When it Comes to Cloud, Look Beyond Bandwidth

Zen Internet, in partnership with Computing, has released a White Paper recognising the growing popularity of Cloud computing and calling for companies to consider business grade connectivity services in light of the growing number of alternatives to the traditional leased line, such as business class fibre optic broadband, Ethernet and IP VPN.

As part of the White Paper, Computing conducted an independent survey of over 100 Senior IT strategists at UK organisations of all sizes. All of whom are involved in planning, deploying or managing IT infrastructures.

All cloud platforms and data centres have in common the need for connectivity, whether hosting applications in-house, in a colocation facility or using public/private cloud services. However the research showed that 10% of respondents said they had considered cheaper and potentially, less reliable, broadband connections over more expensive, guaranteed bandwidth services aimed at business use. With a further 40% saying that they might choose a consumer grade service dependent on the application involved.

Unfortunately connectivity services are not all the same making it important to look at more than mere headline bandwidth figures. Indeed simply buying bandwidth while relying on basic ISP broadband services may be a false economy. Instead companies should seek out business-grade services such as leased lines, IP VPN, Ethernet, fibre optic broadband and other next generation network services to connect offices and mobile workers with the applications and data they need to do their work.

Zen Internet recently announced an initial investment of over £3.5m to expand its Next Generation Network beyond core sites in London, Manchester, Leeds and Rochdale. Zen now has an additional 200 Points of Presence (PoPs) covering all the major business centres of the UK, which reflects the company’s long term plans to deliver services directly to customers and offer a wider choice of competitively priced Leased Lines and Ethernet products. One of Zen’s key network PoPs is its head office in Rochdale where it has a new 2 Megawatt Primary Data Centre.

The research also revealed that surprisingly fibre optic broadband was still quite low down on the list of access technologies deployed, with as little as 22% of respondents using Fibre to the Cabinet. Fibre optic broadband is fast, reliable, affordable and already widely available with more being deployed every month.

‘There are lots of headlines about building even faster networks in the future, but generally a lack of easy to understand information about fibre optic broadband services available today. We are concerned that in combination this is slowing the uptake of faster services that are available to about 50% of premises in the UK today,’ said Steve Warburton, Zen Internet Sales Director.

‘Just as connectivity services differ so do the providers of those services. Unfortunately intermittent outages were experienced by 41% of respondents with 25% giving poor performance as another common problem and 24% having had poor levels of support, highlighting the need to carefully evaluate providers’, added Steve.

Zen provides companies with tailored made services designed specifically to meet business needs with proactive management and award winning customer service and technical support. It provides a full range of data, voice and hosting services to businesses across the UK and through these services, gives businesses the capabilities they need to communicate, collaborate and make everyday transactions and most importantly pursue their long-term goals with confidence.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine
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