We grabbed a minute with Larry Dutton, product manager at Redstone, a Virgin Media Business Gold Partner, to get his take on Arctic data centres and networked changing rooms...
You can't get away with a 2Mb connection in the workplace any more. People ask “if I can do it on my iPhone, how come I can’t do it from my work desktop?”
Wholesale Solutions: Hi, Larry. What’s the best business idea you’ve ever heard?
Larry Dutton: That would have to be putting data centres in Iceland. By using geothermal energy for power and the natural cold for cooling, you cut costs and environmental impact. It’s an absolutely brilliant idea that’s been around for a few years, but now optical fibre connections to Iceland have made it practical and it’s becoming a reality.
WS: In the last 5 years, what’s shaken up the telecoms industry the most?
LD: Two connected things really – the quest for more bandwidth and the move to virtualisation and cloud.
The BBC’s iPlayer was the poster child for the bandwidth boom – we started to see feature-rich mainstream content hitting the network. People began to bring those performance expectations into the workplace. It’s normal now to be able to stream live video and sound over the network, along with rich content and other bandwidth-heavy traffic.
You can’t get away with a 2Mb connection in the workplace any more. People ask “if I can do it on my iPhone, how come I can’t do it from my work desktop?”
The second big change has been the move to virtual desktop infrastructures and cloud computing. The expectation is now that you can get to your data on any device, from anywhere, with your data held in the cloud. Users have come to realise that cloud computing can actually increase data security – if your data never leaves the data centre then there are fewer points of weakness that can be compromised.
WS: What future technology are you most excited about (apart from hover boots)?
LD: There’s always something around the corner in this industry that will be revolutionary – but we just can’t quite see it yet. For me, the excitement comes from finding out what that is. It could be a great technological leap, or the insight to apply the technology we have now into new areas of life – ideas like remote telemetry reporting for cars, or networked smart devices in unexpected places like changing room lockers.
WS: What’s the best part of your job?
LD: Making a difference – turning a component that’s exciting into something of value that really makes a difference in customers’ businesses.
WS: What’s the most common piece of advice you give your customers?
LD: “Compare like with like”. When you’re estimating the costs of a networking project you need to look beyond the headline figures and cost. Because we do managed services, we know that you always need to include migration costs and project management in your comparisons.
The network is the foundation for everything, so you need to get it right. You don’t want to find you’ve cut corners when it’s too late to go back.
WS: In 5 words, what makes a great connectivity provider?
LD: Flexibility, trust, integrity, innovation and capability.
Our reputation is only as good as the people we work with. We make commitments to our customers based on their promises, so trust is hugely important.
WS: Thanks, Larry.
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Redstone (www.redstone.com) is a network-based provider of end-to-end managed services, technology and infrastructure solutions with over 400 employees and offices throughout the UK.