UTILITY computing. It’s a simple concept really: provide a service giving businesses access to infrastructure technologies — and make it available at an affordable price.
Hosting and Datacentre Services (HdS) is using the idea to promote its virtual data centres in Auckland and Wellington to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The company is also currently exporting the concept to Australia, where it has five data centres.
Wayne Norrie, HdS chief executive, says the service is designed to relieve the IT headaches of SMEs.
“This gives businesses the chance to access commercial-grade technology at consistent prices. Leasing IT means companies avoid capital investment and setup costs and the upshot is they get better systems at sharper prices,” he says.
HdS organises its utility offerings into zones. There are four zones within the virtual data centre (VDC) covering network security, systems management, data and operating systems. Underneath this layer sits utility computing which houses a customer’s own server.
So far the most high-profile customer to sign up is Wellington-based mobile technology developer Run The Red.
Deborah Crowe, Run The Red operations manager, says her company needed core hosting and services, such as backups, monitoring and redundancy, to support delivery of its applications and solutions.
Run The Red develops SMS campaigns and has to handle huge amounts of text messages over short time periods, but Crowe says techno-
logy infrastructure provision isn’t the company’s core business and chose to sign a three-year deal with HdS.
Norrie says Run The Red has pushed the boundaries of VDC and in the process HdS has tightened the service, ready to take it to SMEs. He believes there is a growing awareness of the advantages of utility computing and points out it’s a cost-effective way of accessing electronic security.
“We’ve learnt to go fishing with small hooks. New Zealand has to accept and take advantage of its size. It can’t continue to take business models that work in Europe and the US and expect to make them work here.”