Since we introduced our ASE technology services and solutions, over 15 years ago in Australia, we’ve worked hard to create a great customer base that forms the core of our cloud solutions and managed services offerings. We continually strive to develop, maintain and grow our customer engagements, and are proud to be part of their cloud journey in delivering technology and business solutions to their users. Findings of a recent rebrand exercise characterized ASE as “magician” brand, known for affecting transformation. Now that we’ve recently brought our end-to-end hybrid solutions and cloud services to North America, taking our customers to the cloud has become even more exciting!
Location, location, location: Globally expanding hybrid cloud storage
In addition to the financial services and healthcare industries, we have a strong focus on media and entertainment (M&E) companies and their transition of digital content workflows in the cloud. When we decided to expand our operations to North America, the natural locations to establish our footprint were in two large media markets: Los Angeles (LA) and New York City (NYC). By doing so, we got geographically closer to large ecosystems of partners and M&E customers, which gave us the opportunity to deliver a higher quality of experience (QoE) to our users, at a significantly lower cost for them and ourselves. From our perspective, we brought the cloud to our users.
In Australia, we partner with Equinix in its Sydney and Melbourne facilities to offer our customers a NetApp Private Storage (NPS) solution as an automated, cloud-based service to accelerate storage access and reduce cloud storage costs. Our hybrid cloud solution leverages NetApp’s ONTAP® data management software and storage platform, and a hybrid on-premises/multicloud infrastructure that accesses Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure cloud services.
We wanted to establish a high-performance NPS-as-a-Service infrastructure solution in the U.S., with the same fast and secure access to NetApp and our cloud partners from which our Australia customer base benefits. At the same time, we wanted to reduce the high cost of storage for ourselves and our customers and increase their QoE. Having been a long-standing partner of Equinix, we knew they could keep the lights on and maintain physical security and reliability for our services. But it was Equinix’s interconnection-first approach at the digital edge-bringing us closer to critical partners and customers-that played a significant role in our decision to also partner with them in the U.S.
First, we had to cross an ocean, then hit the ground running
Partnering with Equinix was vital since it brought us closer to our new partners and customers in the U.S. However, to quickly transport and setup our cloud and storage services in LA and NYC, we had to traverse the Pacific Ocean from Australia to California. Equinix’s proximity (just 1 kilometer away) to the Southern Cross Cable landing station in San Jose, Ca. was key to our speed-to-market strategy since it allowed us to quickly bring our NPS-as-a-Service infrastructure online very quickly.
Leveraging an Interconnection Oriented Architecture™ (IOA™) strategy on Platform Equinix, we implemented the Equinix Cloud Exchange and Data Hub interconnection solutions, in conjunction with NetApp StorageGRID Webscale and ONTAP data management. The Cloud Exchange provided us with one-to-many, direct and secure remote connections to AWS and Azure cloud services. Equinix’s close partnership with NetApp was an added bonus. It ensured the Data Hub brought NetApp object storage repository closer to the multicloud services. Enabling greater collaboration and performance on media content workflows and back end data analytics across pre- and post-production users. Equinix’s interconnection solutions gave us proximity to NetApp, AWS, Azure and a dense ecosystem of network providers over low-latency connections, powering our automated provisioning portal across data management solutions so we could spin-up user access to private NetApp storage in less than six minutes! Magic!
Accelerating reliable media content time-to-market, while reducing costs
M&E customers typically produce data in different locations. Many have four or five different production activities going on at the same time and often want to combine all content into a single unified program. These companies really benefit from a globally distributed, data fabric solution – bringing their media content to market faster. By storing media datasets in multi-site data repositories, proximate to a central cloud location, our global M&E customers gain fast and secure access to their content. For example, they can automatically move and manage content via an industry-standard, global name space for storing, accessing and replicating data worldwide. By putting data closer to cloud, post production editors managing workflow (e.g., transcoding, editing, or logos), can literally take the data from what’s being filmed, as it’s arriving into the cloud environment in real time, and start critical workflow processes instantaneously – speeding up the entire production life cycle.
Also, by putting data next to the cloud and having it accessible to multiple clouds, we expanded our data protection capabilities, reducing recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) times from hours to minutes. Our customers can now replicate their data-either locally to ASE or between ASE locations-increasing data protection and decreasing latency. Simplifying data management.
Hosting our NPS-as-a-Service solution in Equinix data centers with dense cloud and network ecosystems also allows us and our customers to leverage hybrid cloud and network services at different price points. Providing no egress charges and eliminating penalties for moving data out of cloud environments, has given us (ASE) a unique market offering. In fact, we’ve demonstrated that we can save ourselves and our customers over 75% in storage costs moving terabytes of storage in and out of the cloud!
The combined Equinix and NetApp platforms brought us closer to our customers. It localized and enhanced our hybrid technology solution and multicloud and storage services, while maintaining a scalable, reliable and high-performing user QoE. So, between the two continents, we got the best of all worlds.