10 July 2014News

Offshore network cloud

Global enterprises are increasingly moving their key business applications to the cloud. Companies are looking for ways to curtail their ever-expanding capital expenditure budgets and many are embracing the advantages of outsourcing hardware to an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider.

By removing the cost associated with replacing and upgrading hardware and substituting this with a predictable monthly recurring operating expense, companies have removed the operational burden of sophisticated and customised hardware and been able to repurpose staff for revenue generation. This adds predictability to their IT budgets and allows them to scale up their capabilities in times of peak demand.

Legislation, such as the US Patriot Act, has caused Bermuda businesses to question data residency. This has created a market for offshore IaaS and Software as a Service (SaaS) providers, where the data is kept securely in multiple neutral jurisdictions. Bermuda is well poised to meet these needs with companies such as Ignition, which provides IaaS and SaaS services to global enterprises with cloud computing services in Bermuda, Cayman, Jamaica, Halifax and Trinidad.    

For companies to move their business applications to the cloud, or for service providers to deliver offshore IaaS and SaaS services, they need secure, reliable connectivity. Over the last eight years Logic Communications, a member of the KeyTech Group of Companies, has invested heavily in Bermuda’s international and local telecommunications networks and leads the way in global connectivity. 

Internationally, Logic has built an offshore network cloud that connects Bermuda to all the other offshore jurisdictions in a secure, predictable and redundant fashion. As Vicki Coelho, CEO of Logic explained, “Our business continuity gateway product allows travelling executives a secure method to access their business applications. This service, in combination with Logic’s PIP (Predictable IP) service, is the backbone of a company’s business continuity plan as it allows vital business applications to be accessed seamlessly from anywhere.”

Logic has built physical points of presence (PoPs) in key areas to create the offshore network cloud. William Chan, head of network operations explained that “Logic’s PoPs enable re/insurance companies to have a reliable, predictable and secure network for their essential business applications. With PoPs in Bermuda, Cayman, Miami, New York, Toronto, Halifax, London and Paris, Logic can reach all the offshore jurisdictions including the Channel Islands, East Africa and the Caribbean. This network cloud enables Logic to provide services such as our business continuity gateway, which is a secure onramp for all their business applications.”

Applications that traverse Logic’s offshore network cloud include Ignition’s cloud computing, disaster recovery and SaaS products. Richard James, chief technology officer and executive vice president of Ignition, explained why the company chose Logic as their partner.

“Logic has long been a key influencer in Bermuda’s telecoms sector. For any customer who is considering a cloud strategy, having a reliable, qualitative and trustworthy telecoms partner should be a major consideration in its cloud integration plan. As a long time leader in offshore cloud deployments, Ignition recognises the need for continual technology investment in our platforms to deliver a valued service to the business community.

“It is refreshing that Logic is making a significant investment that will result in real benefits for our mutual customers. Other providers will really need to up their game if they want to keep pace with Logic.” 

Looking at the history of telecommunications in Bermuda, international business has always driven the growth and diversity of Bermuda’s telecommunications networks. Whether it was the building of Cooper’s Island for the Bermuda NASA tracking station in the 1960s, or the building of a new cable system to support the Island’s ever-growing telecommunications requirements, Bermuda has evolved to fill the need.

For the re/insurance industry, companies are looking for providers that have the network infrastructure to offer advanced resiliency and redundancy. With legacy network infrastructures, fault resolutions typically require manual intervention, which can lead to significant network disruption. Companies like Logic can provide advanced technology that automatically detects faults and re-routes the traffic to alternate paths, thus resulting in minimal disruptions to customers.

Disruptions in Bermuda and other offshore domiciles can come in all shapes and sizes, particularly considering their exposure to the natural elements. Business continuity is of great importance and providers in Bermuda maintain various levels of preparedness, whether it is through physical points of presence, different cable paths on local and international infrastructure, or various interconnections to private networks and the internet.

Companies in Bermuda continue to evolve to meet the requirements of businesses today. As the local incumbent operator in Bermuda, BTC has been operating in the region for over 100 years. The company offers a range of services, including an advanced multi-protocol label switching network, as well as international and local voice and frame relay capabilities, through its partners. Its latest investment is focused on high-bandwidth requirements and on the delivery of ethernet services across the whole Island.

“We reassessed our wireline businesses and decided it was necessary to move forward with our fibre deployments,” said Richard Lau, vice president of technical operations and management at KeyTech.

“Our plan was to provide a metro ethernet fibre ring network to our corporate customers and we have completed the deployment. The new fibre network replaces the current legacy asynchronous network mode network that will enable our network to meet and surpass the bandwidth capacity requirements of Bermuda’s businesses. 

“Also, the new metro ethernet network supports many of the metro ethernet forum services and is a fully redundant design. In the traditional type of infrastructure there were a lot of problems with the existing mechanisms, which required manual interventions. In our case, the technology plugs the faults and routes the traffic to alternative paths, meaning minimal disruptions to customers, and it maintains a higher availability,” said Lau.

As businesses, large or small, continue to rely on the cloud for critical applications, they can be assured that Bermuda has the capability to provide the infrastructure they need, now and in the future.