My Burning Question:
Ask the Expert - Why & How
Paul Giobbi of Zumasys
This series would not have been complete without this one. So one final stop in my quest for knowledge of Cloud Computing and this time with Paul Giobbi, President of Zumasys and true Technology Entrepreneur.
What is your definition of the cloud?
Cloud computing means a lot of things to a lot of people. This is partly due to the wide variety of services that make up the modern cloud. Application hosting, which is our primary business, is one of them. Our customers choose Zumasys to help them move critical business applications off site and into a data center.
Often, the cloud is ruled out for these line-of-business applications due to concerns around compatibility, remote access, migration, backups, and printing. Zumasys actually specializes in hosting custom ERP systems running on Pick MultiValue, Unix, SQL, and Oracle, and we have a proven track record of keeping these applications up and running on our cloud platform. In fact, we’ve found that moving these systems to the cloud can help improve the perception and life span of these applications and provide a fantastic return on investment for customers.
What are the benefits?
Most Pick MultiValue users have a “sunk cost” in their application, which is often decades old. Today’s servers are designed for a useful life of about 36 months. Yet it is not unusual to see Pick systems running on 5-, 10-, or even 15-year-old hardware. That’s a major liability.
Because the database is so stable, Pick MultiValue systems are often overlooked by IT management. Many of the Pick systems we see are not virtualized, monitored, backed up (aside from unreliable tape drives), or protected against fire, theft, or disaster. Nor are they protected with multi-layer security strategy that is designed for today’s evolving threats. All of these factors can potentially lead to downtime that can be financially catastrophic to an organization.
Cloud computing can help IT organizations cut costs by up to 50% by eliminating that risk while allowing IT staff to divert their focus from “lower value” maintenance activities to growing and enhancing the business.
What are the drawbacks?
When moving to the cloud, it’s important to carefully analyze your internet bandwidth and wide-area-network connectivity. Having stable and reliable throughput is critical for cloud infrastructure. You can have all the resources you need in the data center, but if you get the local connectivity wrong, your cloud experience can suffer.
Zumasys works closely with customers to analyze their connectivity options in preparation for a move to the cloud. To achieve optimum connectivity for a variety of use cases, we use a combination of DSL, Cable, T1, MPLS, and fixed wireless connections. If a particular site has more than a handful of users, we will implement internet failover through their firewall using a disparate technology. Built in redundancy provides continuity in the event of an outage by your primary ISP, again ensuring business continuity in your cloud environment. Once you’re on our cloud, we also use tools such as appneta to “see across” the web and pinpoint tough performance bottlenecks.
Our pre-site evaluation also includes an assessment of your server environment including a review of Windows updates, patch health, storage footprint, backup plan and a complete review of your Active Directory schema. The pre-site evaluation is designed to provide an in depth view of your existing environment to best prepare our team for a successful migration.
Are there any times the cloud isn’t the right solution?
Highly graphical applications such as CAD and Revit and certain design packages can be problematic in the cloud unless you utilize the correct “presentation” technology and have enough bandwidth to support them.
Do you think the future is in the Cloud?
We think the future is in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)! With Zumasys’ SaaS platform, customers get browser-based access to their MultiValue application without any screen modification today. By using multi-tenanted database we can offer affordable monthly rental pricing for the database and the entire suite of services. With these features we firmly believe that Pick MultiValue applications will coexist and compete with the next generation of applications, including NetSuite, SalesForce, WorkDay, and Xero.
What are your Cloud offerings? (UK and USA and worldwide)
Zumasys is the leader in providing application hosting for MultiValue systems and the only one providing Pick hosting services since 2006. We own and operate our own equipment, and we use our own engineers and support staff to ensure the highest quality of support. No other company has the depth of services and experience in hosting MultiValue applications. Here’s what we offer:
Our fifth-generation cloud platform is built upon the highest-end Cisco UCS blade servers and NetApp storage (aka the FlexPod architecture) to ensure that all of your applications enjoy maximum performance, redundancy, and uptime. More info here.
Rental licensing programs from Microsoft, VMware, and Citrix allow you to “turn on” new applications in our cloud quickly and easily and without long term commitment.
Through Zumasys Professional Services, we provide turnkey, zero-downtime cloud migrations. We also employ more than a dozen Pick MultiValue application developers.
Customers in the UK and across the world rely on the Zumasys cloud and soon we will launch a cloud in Slough, England.
How can you get there?
At Zumasys, we are passionate about MultiValue, and we want to provide options for protecting and evolving our customers’ Pick applications. Over the last 12 months, Zumasys has made a series of strategic acquisitions in the Pick market, including AccuTerm, jBASE, MultiValue Dashboard and we have created a worldwide distribution and support program for OpenQM. By bringing these technologies into our portfolio, we are now better suited to help customers move to the web/mobile/cloudera. Behind the scenes, we’ve been busy modifying, enhancing, and integrating these products with our nine-year-old cloud platform.
For more information:
Learn more at our MultiValue Day at ZumapaloozaTen. Zumapalooza is the biggest event of its kind and the only Pick MultiValue conference without a registration fee!
Join 500+ of your peers at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on November 15-17, 2015.
Pre-registration interest lists are now forming at www.zumapalooza.com.