Enter Preps for Expansion
30 May 2017 | Guest
A Q&A with Enter’s Milko Ilari, head of International Business & Strategy
Sponsored contentQ. Enter recently announced a partnership with Megaport. What are the key drivers behind this partnership, and how will it benefit your/their customers?
Our partnership with Megaport extends accessibility to Enter Cloud Suite, the first European, OpenStack-based cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution. It also enables customers a secure and direct connection to our cloud platform via any Megaport-enabled facility within its global footprint.
Megaport is the first step in providing Enter customers with streamlined, flexible Layer 2 connectivity to our cloud platform, enabling more security, ease of use and our delivery of public, private and hybrid cloud solutions. This collaboration is another key way that Enter is addressing increasing customer demand for network and cloud services across Europe and beyond.
Q. Enter Cloud Suite was one of the first of its kind based on OpenStack – what was the thinking behind this, and what are the strengths of using open source in the wholesale and data centre business?
When Enter initially embarked on our journey to becoming a public cloud provider in 2010, our first choice — like many others in the space — was to collaborate with a well-known cloud vendor to deliver the solution. However, we soon found that the vendor’s pricing policy and product limitations offered little to no flexibility, and posed a potential hindrance to our pursuit of accommodating the growing need for openness and API-ness. So, we made the move to what was then still a fledgling but very promising cloud operating system called OpenStack.
As early adopters of OpenStack, we firmly believed in the project that many around us still regarded as a tool reserved for and supported by a society of “tech geeks” and “hobbyists”. Our belief was warranted, however. Built upon open source technology, Enter Cloud Suite is now one of the official cloud platforms of 52 European institutions and agencies, and compliant with European data protection and privacy legislation.
The benefits of the collaborative, open source community came in the form of feedback and priceless tips, and proved to be far more fruitful for Enter in the long run. The motto: You get and you give back; everything is no one’s, so it is everyone’s. Furthermore, OpenStack allows us the agility and control to easily modify and adapt our cloud platform to the needs and requirements of our customers.
Q. Your international network spans Europe, the U.S. and Asia. Do you have any plans to expand or grow this footprint? What does your roadmap look like?
Enter is poised for international expansion. In the near future, we will be expanding in more cities and countries in Europe to offer wider reach in a number of additional markets. Most recently, we were the first Italian ISP to launch a new Point of Presence in Sparkle’s Sicily Hub.
Further expansion of our network is planned for later this year with several new PoPs in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific. Enter’s global reach, boutique-style customer service and focus on the European market make us a strong partner for American and Asian providers, as well as any providers from around the world that want to increase their presence and expand business in the region. Our size and strategic business approach allow us more flexibility and accessibility than our big box counterparts. We can support customer projects of any size, large or small.
Q. Virtualisation is a growing theme in the carrier business – what are the strengths of hosted infrastructure? How do you utilise it?
Virtualisation runs in two different but, in my opinion, convergent directions. Traditionally, servers and storage in data centres have been virtualised to enhance functionality and enable more advanced features. Today, we are also seeing more virtualisation in the network, especially in Layer 2.
Virtualisation enables Enter to implement an open platform not only for its cloud, but also for its network. In addition to eliminating vendor lock-in, this allows us to deploy services faster, provide customers with greater transparency and visibility into the network, and deliver better network control, reliability and performance.
Q. How important is it to have PoPs in diverse locations? How to you choose where to deploy a new PoP? What are your key considerations when choosing partners in this area?
Our PoP locations are chosen strategically, and our investment in a specific region is driven by customer requirements and demand. We can go anywhere our customers need us to go. We also regularly collaborate with our customers by finding the right partners to help them expand their networks in new locations.
Q. What’s next for Enter? What are you looking to get out of ITW?
We’re excited to catch up with existing partners and customers as well as forge new business relationships; ITW provides a perfect platform that enable us to do so on a global scale. As for the near future, Enter is working on introducing an open source network platform as well as conducting testing of an SDN solution we plan to deliver within the year.
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