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The number of cloud data centres in Australia has increased threefold over the past five years as an increasing number of businesses have adopted the technology, says Betyounan, who also co-founded the firm in 2006.

Peter Betyounan, chief technical officer at leading cloud provider Servers Australia. Servers Australia

“When you have better internet connections it allows users to have a seamless experience. It’s like they couldn’t tell the difference between whether it’s running in their office or remotely in the cloud.”

And the nation’s SMEs – the backbone of the economy – are reaping the benefits of moving the storage of their data from servers on the businesses’ premises to the cloud, both in terms of security and cost.

“SMEs generally don’t want to have heavy IT workloads or IT managers. They don’t want infrastructure. They don’t want to run their own data centres,” he says.

In the past, hosting data onsite was important due to the risk of internet outages or power outages, but Betyounan says the risks have reversed.

“The pros and cons have reversed when it comes to power outages, physical security, premises getting robbed or if there’s a fire or a natural disaster,” he says.

In fact, the true test of a cloud provider isn’t when things are going well. Instead, it should be after some sort of disastrous event and business owners can tell their staff and clients that they have quickly recovered all of their services and data.

“The reward you get with running a well scoped and properly designed cloud workload is when stuff gets recovered. So when there’s an outage and whatnot or when there’s a situation where you’ve got ransomware and the business was able to recover within an hour or two,” Betyounan says.

“When selecting the right technology partner and the right cloud platform, business owners need to understand how they protect themselves when there’s a natural disaster, when there’s a malicious ransomware attack.

Nomad Digital is a world-leading provider of passenger and fleet management solutions to the transport industry, chose to use cloud technology from the outset.

With a global team of industry experts, the Perth-based team provide passenger entertainment and train operating data to train operators and maintainers in Australia to ultimately improve the passenger and operator experience.

This presents several technical challenges to collect and download data from trains moving at up to 200km/h. In order to provide these services, shore-based storage and processing is required.

“All of the base software required to maintain high availability and security is in place and maintained by the cloud provider,” says Moin Majid, Business Development Director, APAC, Nomad Digital.

Cloud technology takes SMEs to new heights. Getty Images

This means Nomad Digital can concentrate on delivering and supporting their services, allowing operators insight to offer an enhanced passenger experience which can contribute to encouraging more passengers to choose sustainable travel by rail, he says.

Majid sees flexibility as a key benefit.

“We currently support in excess of 400 passenger trains in Australia, with our cloud-based infrastructure it’s easy to add more. We focus on providing our customers with flexibility and efficiency” he says.

“With Servers Australia we know that we consistently receive the same base infrastructure, the latest up to date software and security updates that allow us to add more data and systems to support our customers with optimising fleet management and operational performance.”

Betyounan says the large number of people working from home in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted business owners to rethink where they host their data and will likely result in an acceleration of cloud adoption.

“Businesses have adapted as best they can, but I think over the next two to three years we’re going to see even a bigger push where offices are going to become more of a social gathering than having a focus around main SME workloads,” he says.

Servers Australia – which is one of the few remaining Australian-owned cloud companies – has built a platform to remove the complexity of running multiple data centres and multiple technologies.

“It allows customers to basically run their workloads across multiple data centres and not worry about having their own development teams in-house to actually work and run their cloud workloads,” Betyounan says.

“Customers want their providers to take control of this and to basically then run their offices. Whether they’re accountants or whether they’re a graphic design firm or any sort of small media organisation, these people expect you to actually manage their workloads and ensure their services are always up without actually doing it themselves.”

For Australian small and medium businesses, the logic for switching operations to the cloud is compelling, both for the savings and security it can offer, as well as allowing the business owner to concentrate on the business rather than on managing IT.

Servers Australia is hosting a webinar – Roadmap for Cloud Infrastructure Success in 2022 – to discuss these and other important issues that go to the heart of making the jump into the cloud for your SME or start-up. The webinar will be held on March 15. For more information, or to attend, click here.


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