With more than 15 years’ experience in managing network, security, infrastructure, and cloud operations in enterprise high tech, Duncan oversees Network Engineering and Managed IT at Cogeco Data Services and Peer 1. This includes strategy, design and delivery of network and security services, infrastructure services and cloud services. Duncan also oversees the corporate IT team, managing all of the critical back office and business support systems.

Bimodal IT and the hybrid cloud

In an increasingly competitive business world, a growing number of digital innovations are springing from within the enterprise. Employees in marketing, sales, logistics and other departments are pushing beyond their traditional job specs to create new digital products and services. This is driving business growth, competitive advantage and improvements in the customer experience.

These types of innovations often move quickly, with limited planning and IT involvement. In such cases, IT decision-makers can be left scrambling to implement safety and accuracy measures, while also needing to keep pace with tight product development and release deadlines.

So how can businesses ensure that their IT infrastructure strikes the right balance? It seems that ‘bimodal IT’ could be a viable approach.  

What is bimodal IT?

Since Gartner’s Lydia Leong coined the term in 2014, ‘bimodal IT’ has become somewhat of a buzzword. Garner defines bimodal IT as  “the practice of managing two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery, one focused on stability and the other on agility.

Mode 1 refers to sequential and traditional IT delivery, which places priority on safety and accuracy over speed. Mode 1 generally encompasses back-office applications on which enterprises are built, like databases, for example.

Mode 2 service delivery is nonlinear and exploratory, centering on agility and speed. Mode 2 is suited to environments where objectives are less established and more experimental. For example, businesses that launch lots of new products or outward-facing, front-end applications. These types of applications require faster IT turnaround times to get products to market quickly, as well as adequate safety and testing measures to mitigate potential risks.Gartner found that 45 per cent of CIOs have already begun implementing bimodal service delivery, with this number estimated to reach 75 per cent by 2017.

How can the cloud support bimodal IT?

There are cloud products on the market that can help businesses deliver ‘Mode 2’, or edge applications, to support a bimodal IT service delivery strategy.

Take our True Native Hybrid Cloud™ solution, for example. This platform gives customers the ability to instantly build, provision and scale physical and virtual infrastructure through a self-service, web-based portal on a utility billing basis.

Via this service, customers can achieve the scalability and cost-efficiencies that come with off-premise public cloud, while keeping core applications and traditional components on private, bare-metal infrastructure.

For businesses, this can result in speedier, cheaper and more flexible performance during peak demand periods. Take, for instance, a start-up or marketing company launching a new product. Without a hosting provider in the middle facilitating operations, they could more quickly and easily manage their business’ scalability. Leading into the launch, they could ramp up their capacity – and post-launch, they could decommission servers.

For ‘Mode 1’, or core IT applications, other methods may be more suited. Many businesses host these applications themselves. Hosting platforms like hosted private clouds, based on virtualization technologies such as VMWare, or managed hosting environments can fit more traditional client server architecture and applications – for example, clustered databases, hosted Microsoft Exchange servers, and the like.

The future of bimodal IT

Bimodal IT marks a shift away from trying to solve all IT problems with a single solution. Instead, the model emphasizes a more flexible way of dealing with two distinct sets of needs.

For businesses wanting to employ a bimodal IT service model now or in the future, the pool of potential vendors will narrow to include service providers that can manage platforms for core IT and customer edge applications.

Bimodal IT will increase in importance for start-ups and SMBs as they grow, as well as larger enterprises looking to innovate further.

The success of bimodal IT within an organization depends very much on an agile cloud solution, paired with a rock solid, reliable platform for traditional apps. The right blend can propel the rapid creation of new products and services, as well as provide stable and solid management of traditional legacy application – without necessitating a “lift and shift” of every app to the cloud.

For more information on our True Native Hybrid Cloud solutions, visit the On Demand portal today:

In addition, check out our dedicated Private Cloud and Managed Hosting solutions.

The benefits of a utility billing, self-service hybrid cloud model

Self-service IT models have long been associated with complexity. Taking insight from the industry as well as the challenges being faced by professionals, we developed the On Demand Cloud Platform – putting the power where it belongs, back in the hands of the customer.

Whether it’s a developer trying out new code, or a marketing agency requiring a new environment for a short-term campaign, On Demand provides complete transparency on a utility billing basis. Simply like paying your household bills, customers only need pay for what they use and can switch off at any time.

Want to find out more about Peer 1’s True Native Hybrid Cloud solution? Check out our On Demand Cloud platform:

Hybrid cloud and marketing agencies

Marketing agencies are a great example of flexible hybrid cloud solutions in action. Often working on campaigns or on short-term projects, marketing professionals demand the ability to scale and switch on IT solutions at short notice.

Once a campaign is live, traffic can be unpredictable depending on its success.  True Native Hybrid Cloud allows marketers to seamlessly scale up their environment as campaigns and workloads progress – available in just minutes. 

Want to find out more about Peer 1’s True Native Hybrid Cloud solution? Check out our On Demand Cloud platform:

Hybrid cloud and developers

The demands on developers today have never been more intense. With customer needs constantly changing and the rise of trends such as IoT and wearable technology, developers are the ones creating the products or services that generate business growth and revenue. 

The longer it takes to create a new test environment, the longer it will take to get a new product to market. With the On Demand Cloud Platform, developers can spin up a new environment in seconds and, once a project is finished, the service can be decommissioned instantly. Paying only for what is used, On Demand can potentially mean beating off the competition and getting to market in record time. 

Want to find out more about Peer 1’s True Native Hybrid Cloud solution? Check out our On Demand Cloud platform:

Cloud made easy

Hybrid cloud is a big decision. Particularly for those new to cloud, where the barriers and challenges of adoption appear to outweigh the benefits. Migration and integration may seem more pain than it’s worth, but hybrid cloud can, in reality, take an organisation into a more secure, reliable and effective IT age.

The move to hybrid doesn’t need to happen overnight. With True Native Hybrid, migration can occur over time, giving the IT decision-maker more insight into what and how it’s working for their business. Without mass migration, IT decision-makers can scale applications seamlessly to virtual cloud servers without the threat of downtime or data loss. 

Want to find out more about Peer 1’s True Native Hybrid Cloud solution? Check out our On Demand Cloud platform:

Hybrid cloud and small businesses

Running a small business can be tough, particularly when the workforce and organization are constantly adapting to changing market demands. It can be equally tough for the IT decision-maker, who often has to look at how IT solutions fit the business, both in the present and the future.

A 2014 study found that 43 per cent of small business IT managers believe that cloud technologies are perfect for small businesses, providing greater flexibility, scalability and access to enterprise technology.  

In his latest video, Toby Owen, Senior VP of Product, discusses why hybrid cloud can be a great asset for small businesses. 

Want to find out more about Peer 1’s True Native Hybrid Cloud solution? Check out our On Demand Cloud platform:

What is instant provisioning?

The cloud is all about instant provisioning. It’s also known as on-demand self-service. Cloud users can obtain cloud services such as applications, the infrastructure supporting the applications, and configuration within seconds to deploy rather than days or even weeks.

It’s essentially self-service where applications, and if necessary application architectures, can be downloaded almost as easy turning on a tap. Users typically obtain these services through a cloud service catalogue, or commonly, an online self-service portal.

This is what gives the cloud its appeal. It means IT teams don’t have to fire up new servers and install applications that the business wants. It means that extensive IT infrastructures are not required in-house. It means that the IT team is freed up to concentrate on more productive tasks such as developing bespoke apps for the business. Cloud will fundamentally change the way the IT team operates in the future.

Instant provisioning, or on-demand self-service, is enabled by the cloud hosting company provisioning a virtual machine when you request an application or other service. The service you are accessing runs on the virtual machine. This virtual machine set up isn’t quite instantaneous. For instance, it may take a few minutes for the virtual machine to be ready to use, dependent on the type of machine, location of the data centre and so on.

But hey, what are a few minutes when you can effectively harvest a raft of services via a portal? It would take an IT team longer that’s for sure, given that they usually have other tasks at hand.

And setting up a dedicated server for new applications requested by the business can be a long and arduous process with high set up fees and wasted resources. The applications might only use 30 per cent of the server’s processor power meaning the other 70 per cent is wasted. And the server has got to be maintained, cooled and powered, so the costs keep stacking up.

Instant provisioning is what makes the cloud what it is: immediate, cost-effective and flexible. 

What are the biggest drivers behind hybrid cloud adoption?

With many IT decision-makers turning to hybrid cloud in the hope that everything will work seamlessly and cheaper, the question arises as to whether businesses are missing the true benefits of adoption? Hybrid cloud can address many challenges such as improving processes, addressing operational efficiencies, data protection and cutting IT costs.

These are clearly areas where businesses cannot afford to compromise, but as the industry becomes more educated about hybrid cloud technologies, what are the biggest driving forces behind adoption, and what is entailed when deploying it within a business? 

Want to find out more about Peer 1’s True Native Hybrid Cloud solution? Check out our On Demand Cloud platform:

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