DEAC interview at portal www.npsod.ru: "DEAC European data centers are becoming more required in the Russian market!"
Nadezhda Markalova, chief editor portal www.npsod.ru, are talking to Olegs Naskidajevs, head of marketing and development department, European data centers operator DEAC.
- Please introduce us with your company!
Company DEAC is on the market since 1999, headquarters office is in the heart of Baltic States in Latvia, in Riga, and recently it has opened its first representation office in Russia, in Moscow. At the moment our infrastructure consists of two neutral data centers. The first was opened in 2000; this is former Soviet Army command point - underground bunker, which we reequipped, creating the first an underground data center in Eastern Europe, with capacity of 130 racks. It works under the power supply scheme Tier II, telecommunication connectivity is very high.
We have connection to all major telecom operators in Latvia, and the nearest points of traffic exchange outside the Baltic States are Stockholm, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, London and other cities. In regard to connection with Russia, we have few direct channels to Russia, for example, the first of which appeared in November, 2009 when we signed a partnership agreement with Synterra, now already Megaphone, to establish a common communication channel between Riga and Moscow. Communication channels are working on the wiring scheme Layer 2, which means increased reliability of channels and the speed of access is about 15-20 milliseconds, which is important for our Russian customers. This is an excellent indicator, if we are talking about the connection between the two cities, located at a distance of thousands of kilometers.
As the first underground data center was filled in 2006, it was decided to expand, and we started to design a new data center, which opened in September 2009. Currently it is the biggest data center in the Baltics with the total capacity of 500 racks. Under the scheme of power supply it is designed for Tier IV, but really as long as it works under the scheme Tier II, the increase of Tier level is just a matter of time and takes 3 to 6 months depending on the needs of customer.
- Why currently your company is interesting for Russian customers?
Firstly, it is the protection of business in any expression. Starting with properly prepared the plan of the company in terms of IT strategy, which requires at least two data centers that we can perfectly offer. Many of the companies with whom we are working, store data on its main site in Moscow or St. Petersburg, but our infrastructure is used as a backup data center. Thus, the risks are minimized, and at the last conference we have already said that with such operational scheme the maximal effect of security is achieved, close to 100%. From the standpoint of competent construction business continuity of their platforms for end customers is very strong and correct decision.
Our data centers are also convenient for storing data in order to connect to European customers, if someone is working with Europe. There are also customers who just want to take away the data from the Russian Federation. According to statistics in work with Russian companies (we are currently working on about 200 projects) most of the projects considered by the customers in terms of creating the two sites and minimizing the risks of systems.
And secondly - costs reducing. This carries itself in different ways. If a customer already has its own infrastructure, working with us helps to reduce costs by 15% -20%; if he does not have the infrastructure or he plans to change it to another, update it, in that case in the long term it can reduce costs up to 40%.
If you choose the data centers rental price between Moscow and Petersburg, the regions of Russia and Riga, then the costs of our services are the lowest. This is due to the fact that we have cheaper electricity and credit resources plus some other nuances that allow you to create value for the service for what it is. Herewith, we do not approve the dumping and if the customer is not satisfied with the cost of our services, we recommend him to contact with our partners that have lower prices, but as a rule, lower-quality services and less reliable IT infrastructure. If customer is fine with that, then why not? Some time later his claim to the reliability of the data center increases or his business needs changes, and he will consider the options of data centers, similar to ours. We need to clearly understand what risks the customer is ready to take on and what to delegate; this is the final issue price.
We provide our customers with a wide range of services based on our distributed network of data centers, little by little replacing the concept of servers, storage systems (SAN) and racks rental with the data centers resource rental with the availability in an hour. This is the first step towards implementation of cloud computing on the basis of our infrastructure. In the coming years we plan to increase range of possibilities both in terms of hardware solutions and software. In the meantime we offer to our customers different server configurations, high-performance data storages of tens of terabytes, rental of software based on Microsoft and other, less popular software manufacturers within an hour: mail, server platforms, document management systems and so on.
- You have experienced two crises...
- Regarding the crisis in 2000, in the Baltics it almost didn’t happen, but crisis from 2007 is still there. But mainly any crisis first and foremost in the minds and the latest isn’t exception. Compared with the Baltics, Russia has rather temporary difficulties. Probably it was because of the relaxation of population and the habits of being a consumer in a heated economy. If the basic processes in a society are not adjusted, then at any pressure of external circumstances, it crashes, but in properly functioning system problems are less. Of course, there are losses, there are unrealized projects, but the motto within reasonable limits "all that is done, all the better" still has not been canceled. As for our company, we feel the crisis in a lesser extent than other IT companies in Baltics, and this is associated with well-established strategic objectives and the ability to foresee the situation a few steps forward because of the information available on the markets in European and the CIS countries.
For example, recently we completed the next task in the strategic development of the company - in November, 2010 we opened the first representation office in Moscow, Russia. Though a few more months it will take to finalize, but it's a matter of technic. After that DEAC consider the opening of representation office in Kiev at the end of next year and at that time decide regarding another extension of our geographic presence.
- How does differ the situation, say in Russia, the Baltics and Western Europe?
- In Western Europe crisis felt less, and the reason lies in a much larger experience. For many decades they are actively developing their businesses, there are corporations that are already several hundreds years on the market. Therefore, the financial cushion of security among them is much more reliable than the Russian and Baltic companies have. As always, resources and more time resources saves the Russia, this time it is oil, gas and intellectual potential, not for nothing it says – what is German's death, the Russian ... But there are still very strong IT professionals in the Baltic countries.
Implemented model of the IT industry development in Russia in general, which in recent years is brought to life by the country's leadership, is very smart - the development of high technologies, nanotechnology, innovative projects. I am sure that in the next 5-7 years, those projects that are being discussed today in terms of IT industry in Russia and other industries will express themselves in clear, effective solutions for end users. If we talk about our IT area, a new IT tools will emerge and upon the occurrence of the next crisis, the country will be better prepared, and for people it will be easier to survive it.
- Tell me how do you see your future?
- Perhaps we are the only IT company in Latvia, which went out from the crisis with a certain turnover increase. And in the upcoming years we plan to increase the traffic. Of course, much will depend on completed projects in Russia, Ukraine and other CIS, European and American countries. Baltics we still do not count, because in the Baltics only several companies need such infrastructure as DEAC created. It is too expensive, reliable, and redundant for businesses in the Baltics and in-orbit of potential customers there are only about 50 the largest Baltic companies. For example, in Russia the number of such companies is much bigger, moreover, medium and large business is developed well enough, and they need such infrastructure. In general, we're moving from the Baltic States farther to the West and East, in Russia, for example, now we have the customers already beyond the Ural Mountains, in Europe our customer is one of the largest telecommunication operators in the world Telefonica.
- What customers are looking for right now, what are the basic requirements?
- But many people do not want to give their data to God knows who.
- Today, it greatly complicates the job of the IT services provider and in result also customer, because to do everything by yourself is always more expensive. But on the other hand, today there are control tools that allow you to fully protect data, even from the staff of the data center, where they are. The customer can see where the data is located, who and how has access to them even physically. At his own site customer never can’t create the same conditions to ensure the security of their data. So it makes no difference where the data is important in their control and inaccessibility.
In our data centers there are different possibilities how customer can control its intellectual property, including closed dedicated spaces with racks. These are barred or dedicated facilities, locked and set all around with video cameras, which turn on if someone is opening the door or lattice, or doors of server racks or dedicated server room. So the customer can immediately see in real time, which accesses his data at any given time. And we have customers who use the most complex control methods, but I repeat that the main thing is the solution of set tasks and the control of customer’s information. The only situation when we enter the customer area, which is negotiated in advance - it's unexpected situations when our presence is needed, but such situations are very rare.
- In summary, can we say that IT outsourcing will grow?
- Yes, definitely and irrevocably. This is beneficial in all respects to all parties of the IT outsourcing process. The customer receives a flexible system, if necessary he can adjust the volume of used services, while not acquiring the equipment, not paving the network infrastructure, and without changing the premises, and the payment of services occurs only after the fact. And the likelihood of information leakage when data is stored in the company is higher compared when data are stored at third party outsourcing provider with a proven reputation. No matter how loyal are employees, the leakage of data from own company is still higher. In addition, the individual does not get compensation, because financially, in terms of los return, the company did not acquire anything. From the perspective of a service provider, such options are excluded - one case and no longer specific service provider exist, nobody simply will trust him any longer, and this is the beginning of the end of any service provider. Therefore, the main thing is reputation, and the number of our customers has already exceeded the mark of 2000 in more than 20 countries around the world that speaks for itself.
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