Last month I shared my excitement over the momentum for Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) platform, with over 350 Canadian customers served since 2009. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jean Crescenzi, President and Chief Technology Officer of Colosseum Online, a Canadian provider of data centre colocation, cloud hosting, dedicated servers and managed web hosting services, to discuss his company’s recent decision to move to UCS and the impact it’s had on his organization. You can read my conversation with Jean below.
Mike Ansley: Colosseum Online recently made the decision to switch to Cisco’s UCS platform; can you explain why you made the move to Cisco?
Jean Crescenzi: For the last 18 years Colosseum Online has been using a number of Cisco networking products. We are extremely pleased with their best-in-class performance and functionality, as well as the superb support that we’ve received along the way from Cisco Canada. More recently we discovered that Cisco offers an enterprise redundant blade-server infrastructure designed for virtualization and cloud computing, and determined that this was the platform to enable our cloud hosting services. The Cisco UCS platform is perfectly suited for our newly-deployed Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Desktop as a Service (DaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings.
Mike: As a colocation and cloud provider, can you give us some insight into how UCS has transformed your business operations?
Jean: After more than a decade of offering colocation services, our new cloud network has allowed us to broaden our reach and answer both our new and existing customers’ strong demand for cloud computing services quickly and easily. The Cisco UCS platform gives us the flexibility to allow customers to have their own blended networks of physical and virtual devices as they make their transition to the cloud.
This unique offering allows them to either fully migrate to the cloud or keep their current colocation infrastructure, yet provision new cloud virtual machines in minutes to handle heavy mission-critical workloads as demand on their physical servers and appliances increases. Our vast library of templates, from base operating systems to fully configured web servers and virtual appliances, allows customers to quickly provision new servers/appliances as needed within minutes.
Mike: What advice do you have for companies evaluating their data centre solutions that are considering UCS?
Jean: Cisco is a visionary vendor who never ceases to amaze when it comes to its products. If you are looking to integrate a cloud computing infrastructure to offer cloud services, consisting of blade servers and chassis, Fibre Channel fabric interconnects with FCOE, and a sophisticated yet easy-to-use management system, then Cisco UCS is what I recommend.
Mike: I know that you are also working on becoming a certified cloud partner with Cisco. Tell us about your future plans and UCS’ role in them.
Jean: Colosseum is one of the largest Cisco UCS cloud hosting providers in Canada, and as such we plan to grow and expand the range of cloud-based products and services we offer our customers by utilizing the underlying UCS Platform. We are also committed to achieve the Cisco Certified Cloud Partner designation, which will further strengthen our existing relationship with Cisco and help us better provide our customers the freedom to build the virtual networks that fit their needs, and to adapt to those needs as they evolve.
My thanks go to Jean for sharing his thoughts with us. For more information on Cisco’s Unified Computing System, visit http://www.cisco.com/web/CA/products/unified_computing.html.
Colosseum Online is a premier provider of data centre colocation, cloud hosting, dedicated servers and managed web hosting services in Canada, offering an array of services designed to more effectively manage IT infrastructures. Colosseum Online is regarded as an industry leader that combines a host of comprehensive solutions with unparalleled expertise, cutting-edge technologies, and award-winning and industry-leading service. Colosseum Online’s head office is located in Toronto, Ontario.