January 7, 2015 | Posted in News
|By Patrick Thomas TECH Watch January 6, 2015|
Last year, Curacao Technology Exchange (CTEX) inaugurated its first Uptime Institute Certified Tier-IV datacenter in Latin America and the Caribbean. The facility is the only Tier-IV multi tenant datacenter certified for both Design and Constructed facility in the region.
The company’s datacenter is located in Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean. Aside from earning UNESCO’s hallmark of World Heritage City, Curaçao boasts strict European style privacy laws, ample connectivity through 6 submarine cables, neutral relations with neighboring countries, a multilingual workforce and excellent fiscal benefits. Remarkably, the island lies outside the traditional hurricane belt and active seismic zones. I had a chance to catch up with Anthony de Lima, CTEX’s Chairman and CEO. Mr. de Lima’s driving idea is the creation of one of the region’s most advanced technology hubs. His focus on quality and perfection is extreme with no lack of optimism, while having held senior positions in the past with giants such as Telefonica, KPMG and others provide him a broad and deep understanding of technology and regional dynamics.
I asked Mr. de Lima to provide his perspective on technology trends 2015 -
“That’s a tough question, but I do think that some of the trends that we saw in 2013 and 2014 will finally become mainstream in 2015. We are in the datacenter business and this year’s trends will dramatically reshape how service providers like ourselves will deliver value to enterprise customers and consumers. Technological advances that enable further personalization and mass customization will make 2015 the year of integration,” said Anthony de Lima.
“From the integration of traditional systems with Cloud solutions to all encompassing smartphones and wearables, in 2015, technology will drive heavy lifting to transform backend systems combined with the enablement of incredible intuitiveness, simplicity and seamlessness for users at the front end. All of this will bring about a significant rethinking of where to invest and how to deploy technology. I have my favorite list of ten.”
1. The Internet of Things and Smart Machines
“I think that the combination of data streams and services created by digitizing everything enables new business and monetization models. The Internet of Things has the potential to create significant new business opportunities.
“For example on the home innovation front, you’re going to see the interconnection of a whole lot of things,” de Lima said. “Door locks, HVAC systems, security systems, audio visual and a lot more. Rich intelligence gathered combined with deep analytics will enable a new world of smart machines. This, coupled with advanced algorithms that allow systems to understand their environment, learn for themselves, and act autonomously will evolve rapidly, ushering in a new age of machine-to-machine interaction that will drive the greatest disruption in IT history.”
“An increased mobile workforce will drive a shift in how we think about computing and communication. The continued growth in mobile devices and smartphones coupled with individual user based usage patterns will demand context sensitive Apps and platforms. You’ve got to imagine that every user or potential customer that interacts with your enterprise will engage through a variety of different platforms and channels. One size will not fit all.
“The Apple Watch, due out early this year will cause significant disruption. I think this is a key trend because it brings advanced technology capabilities even closer to the masses. Not to mention the drive for new mobile Apps and the increased demand for Cloud based solutions that connect with users in a context and location sensitive manner.”
4. Context-Rich Systems
“Embedded intelligence combined with pervasive analytic will drive the development of systems that are aware of their surroundings and capable of responding appropriately. By understanding the context and behavior of a user, applications will adjust how information is delivered.”
5. BYOD here to stay
“The concept of bringing your own devices to work and connecting these to an enterprise network will remain a reality. Smartphones, Tablets and other devices are being used to automate tedious paper intensive processes. Expect the pressure to accommodate whatever devices consumers are using to continue.
To prepare for a further onslaught companies will need clearly defined security guidelines, usage profiles, and an extensive portfolio of context sensitive Apps. Failure to do so will make a company appear outdated and out of touch with new consumer demands and trends.”
6. Transformation of the data center
“Racks are getting denser, performance per kilowatt is increasing, and Cloud solutions are exploding. Managing utilization levels and power usage efficiency (PUE) ratios will be paramount in 2015 as data centers transform themselves to Cloud centers where companies source computing power on-demand rather than traditional Co-location real-estate services. To meet demands, Virtualization will continue and so will the need for increased core processing power.
These drivers will cause companies to rethink their infrastructure strategies and leverage regional data center facilities to ensure Cloud systems are located close to users, and in safe and secure jurisdictions.”
7. Cloud Computing
“The convergence of Cloud and Mobile computing will continue to drive the growth of applications that can be delivered to any device anywhere. “Cloud is the new style of scalable, self-service computing, upon which both internal and external Apps are being built,” said de Lima.
It is estimated that through 2014, more than 60 percent of IT adoption of the Cloud was on redeploying existing functionality. I think that we will see a shift in 2015 to exploit private and hybrid Cloud capabilities. For this, companies will need to partner with third party service providers who can deliver compute power on an on-demand basis. Service providers such as CTEX will have to build solid relationships with their customers to predict and plan for the requisite elasticity in computing power.”
8. The year of Big Data and Analytics
“Organizations have struggled in dealing with Big data. The business side needs to know how to use it and technology organizations need to facilitate the deployment of intelligent analytics tools. To meet ongoing demand for data aggregation and analytics, companies will need to deploy virtualized storage and de-duplication technologies. Reliance on third party service providers to provide storage capacity based on an elastic model will be key.
Tied to Big data, Analytics will take center stage as the volume of data generated by embedded systems increases and vast pools of structured and unstructured data inside and outside the enterprise is captured and analyzed. Analytics will become deeply embedded everywhere. The software providers that will differentiate themselves the most in this area are those that deliver the tools to visualize data. That is where the game will be.”
9. Software-Defined Apps and Infrastructure
“Context sensitive development of everything from applications to basic infrastructure is essential to enable organizations to deliver the flexibility required to make the transition to personalization and mass customization of their Apps. Software-defined networking, storage, and security will also be a key trend. Cloud services are becoming software-configurable through API calls that provide dynamic access to functionality and content.
In 2015 we will see a new breed of compute models that dynamically assemble and configure required elements from the network through application layers based on context and usage. Opensource and opensource-based development platforms will play a key role. Be prepared for a glut in the developer market.”
“Taking center-stage in 2015 will be security. Companies will need to recognize that it’s impossible to provide a 100 percent secured environment. Once organizations acknowledge that, they can begin to apply more sophisticated risk assessment and mitigation tools. Perimeter defense will continue to be inadequate in securing the enterprise.
Security-aware application design and run-time application self-protection will be required. Every App needs to be self-aware and self-protecting.”
Any personal thoughts or things you’d like to see different in 2015? – “Looking at my four year old daughter and others her age, its easy to see that children are growing up with Apps and digital media as an integral part of their lives. I think that it will be interesting to see how companies will leverage Tablets and Smartphones to stimulate creativity. Trends such as the introduction of computer programming very early on into their curriculum should all positively contribute to their overall development.
Of course as parents we need to stay close, and kids should continue to do basic things such as riding bikes and falling, being outside, interacting with others, playing sports and engaging in other social activities that stimulate personal interaction.”
December 23, 2014 | Posted in News
Continued migration of critical systems to the Cloud, the growth of mobile apps, and the dramatic surge in realtime IP-based voice and video communication are forcing companies to rethink their strategies on where to globally place core technology and systems. While traditional switched networks were structured to enable hub and spoke or fixed mesh networks, these new drivers are pushing businesses to rethink their networking and datacenter architectures.
Understanding the drivers and their impact on regional data centers.
Cloud architectures free up both manpower and equipment expenses by consolidating management and eliminating costly premise hardware. Voice and video is now being integrated into every major app and continues to be migrated to IP networks. Hence, traditional networks continue to be strained.
Couple this with the increase in mobile-users and the continued growth in mobile apps that typically run in the Cloud, then its clear that traditional networking and headquarters’ based datacenters no longer get the job done.
Leveraging regional datacenters that are located close to operating markets and users has become a must in order to ensure minimal network latency, keep traffice regionalized and leveraging flexible on-demand service in support of the growing demand for Cloud services.
Why Curaçao as a regional network and technology hub?
CTEX’s Uptime Institute certified Tier-IV datacenters were built in Curaçao not by happenstance. Five redundant submarine cables link the island to the rest of the world, and more are currently being connected to the island. As part of the Dutch Kingdom, Curaçao is very friendly to international business.
European-based privacy laws are favorable, taxes are low, and there are no import duties on technology equipment. A multicultural populace, that speaks English, Spanish, Dutch, and Portuguese, also makes the island an ideal hub for transnational commerce.
Leveraging CTEX as a unique regional hub for Latin America and the Caribbean.
When your business absolutely, positively cannot go down, you need a Tier IV datacenter. If you want the peace of mind that your business will not be impacted during floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other threats, then there is no better place to house your critical computing infrastructure and applications than at our Uptime certified Tier IV datacenter – the highest rating for a datacenter and the only one of its kind in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Curaçao’s unique geographical positioning makes it an ideal hub for companies conducting business in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Making the CTEX datacenter your regional hub for Latin America & the Caribbean
If Latin America and the Caribbean is your target market, and you have a concentration of business operations, employees and customers in the region, then CTEX is the place to be.
Your objective is to esure the least amount of network latency and optimal bandwidth available between endpoint devices, applications and services. CTEX is the region’s largest carrier-neutral access point providing roundtrip latency throughout the region of less than 40 milliseconds, making it the ideal hub to place critical systems.
With five redundant submarine cables linking the island to the rest of the world, and additional ones being deployed, Curacao has become the best spot in the region leverage Ethernet, MPLS, Sip trunking/PSTN or other services. These networking capabilities provide provide optimal networking connectivity out of the region’s only Tier-IV design and constructured certified facility.
Aside from leveraing the region’s most advanced datacenter as your technology and communications hub, Curaçao also brings about many business benefits worth exploring. Together with our partners, we can help protect your business and IT assets while at the same time exploring the various business opportunities of leveraging Curaçao as a regional operating hub. Let’s talk.
December 18, 2014 | Posted in News
Running your business and servicing the needs of your customers in the event of a disaster or emergency requires much more than having an alternate office or data files backed up to an off-island location. It requires access to technology, work space and connectivity with the shortest possible recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) to ensure minimal business disruption.
The statistics are staggering – 80% of businesses affected by a major incident either never re-open or close within 18 months, 70% of companies go out of business after a major data loss and 80% of businesses suffering a computer disaster go out of business.
The Typical Strategy
To provide protection, most companies either use backup tapes, or online backup services to store their data files remotely. Others use a multi-branch strategy to create a meshed architecture where every branch could serve as a disaster recovery site in the event of a disaster.
However, critical challenges remain; how do you restore critical applications and technology that enable your business to operate? Having backup data is not enough, and hoping that a branch can take up the full workload of another branch also typically does not work in a live disaster. Too, where will workers go and work during or after a disaster? How will customers reach you? And if an alternate location has been established, how will it be connected, powered up and how will you get the critical computing infrastructure in place, fast enough, to restart operations in a few hours. And, in the case of fire, or natural disaster such as a hurricane or Tsunami, are these alternate sites designed to protect against these events?
What CTEX means to your business
in the event of a disaster
Financial institutions and others who subscribe to CTEX’s disaster recovery services have a huge advantage. First, they have pre-arranged work space that can be activated within one hour of notification. Second, their data and critical infrastructure reside on secured computer servers that are always on and ready to go. Either they leverage CTEX’s advanced high-performance computer servers or they host alternate equipment at our datacenter that is prime or in standby mode.
State of the Art facility
CTEX was built on the island of Curaçao, not by happenstance but through careful analysis of several critical factors including the island’s geographic location outside the traditional hurricane belt and major seismic zones.
Nevertheless, CTEX’s TIER-IV Uptime Institute certified data center is a windowless bunker, engineered and built to withstand category V hurricanes and seismic level III earthquakes. The facility is located 60 meters above sea-level. This makes the CTEX facility one of the most unique in the region.
With your primary technology infrastructure mirrored at our highly secured facility, your systems can be online instantly in the event of a disaster and your critical business staff will have a place to work while you recover.
Our second floor houses over 150 office desks, private suites, emergency meeting rooms and an international fiber landing station. Tenants have access to the region’s most advanced global CISCO Tele-presence system providing high definition videoconferencing to most major cities around the world. Too, the CTEX datacenter has been designed and engineered to work independently of the main power grid for 14 days on its own power generation plants without refueling.
We will help you face the unexpected challenges of doing business in the 21st century. Please contact us so we can configure a recovery solution with you that provides the greatest possible peace of mind.