Cork Internet eXchange unveils CloudCIX platform

Jerry Sweeney, CIX

Providing public and private cloud services to enterprise and government customers



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16 November 2018 | 0


At DataCentres Ireland on 20 November, Cork Internet eXchange will officially launch its own Cloud provisioning platform, CloudCIX. It is the culmination of thirty man-years of research, development and testing.

With CloudCIX, we can now provide enterprise and government customers with public and private cloud services; and in fact, CloudCIX really comes into its own as a private cloud platform where customers can install it on their own premises and it can become part of their own hybrid cloud. The unique selling point with CloudCIX is that customers can run it on their own hardware. Subject to some networking requirements, this means customers can extend the working life of their existing server infrastructure and maximise their investments.

For the past 18 months, we have been consuming CloudCIX in our own business and it has more than proved itself. It is simple, secure and easy to set up and configure. It focuses purely on billing and provisioning; the customer still chooses their operating system and hypervisor.

Organisations stuck with an older technology infrastructure become resistant to change when they lack the flexibility to do so. The number one advantage that a cloud provisioning system like CloudCIX gives them is the ability to respond quickly to business needs. Now, test and development teams can spin up servers in their own environment in a fraction of the time. Instead of opening a ticket and waiting several days, they could have a project with five Windows virtual machines, in under 30 minutes.

For disaster recovery and business continuity purposes, organisations typically need two or more locations to store their data. CloudCIX supports the cloud computing concept of ‘regions’, where there are many instances of the cloud in multiple locations.

“Another advantage for users is that if they build a galaxy within their own network, then no data leaves that network; all of it is behind the organisation’s firewall. This provides confidence and assurance from a GDPR perspective”

CloudCIX also supports the concept of a galaxy. Every galaxy has total separation of physical infrastructure, data and metadata from other galaxies. So, for example, a galaxy created for an enterprise, government or service provider can encompass more than one region but is totally separated from other galaxies. Galaxies allow you to operate across multiple regions but still define the boundary of data transfer. Galaxies support multi-tenanted clouds, and this is important for service providers that wish to white-label CloudCIX.

The software licence for CloudCIX comes with 24/7 support. Inside each region is a monitoring server called ‘Curiosity’ that monitors activity within that region and reports on problems. So we have alerts about any potential issue before the customer does, and we can take steps to address it. Optionally all or part of a region can be protected by a Palo Alto firewall.

Although we provide proactive service and support, we believe it is essential for customers to have a systems administrator who oversees their cloud environment. Some organisations have found that once they deploy cloud technology, they consume more of it. By virtue of being on-demand, some organisations are tempted to binge at the ‘all-you-can-eat buffet’. By virtue of the cloud’s pay-as-you-use model, those organisations have seen their IT costs increase when they expected that the cloud would reduce that expenditure. To address this, we make dashboards and menus available for the systems administrator to be aware of all projects running in their environment see and see all of the activity. The cloud administrator can determine who has access rights, and read/write access, and they can limit permissions on who can spin up projects or modify the infrastructure, to minimise the risk of overconsumption. Each CloudCIX galaxy has its own LDAP database underlying its ‘membership’, which is our equivalent to Active Directory.

Another advantage for CloudCIX users is that if they build a (single or multi-region) galaxy within their own network, then no data leaves that network; all of it is behind the organisation’s firewall. This provides confidence and assurance from a GDPR perspective. For certain corporates and for government customers, these issues are critical.

CloudCIX forms part of an aggressive ten-year business plan for Cork Internet eXchange, which has already seen the company double in size and expand our data centre capacity fivefold. If you would like to find out more, we are offering free tickets to the official launch event of CloudCIX in the RDS later this month. In the President’s Room at the RDS, we will publicly demonstrate the new CloudCIX user interface for the first time. Space is limited, so if you would like to find out more, email to reserve a place.


Jerry Sweeney is chief executive of Cork Internet eXchange

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