Peter Williams, Director of Global Sales at Continent 8 discusses how Continent 8 is bridging the gaps to being a total solutions provider to the gaming community
As companies struggle to cope with the ever-increasing amount of corporate information being generated, coupled with the daunting challenge of maintaining customer data and payment information to satisfy regulation, the cost and resources necessary to overcome this can spiral out of control if not managed effectively. Of course this is only a small part of the risk associated with data protection. The extreme risk associated with any compromise on effective disaster recovery and data protection is that without the data, there is no business.
As the market leader in data hosting and solutions provision to the eGaming industry, Continent 8 has developed technical and regulatory solutions over many years to combat this challenge by creating an offering that delivers on all aspects of risk mitigation at a cost point that does not hinder the business. This is done in a way that removes the worry and risk associated with the headaches of funding and managing the various components associated with safeguarding your organisation and the real value it has, namely your customers.
Looking back, Continent 8 played a key role in the creation of disaster recovery options acceptable to many regulators, and at cost-effective price points. Being in the unique position of having service capability in all gaming jurisdictions positioned Continent 8 to not only influence such models, but to also deliver the necessary solutions at reasonable cost by owning and managing our own private network linking these locations.
Considering the huge risks, it is difficult to imagine why successful and profitable businesses would not create a disaster recovery environment but the reality is that many companies have not implemented this capability. Organisations can assess risk and make decisions accordingly but at Continent 8 we appreciate the challenges of cost, management and effectiveness of a disaster recovery environment if not adequately built and maintained. So if disaster recovery is an option that is not a priority for the organisation then it stands to reason that data protection would be something that must be taken very seriously. Unlike disaster recovery, data backup is something that organisations do not compromise on to safeguard valuable business information.
Data backup cannot be considered as a replacement for disaster recovery, but business continuity is possible assuming it is managed effectively, albeit the time that would be required to rebuild or re-locate infrastructure and applications. The problem with the traditional tape based data backup approach is that it can be expensive, sometimes unreliable and often difficult to restore. To add there is the pain of changing, storing, cataloguing and transportation to satisfy compliance added to the concerns over media degradation, backup windows missed, failed backups and missed devices, all of which must be closely administered and monitored.
But the one concern we can never overcome is data; it’s growing and it’s growing fast. Between 2010 and 2012, the average company data storage footprint grew by 60% (source: Forrester Forrsights Hardware Survey, Q3 2012). In fact, according to IBM, 90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years alone. Imagine 2.5 quintillion bytes every day! So all are agreed that data is becoming a growing problem, or advantage depending on how you look at it. All we need to do is ensure we are protecting it.
Continent 8 launched its new cloud backup solution at the European iGaming (EIG) Congress and Expo in Barcelona last October in partnership with Asigra. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Asigra has dedicated the last 26 years to building an unparalleled knowledge base of best practices and expertise in cloud backup, restore and recovery. The Continent 8 Cloud Backup solution provides a feature-rich, low cost backup solution focused on data protection. Organisations and industries with compliance mandates that are looking to improve their backup with a more cost-effective, secure, reliable and predictable backup approach would benefit greatly from this solution.
Just some of the advantages are:
- Lower total cost of ownership
A cloud backup, recovery and restore solution takes advantage of your existing infrastructure, so you don’t need to buy or install expensive equipment. Cloud backup software integrates with IT environments to locate and prioritise files for backup and then securely transmits data.
- Improved reliability and speed of recovery
Having a backup solution is meaningless without a rapid and reliable method of recovering and restoring data. A cloud backup and recovery system instantly restores data regardless of your location, including individual files, the most common type of data recovery.
- More secure method of file transfer
Files selected for backup are encrypted before transmission to a cloud vault and remain encrypted once they reach their destination. The only decryption key resides with the customer.
- Reduced operating and administrative costs
Once you select a backup schedule, company data is saved automatically, providing an unobtrusive and transparent solution. This “set it and forget it” model results in less operational and administrative management for data backup.
- Stronger compliance safeguards
Multiple data centres that are geographically diverse allow Continent 8 to offer a backup solution with flexibility, choice of data storage location and more reliability. Not only that but customers can backup locations and devices outside of our data centre footprint.
De-duplication means that the Continent 8 cloud solution intelligently targets new and changed data after initial backup, meaning it’s incremental forever and thereby facilitates speedy backups, lower bandwidth usage for remote backup and requires less storage.
Secure and cost-effective backup is just one of the recent investments Continent 8 has made to provide a better experience to our customers.
Continent 8 has continued to expand in other jurisdictions with the following notable announcements:
Isle of Man expansion
To support our growth and success in the Isle of Man we have just completed the build of a new data hall adding 40 additional high-density racks to the footprint. The new expansion is the most efficient on the island, utilising the island’s first adiabatic cooling architecture and advanced contained hot aisles.
Gibraltar electrical upgrade and data hall expansion
To cater for increased demand and stabilise future infrastructure in Gibraltar, Continent 8 has replaced all electrical infrastructure representing significant investment to support expansion. We have also opened two new data halls offering an additional 70 rack availability.
New Jersey launch
One of the most significant milestones in the Continent 8 global expansion plan is the imminent launch of services in New Jersey to service the gaming community in this newly regulated market. Target launch date will be early January 2014 when Continent 8 will make available the full suite of Continent 8 services to New Jersey licensed gaming operators and providers. The facility, which will be located in Atlantic City, will see the initial launch of services with plans for a disaster recovery facility in the months to follow.
Continent 8 will continue to add services and locations to support the gaming community with several projects currently under consideration.
Article appeared in eGR Isle of Man Report, 2014