Interxion’s Harm Joosse: ‘Every CIO today has a cloud strategy’

17 Nov 2017

Harm Joosse, director, business development, cloud platforms, Interxion. Image: Luke Maxwell

There is no CIO today that hasn’t developed some kind of a cloud vision or strategy, says Interxion’s Harm Joosse.

Interxion is a leading European provider of carrier and cloud-neutral colocation data centres, and supports more than 1,500 customers through 45 data centres across 11 countries.

Interxion recently opened its third Dublin data centre, called DUB3, which represents a capital investment of €28m.

‘53pc of enterprises are either using or planning to use hybrid cloud solutions’

During the construction phase of the project, around 140 jobs were created. 10 permanent positions have since been added, which will rise to an additional 40 when extra construction phases are completed.

DUB3 consists of 2,320 sq m of newly built and equipped space in its first phase, and boasts low-latency connectivity to key European markets. It serves more than 40 fixed and mobile carriers, ISPs and cloud data networks.

Harm Joosse is director of business development, cloud platforms, at Interxion. He is a graduate of Rotterdam School of Management and MIT.

Prior to joining Interxion, he held senior roles at Thomson Reuters and Luxoft as well as starting his own international business consultancy, HJBD.

The cloud started slow but now it is the established order of things. Just how pervasive is cloud in the business world and, in particular, how is hybrid cloud being adopted by organisations?

I would agree that cloud did start slow, and we still see areas of Europe that had a slow start in terms of cloud adoption – and not necessarily driven performance of the cloud in itself, but primarily due to local regulations or cultures where people are maybe a bit more cautious in entering a new technology paradigm.

However, I think it is indeed picking up very quickly. We, as a data centre provider, see that happening within our data centres, where customers are coming to Interxion to start with the cloud journey.

One of the studies that we did recently around that cloud adoption, together with IDC, was the digital enterprise, where we already saw 53pc of enterprises are currently either using or planning to use hybrid cloud solutions.

That is not surprising, given the fact that you want to leverage the benefits of the public cloud. At the same time, if for some reason you want to maintain control of your own infrastructure and maybe take the maximum performance from some hardware, that lends itself for hybrid cloud architectures.

What we try to do, as well, is enable that for our customers, to really build an environment where both your on-premise environment can be shifted to a public cloud environment and, at the same time, if you want to retain some areas within your own infrastructure environment, you can still do that.

Can you give a snapshot of how extensive Interxion’s cloud infrastructure is?

We have grown quite rapidly. We are still an exclusively European data centre provider but we have now about 45 data centres across all 11 markets in Europe, and we also have certain gateway markets that have enabled customers to reach beyond European locations.

Within those 45 data centres, we have our own Cloud Connect aggregation solution, which means that customers that are located in any of our data centres – for example, in Dublin – can connect into the public cloud wherever they are located.

This could include cloud regions in Dublin itself, but many of the cloud providers have regions in Germany or in France or the UK or anywhere else. This means we are really starting to become an interconnection hub for our customers to reach the cloud.

We continue to see growing demand for that and that’s why we are extending our data centre footprint.

Recently, we announced extensions here in Dublin in addition to the recent opening of DUB3. We are going beyond that and increasing the DUB3 environment.

What are the big trends and challenges in your sector, and how do you plan to use hybrid cloud and Cloud Connect to address them?

When we saw the first phase of cloud, it involved enterprise moving to the public cloud providers.

We are now seeing another wave of enterprise coming, not using just single public cloud, but multiple public clouds and also their own private cloud environments.

If you look at some of the megatrends that are happening around the internet of things and self-driving cars, people start to realise the connectivity towards those devices, and devices are going beyond what a public cloud provider can offer.

And, therefore, a lot of our customers are looking for geographically dispersed data centres that can handle data for this demand and trend. That is something we are certainly seeing across our data centres in Europe.

In addition, we are also seeing a lot of growth coming from US-based businesses coming to Europe. They are starting to extend their footprint in Europe and are looking for a European entry point that could be for cloud, or a distribution point for their content.

In terms of managing IT budgets, what are your key thoughts on how CIOs/heads of technology should achieve their goals?

Clearly, cloud is here to stay. And enterprise CIOs need to cater for that. I think there is no CIO today that hasn’t started to develop some form of a cloud strategy or vision in terms of how their enterprise can move to the cloud.

Cost control is one of the key areas where we do see a lot of partners of Interxion, and the public cloud providers that are catering for cloud automation or cost-control environments.

This is because many people like the ability to just spin up a new resource in the cloud but forget to turn it down when it is no longer needed, which is the basic premise under the usage-based model. This is where we advise our enterprises to work with a third-party partner, who can help you to get the benefit of the public cloud.

One other thing I would mention is that if you look at the journey to the cloud, a lot of customers are also looking at the total environment that this is happening in.

It is not just connecting your on-premise data centre with a single public cloud environment any more, but it is likely a connection between your customers, your peers and your suppliers as well as your connectivity towards multiple public cloud providers.

And this is where networking costs are becoming more and more important for customers, and solutions that cater for a single point of contact are in high demand, and these are things to be looking at if you are an enterprise CIO.

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years