“Smart is the new sexy”: CTO-as-a-Service and managed private cloud from Architechs
Is there still life in the public cloud market? Absolutely, but some of the fastest-growing cloud providers today are those that offer managed cloud services.
Managed cloud is an arena which is often very loosely defined, but one company that’s bringing clarity to this sector is Architechs. Architechs is a UK-based MSP that has a unique view of the role of cloud in their client’s businesses – and, in fact, on the role of the cloud, period.
We spoke with Architechs’ head of business development, Robert Karssiens, to understand more about this unique approach – something he calls ‘CTO-as-a-Service’…
Designed IT for business
Architechs specializes in helping large companies align business and IT, and the company has expanded quickly from its UK HQ across central Europe and Scandinavia. It has a particular focus on industries, such as publishing, where M&A activity is creating challenges for companies having to manage multiple brands and their supporting IT.
“From an IT perspective mergers and acquisitions can be a real headache, with a mix of disparate IT strategies, business goals, datacenter locations and platforms”, Robert Karssiens explains. “We work with clients to create harmony between the overall goals of the business, the goals of each brand, and IT strategy and operations – acting, in effect, in a CTO-as-a-Service role – either supporting their own IT department, or running the whole thing.”
Everything managed – including the VM
Architechs offers a fully managed private cloud service to help clients consolidate their infrastructure, make IT more efficient and flexible, and maximize ROI across the spectrum of enterprise workloads.
“Businesses don’t buy IT. They invest in securing their future. Public, private & hybrid solutions are all tools that can help,” says Karssiens. “We differentiate by being smart about how those tools align with the client’s business, how they’re deployed and used. Smart is the new sexy.”
Unusually, Architechs takes a full-service approach to managed private cloud – handling everything from the core cloud infrastructure to clients’ Virtual Machines, and everything inside those machines. That positions them well beyond most managed cloud providers, and has contributed to the company’s rapid growth in the last few years.
“Most MSPs stop at the virtual machine: the service, the SLA covers your cloud infrastructure but not the applications running in it,” Karssiens says. “When we say 24x7x365 support, we mean everything, including the codebase.”
“Most MSPs stop at the virtual machine… when we say 24x7x365 support, we mean everything, including the codebase.”
Robert Karssiens, Architechs.eu
Automated and agnostic
Taking responsibility for the whole stack requires deep expertise from the Architechs team. It also requires a platform-agnostic approach to cloud management, which is one reason why Architechs uses the OnApp cloud management platform as the core of service. OnApp provides an agnostic, highly automated platform for cloud based on different virtualization technologies and service types – including VMware cloud, Xen and KVM cloud, bare metal, CDN, SaaS and PaaS.
“We need a cloud platform that automates as much of the cloud orchestration, provisioning, management and billing process as possible – and that can handle the varying requirements of different industries,” says Karssiens. “OnApp is the natural choice.”
Single pane of glass
Helping other large service providers is another key vertical market for Architechs. OnApp’s ability to handle vCloud Director as well as other virtualization platforms, under a ‘single pane of glass’ UI, makes it perfect for service providers looking to diversify with their own public or private cloud services.
“Each cloud is bespoke for each client,” says Karssiens. “We work with enterprises to understand where IT can support the goals of the business; we analyze and document the resulting business IT strategy; and then deliver it through our bespoke managed cloud service.”
“We need a cloud platform that automates as much of the cloud orchestration, provisioning, management and billing process as possible – and that can handle the varying requirements of different industries. OnApp is the natural choice”
Robert Karssiens, Architechs.eu
The power of federation
The OnApp cloud platform also provides access to a global network of cloud infrastructure – the OnApp Federation – and according to Karssiens, this federated cloud is one of the key technologies that will deliver benefits to Architechs clients in the coming years.
Using this global network of private and public clouds, Architechs can help clients improve performance, by deploying applications in close proximity to users; handle data sovereignty issues for clients, by controlling where data and applications are hosted, on a very granular basis; and offer massively distributed CDN for clients with high traffic or content-rich web applications.
“The Federation is a real differentiator for us, as well as for OnApp,” says Karssiens. “We’re now looking at ways to build it into our managed cloud services, providing SLAs for OnApp’s global cloud marketplace and delivering a global footprint to our clients, as a seamless part of our service.”