Crossflight points to public cloud limitations

By Danny Palmer
26 Oct 2012 View Comments
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Express mail and logistics provider Crossflight sees cloud storage as positive for well-defined services like CRM and email, but less so for more complex, bespoke applications.

The firm expressed the view following a deal with EMC  to drive its on-going virtualisation programme.

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"The cloud is particularly good for those services that are very well defined; so something like Google Mail and Salesforce, they work very well, they're very well defined, they can be bought as a service," Crossflight IT manager Guy Dawson told Computing.

But Dawson was more disparaging about the benefits of cloud for more business-specific services.

"For the bespoke applications we run – for example, our operations are tightly integrated into our warehouse processing, tightly integrated into our accounts – there isn't anything commercially available that meets our needs, be it cloud or on-premise, so we run those ourselves," he continued.

"We write some of them ourselves and we look to run them in a secure environment, an available environment, so in fact we run a private cloud," said Dawson, before adding that the move towards virtualisation is also good for customers, who'll see the benefits of reduced running costs.

And Crossflight says switching to a cloud infrastructure has already significantly increased SAN performance.

"We have a set of benchmark tests we can run to make sure our system is performing," said Dawson.

"When we upgraded our datacentre from the old SAN to the new SAN they just went faster by about 20 per cent," he added

Cloud suffered a blow to its reputation this week when an Amazon server went down, taking many high profile websites with it.

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