Starter for 10: Meet Jonna Iljin, Nordcloud’s Head of Design
When people start working with Nordcloud, they generally comment on 2 things. First, how friendly and knowledgeable everyone is. Second,...
Nordcloud is extremely proud to be nominated Google Cloud Premier Partner and Managed Services Provider (MSP).
Nordcloud is the first Finnish company ever to achieve Premier Partner status and also the first non-GSuite Premier Partner in the Nordic countries.
In 2017 Google launched the Managed Services Provider program and since then, the ecosystem of Google Cloud MSPs has continued to expand to 12 partners globally.
Today, Nordcloud is joining this very elite group of few partners globally to provide hands-on support to the ongoing operation of customer workloads and offer proactive services to both large and small cloud adopters.
With our dedicated Google Cloud experts, our projects range from cloud strategy to migration and execution, to post-planning and ongoing optimization. Nordcloud has a staff of 40 Google Cloud Professional Certified Cloud Architects and Data Engineers.
“We are honored to be Google Cloud Premier Partner and one of the very few Google Cloud MSP’s worldwide. This is a key milestone on our journey to become the leading Google Cloud partner in Europe”, says Jan Kritz, CEO at Nordcloud.
Nordcloud offers 24/7 Managed Services for a customer’s cloud environments and manages Google Cloud operations so that the customer has more time to add value to their business operations. With the proven Google Cloud MSP status customers are rest assured that they can trust their Google Cloud environments are well-managed by Nordcloud’s highly skilled experts.
Nordcloud’s Managed Cloud is your full-stack life-cycling managed services solution providing flexible service bundles to fit your IT needs.
As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, one of the UK’s biggest banks, TSB, learnt the hard way earlier this year when it came to protecting their highly valuable systems from IT failures. The BBC coined the term ‘technology meltdown’ after 2 million customers of the bank lost access to their online banking services. Since then, a second ‘meltdown’ has occurred, and TSB’s CEO has stepped down.
Banks and FSIs around the world have been slow on the uptake to modernise infrastructure and move legacy systems to the cloud. The complexities that surround moving large amounts of secure data, constantly changing market dynamics, and a need to shift company culture (such as moving to a more agile way of working) is tantamount to redesigning an entire industry. The problem is that this failure to move forward and be relevant has proved costly, and regulatory services have made the FSIs pay out large and easily preventable fines.
Anuj Saxena, Head of FSI at Nordcloud, wrote in his blog that financial institutions often plan for highly available service operations and don’t consider potential failures. But one of the ways these businesses can improve their operational resilience is implementing automated tools and processes in order to recover from these potential incidents. Engaging with a Managed Cloud Services provider is the start of the solution.
At the risk of sounding negative, planning for failure is the key to keeping systems up and running. Employing a DevOps function like the team at Nordcloud who have the experience in automating end to end deployments, operations & recovering cloud infrastructure, allows for flexibility and innovation, and creating runbooks and playbooks allows the teams to compare and match certain standards.
FSIs need to become operationally resilient so they are not held back when an incident happens. Having a ‘well-oiled machine’ that will be able to respond to incidents quickly and agily will improve this resilience.
But what’s the point of having this ‘holy-grail’ of automation unless you have someone who knows how to manage it?
Cloud experts within Nordcloud have experience in knowing what to monitor & what thresholds to configure out of the box, ensuring that problems are identified earlier and solved quicker.
Our team uses an advanced adaptive (outlier detection), automated full-stack monitoring and instrumentation platform to enable a 360-degree view of a business’s infrastructure, ensuring that potential issues are identified and resolved before they become an issue. This automated response means reactions are faster, and human error is eliminated. In the same sense, developing a comprehensive runbook promotes standardised operating procedures which can be used repeatedly, allowing you to move to market faster.
Businesses should also organise regular ‘Game Days’ where failure is simulated, and runbooks and playbooks are tested to ensure that in the event of failure, response and resolution is well rehearsed and therefore fast. Nordcloud’s team of experts can manage this and other day to day operations, helping our customers meet the regulatory compliance they require.
IT time is valuable and generally scarce and your department should be focussed on projects that improve your company’s bottom line. FSIs who engage with Managed Cloud Service providers will be able to save sizeable amounts of money on potentially avoidable fines, and in the meantime make sure their customers’ online experience is not affected.
Download our free white paper Compliance in the cloud: How to embrace the cloud with confidence, where we outline some of the many benefits that the cloud can offer, such as:
In this comprehensive study, Crisp Research examined five cloud markets relevant for Germany and the service providers active in them in order to provide decision-makers in companies with guidelines and to analyse the largest fields of action within the industry. Together with 16 other providers, Nordcloud was tested in the market category ‘Managed Public Cloud Provider‘. The evaluation criteria were divided into the two main categories: ‘Service / Product Value Creation’ and ‘Vendor Performance’.
In the category ‘Service / Product Value Creation’ the Finnish company achieved the highest value of 85 percent (average value: 62 percent), for ‘Vendor Performance’ it received a total of 81 percent (average value: 58 percent). Nordcloud was particularly convincing in the areas of ‘Service Portfolio’, ‘Integration’ and ‘Customer Experience’.
Carlo Velten, Senior Analyst and CEO of Crisp Research congratulates: ‘Nordcloud is currently in the fast lane of Managed Public Cloud Services and successfully leads the field. Our independent analysis has shown that Nordcloud’s end-to-end multi-cloud service offers customers a market-leading, extensive partner network and deep technology expertise in the areas of IT infrastructure, DevOps and new technology paradigms’.
Ulrich Baur, Country Manager of Nordcloud Germany agrees: ‘We are proud that shortly after entering the German market, Nordcloud has developed into one of the leading Managed Public Cloud Services Providers. Cloud computing has gained in relevance across industries as a result of the advancing digital transformation, but only a few companies have the specialist staff and know-how to master the structural changes alone. Service providers like Nordcloud are helping companies accelerate their business processes and stay competitive in the future with cloud solutions.’
If you’d like to find out more about the study, contact us here.
Nordcloud is extremely proud to earn the status of Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Services Provider program. The new Microsoft status allows Nordcloud to prove our capabilities and expertise amongst the best Azure service providers around the globe.
As customers move to the public cloud with increasing pace, they need partners with a deep level of cloud expertise and experience to guide them. Inclusion in the Microsoft Azure Expert MSP program is awarded to partners that meet a stringent set of requirements, including verified proof of excellence in customer delivery and technical expertise, and the successful completion of an independent audit of their managed services, people, processes, and technologies. Only the most high-fidelity cloud managed service providers are awarded the Azure Expert MSP badge, intended to give customers confidence when selecting a partner to help them meet their digital transformation goals.
“Nordcloud offers 24/7 Managed Services for a customer’s cloud environments and manages the Azure operations so that the customer has more time to add value to their business operations. With the proven Azure Expert MSP status customers are rest assured that they can trust their Azure environments are well-managed by Nordcloud’s highly skilled experts”, says Jan Kritz, CEO at Nordcloud.
“We are excited to see Strategic Partners like Nordcloud achieve Azure Expert MSP in their portfolio”, said Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice President, One Commercial Partner at Microsoft Corp. “Azure customers need well configured, secure, reliant, and best performing applications or infrastructure. With the Azure Expert MSP status, Nordcloud is able to support the customers with these needs 24/7.”
Nordcloud’s Managed Cloud is your full-stack life-cycling managed services solution providing flexible service bundles to fit your IT needs.
Much like the last 5 years at re:Invent, we were treated on the Thursday to a keynote by Werner Vogels, speaking at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. It’s a huge space and the production values that AWS brings to their keynotes (coupled with the 16,800 capacity) made for an electric start to the morning.
Vogels started the keynote by reflecting on the keynotes he has delivered over the last 5 years. During his first ever keynote back in 2012, Vogels discussed 21st-century architecture. He provided 4 guiding commandments: Controllable, Resilient, Adaptive, and Data Driven. He returned to this theme by calling this particular keynote ’21st Century Architectures, re:Imagined’
It was made clear from the start that, unlike previous years, there would be relatively few announcements. He was true to his word, and instead focussed on just a few key themes. Vogels took time to thank AWS’s customers, reflecting that in the beginning, they knew they had to be collaborative to succeed. They wanted to build a collection of ‘nimble’ tools which could be assembled to build what customers needed. AWS listen to customer feedback, launching services that are rock solid, then working with customers to set the roadmap and development priorities.
AWS want to help you build services for the future, and a lot of the announcements this week are enabled by developments in technology that have come about in the last 2-3 years.
One of the themes Vogels spoke about was IoT and allowing whole environments to become accessible. Every device has the ability to become an input or output device, but with so many out there, it’s good to consider how we interact with all of them and their systems. Vogels believes that digital interfaces of the future will be human-centric, and the things that we as humans use to communicate will become the inputs to systems. The first of these will be the voice as it’s the most natural and easiest interaction.
Once you can use your voice to control systems, Vogel suggested people won’t look back, from surgeons operating theatre equipment, to simply controlling the lighting or heating in your house, it will unlock digital systems for everyone.
To demonstrate this point, Vogels talked about the International Rice Research Institute who provide rice farmers advice on how much and which fertiliser to put on their crops based on their years of research. Consumption of this information was very low until they invested in a voice interface. Farmers can call, select from one of 27 dialects, and provide information on their land and crop conditions. They then use voice recognition and machine learning to read back to the farmer which fertilizer they need.
This was building up to the announcement of Alexa Business, a service that ‘makes it easier for you to introduce Alexa to your organization, providing the tools you need to set-up and manage Alexa enabled devices, enroll users, and assign skills at scale’
The next theme of the keynote was architecture. Typically, systems have three planes: Admin, Control, and Data. (Vogels suggested architecture that extensive was difficult to visualise on marketing slides!) The AWS Well Architected Framework was launched two years ago and has grown from a single document to five pillars across five documents with two ‘lenses’. It guides the user on how to architect for specific use cases, (currently HPC and Serverless). The framework is included in AWS certifications and AWS regularly run boot camps and ‘Well Architected Reviews’ for its customers.
This particular section had a strong focus on security and availability. On security, Vogels recapped everything you need to ensure you are doing, from implementing a strong identity foundation to automating security best practices. The need to encrypt everything was also highlighted and security has become a problem for all. Developers are now seen to be the new security team and everything needs to be remembered. For example, ensuring the security of the CI/CD pipeline, as well as ensuring security within the pipeline.
Availability, reliability, and resilience were discussed, from the basics, (hard dependencies reduce availability, redundant dependencies increase availability) to the best practices of Distributed Systems, through to deployment automation and testing. Nora Jones (Netflix), gave the example of using Chaos Engineering and how they do this at Netflix.
Vogels highlighted that available systems cost more and therefore it becomes a business decision whether to easily run something in a single availability zone, but only achieve 99% of uptime. If you want to increase this you need to distribute your services across multiple availability zones or even regions. DynamoDB Global Tables, for example, help you to do this, becoming the ultimate tool in reliability design. Although this has little to do with AWS (and more to do with decisions made within organisations), AWS can make this much easier for you. This brings us nicely onto the final part of the keynote – letting AWS do the ‘heavy lifting’ through its managed services.
Galls Law says, “A complex system that worked is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked”. AWS allows you to keep your systems simple by providing nimble services which you can assemble to build what you need. If you run your own RDBMS, you have to take care of the control and data planes. If you run on AWS, AWS manages the control plane. AWS Managed Services are designed for AWS to control the complex and hard to manage moving parts. making it simpler for you. This was demonstrated by Abby Fuller speaking about containers on AWS, and how Amazon Fargate can help you to make your environment much more simple. AWS will continue to release managed services over the next year.
Serverless was something that couldn’t possibly be missed out of this keynote, with it being the ultimate AWS Managed Service. There is no server management, has flexible scaling, high availability, and no idle capacity. Here are the final (Lambda) product announcements
In addition, the AWS Serverless Application Repository was also announced, allowing users to discover collections of serverless apps and easily deploy these into your account in a few clicks. You can also publish your own apps to share with the community, allowing you to easily consume their 3rd party Lambda functions and apply them to your environments.
If you would like to understand how Nordcloud can help you take advantage of AWS Managed Services, help discuss whether your environment is well architected for, or discuss any other of the releases made this week, please get in touch.
Sumo Logic Forges Its First European Managed Services Partnership with Nordcloud to Help Improve Security and Incident Management and Deliver Continuous Intelligence for Modern Applications.
Las Vegas 27. November 2017. Nordcloud, a leading public cloud managed services provider in Europe has teamed up with Sumo Logic, the cloud-native machine data analytics service. Through this partnership, customers can leverage Sumo Logic’s cloud-native machine data analytics platform as part of Nordcloud’s Managed Cloud service for real-time visibility of operational and security insights on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
Nordcloud runs Managed Cloud with the best-in-class partner software.“We use our expertise to pick the best solutions available so our customers don’t have to spend time searching for the right tools,’ says Vesa Tiihonen, Nordcloud’s Head of Managed Cloud. ‘We’re absolutely delighted to be able to offer and recommend them Sumo Logic’s industry-leading service. It’s automated security and cloud audits, and Sumo’s proactive analytics powered by machine learning that gives our customers a fantastic operational intelligence resource, all available as a fully managed pay-per-use service.”
“We are really excited to solidify our first managed services provider partnership in Europe. Nordcloud is a great match for Sumo Logic given its roots in the cloud and its multi-cloud approach supporting public cloud providers such as AWS and Azure,” says Jabari Norton, Vice President of Global Partner Sales for Sumo Logic. “We look forward to working with Nordcloud to help European customers get real-time operational and security insights into their modern applications while delivering the continuous intelligence needed to tackle their toughest security challenges such as the upcoming EU GDPR deadline and the Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance in the public cloud.”
Nordcloud’s Tiihonen says it will also meet users’ expectations of robust security and compliance. “As more and more of our enterprise customers are moving their regulated workloads to the public cloud, there’s an increasing demand for a compliant cloud-native scalable solution. This is where Sumo Logic’s offering is unparalleled in delivering security
compliance like PCI DSS.”
Nordcloud’s staff are already trained and experienced in Sumo Logic services to support customers’ business needs and provide the excellent customer service they expect.
Sumo Logic is the leading cloud-native, machine data analytics platform delivering real-time continuous intelligence, from structured, semi-structured and unstructured data across the entire application lifecycle and stack. More than 1,500 customers around the globe rely on Sumo Logic for the analytics and insights to build, run and secure their modern applications and cloud infrastructures. With Sumo Logic, customers gain a multi-tenant, service-model advantage to accelerate their shift to continuous innovation, increasing competitive advantage, business value and growth. Founded in 2010, Sumo Logic is a privately held company based in Redwood City, CA and is backed by Accel Partners, DFJ, Greylock Partners, IVP, Sapphire Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Sutter Hill Ventures. For more information, visit www.sumologic.com.
As an IT professional working with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and/or Google Cloud Platform, you’ve most likely seen the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant on “Hyperscale Public Cloud MSP’s”. The analyst firm reviewed the global leaders in the Public Cloud Management space and listed them according to size, customers, service quality and scope, and global reach.
Nordcloud has been recognised in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Managed Service Providers (MSP), a global worldwide quadrant that’s the first of its kind. The Magic Quadrant positioned Nordcloud in the top right as one of the leaders of the Niche player quadrant in the ability to execute and completeness of vision. For a company of our size, despite growing in double and even triple-digit figures year-on-year, it is a significant milestone and achievement. It also confirms to all parties (us, our partners, and customers), that the strategy we’ve firmly set – becoming Europe’s #1 Managed Services provider for hyper-scale clouds – is being efficiently executed.
We went through the Gartner MQ process for the first time in the history of our company (it was also the first Magic Quadrant of its kind in being a genuinely global study for Hyperscale MSP’s) and therefore weren’t sure what to expect when the results finally came in.
Our first assumptions and expectations were that this study would be geared towards the largest global outsourcing companies, (ones that operate in the mode-1 styled controlled, regulated, and often not-so agile or DevOps manner). Alternatively, it would be a review on how many of these incumbents have been able to add support for the Cloud-Native ways of working and supporting business-critical workloads. In other words, your mode 2 of the bi-modal IT outsourcing landscape – Nordcloud’s sweet spot. It turned out it wasn’t either, but a very objective take of the leading players managing virtually any type of workloads in the public hyperscale clouds.
The Quadrant was comprised of some of the largest MSPs worldwide, whose service portfolios included stand-alone hyperscale public cloud managed services – making the heterogeneity of the Quadrants’ participants explicitly large. These were pure-play outsourcing companies, (public) cloud-only companies, integrators, and consulting companies. Overall, the emphasis was on companies with global business focus and headcount in the range of a thousand plus.
Part of the criteria for the Quadrant was whether the Hyperscale Cloud MSP’s had a global reach. In Nordcloud’s case, it is our long-term strategy to be the number one in Europe (and Europe only) in what we do.
As a purely European based MSP, we are focusing on customers having offices in Europe. This is a strategy and service quality driven decision. We are operating our managed services solely out of the European Union countries also. That is an aspect of our Managed Cloud (our brand name for our Managed Services) service delivery that we are explicitly proud of, as it offers a handful of often undervalued benefits to our customers:
Of course, we are well aware that not having a local presence in the Americas or the APAC region makes us appear less strong than the other MSP players. However, our focus is Europe, and thanks to this strategic decision, we do not want to compromise on our local presence. This, we hope, will make us more “local”, personal, and engaged with our customers who mean a lot to us. Without them, there would be no Nordcloud and we recognise and value this fact.
We seek customers with whom we can be strategic partners in their public cloud journey, rather than serialise the business. With Nordcloud, you will always be guaranteed to not only know us in person but in your own country too.
Ranking of any sort depends 100% on the used criteria. What we noticed with this particular Gartner review was, we were ranked against some businesses that weren’t, nor will be, the core of what we have chosen to do. These businesses had laser focus on:
We don’t run data centres, we don’t manage hybrid infrastructure, nor do we have offices on all continents of the globe. Our expertise lies in the Public Cloud, a strategic choice to maximise our excellence in a specialised yet expansive market. This grants assurance to our customers that we’ve no hidden agenda due to e.g. a legacy data center business.
It resonates well, too. The pace of winning new customers across Europe has never been this fast for us. Customers of all sizes and industries have public cloud on their core ICT strategy agenda and are selecting us to be the strategic partner for their successful cloud journeys. Therefore we’re on the Gartner Magic Quadrant for *global* hyperscale MSP for a good reason – hybrid and data center providers included – imagine that!
Some of the other metrics, where we might have lost positions towards the upper right corner, were managing regulated workloads and having a dedicated DBA expert offering 24/7. Seeing these criteria was an excellent assurance for us. Gartner’s view was that these are the things that a true leader in this domain must offer. What’s more, we’ve recently ramped up an R&D Center and are focusing exactly on such services and their launch by the end of the year.
Ultimately, any business’ success is based on the simple fact of how good their value proposition is, for their customers and market segment. It’s also how well they understand and solve the problems and needs of their customers.
Our strategic choice on our business focus remains; to be the undisputed #1 hyperscale public cloud MSP when it comes to customer satisfaction. We acknowledge this down to the core of our own corporate values (we call it the CODE), where the customer is at the center of everything. As the saying goes: “Do good and talk about it.” We promise to keep doing good (from a customer perspective) and to continuously improve, now also having systematic processes for doing so and being able to measure it.
When looking at customer satisfaction, we increasingly learn that what actually matters is not just our services. It is the people behind it and around it. Our people – our experts.
How can you be happy with a service, if your service delivery and communications are only in your sales deck? Would you trust someone who delays a deliverable for more than three times in a row, although he works for a leading MSP? Or someone who tells you what service level/package you need rather than letting you decide the scope based on your particular needs? I doubt it. That’s why we always do our very best to keep our people skilled, motivated, and customer-centric, rather than relying on processes and tooling alone.
If you’re a corporate, no matter how big or small, with regulated or non-regulated workloads, and are planning on moving into (or are already in!) the public cloud, I recommend you take a look at our offering. If we’re local to you, have a look at our MSP function and how we could help you accomplish your strategic goals for the public cloud.
Sometimes the picture doesn’t tell the whole story, but rather, the beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, as the saying goes. Keep watching our exciting journey to be the #1 in Europe, and thank you for all your continued to support. We can’t wait to see how our strategy execution progresses this year – stay tuned!
The leading European Managed Services Provider, Nordcloud, has been entered into the elite group of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Managed Service Providers.
In the context of this Magic Quadrant, Gartner has listed the worldwide leading public cloud infrastructure managed service providers, that offer both managed services and professional services related to infrastructure and platform operations for hyperscale integrated IaaS + PaaS providers — specifically, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
“We were invited by Gartner to the first of its kind Magic Quadrant and we felt privileged and extremely proud of the fact that Nordcloud is seen as one of the globally leading players in this fast-growing business. We are one of the few European cloud-native MSP’s with operations capabilities for all leading public cloud platforms”, says Esa Kinnunen, Nordcloud Group CEO.
In order to be eligible for Gartner’s Hyperscale MSP Magic Quadrant, an MSP must meet all of the following criteria:
Nordcloud emphasizes the role of automation throughout its managed services, and customers are encouraged to adopt a DevOps approach. The target customers are midsize businesses and enterprises based in and across Europe, whom Nordcloud is serving with a local country approach when it comes to sales, marketing, and service delivery.
According to Gartner, Nordcloud’s multicloud messaging resonates well, specifically with customers that appreciate using a single cloud broker to achieve cloud provider independence. Gartner identified only two areas of improvement. Number one; not having an in-house regular datacenter business (although Nordcloud collaborates with partners to deliver hybrid solutions), and number two; being a European focused provider (but with support for global multi-region deployments for global customers).
“We have worked with hundreds of enterprise customers to accelerate their time to value from the public cloud, and we aim to be the trusted partner on their digital transformation journey. This Gartner recognition is sealing our vision to be the leading European hyperscale Managed Services Provider. We’re also well on our way of executing our growth strategy, as in 2016 Nordcloud was ranked as the fastest growing technology company in Finland and one of the fastest growing technology companies in EMEA according to Deloitte”, highlights Ilja Summala, Nordcloud Group CTO.
This first-ever Public Cloud Infrastructure MSP Magic Quadrant report with global coverage was conducted by Gartner’s Ron Blair, Mike Dorosh, Michael Warrilow, Gregor Petri, and Lydia Leong. The report’s aim is to provide insight into the global field of Cloud MSP’s for hyperscale clouds and to serve as a fundamental source of independent information for existing and new customers on vendor capabilities to best select the most suitable industry leader in the correct geographic region(s).
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
Nordcloud is expanding operations in Finland with new offices in Oulu and Kuopio and growing its Helsinki and Jyväskylä operations...
To be accepted into the AWS MSP Program, partners must complete a rigorous, third-party validation audit, which covers a partner’s ability to plan, build, integrate, operate, optimise, and provide security on AWS. The AWS MSP Program builds on the expertise partners have developed and helps them evolve their managed services offerings on the AWS platform to deliver continuous innovation around security, DevOps, proactive monitoring, and streamlined management of their customers’ environments.
CTO of Nordcloud Group, Ilja Summala, said that “At Nordcloud, our goal is to help our customers transform their IT into agile, fast, and secure infrastructures powered by the public cloud. A big part of that is our Managed Cloud offering with our ability to build, monitor, and manage our customers’ environments 24/7. Our status as an AWS Premier Consulting Partner, combined with membership on the Managed Services Partner Program, is demonstration that we are able to deliver high value to our customers through our managed services on AWS.”
Nordcloud’s Managed Cloud offering is built upon a wide service portfolio, running 24/7, that covers incident management, security services, monitoring, back-up and disaster recovery, and cloud admins on demand. Our team of cloud-native experts bring experience from over 200 customer projects across numerous industries and countries since we were founded in 2011.
To learn more about our Managed Cloud portfolio and how Nordcloud can help you get the most out of AWS, contact us and a member of the Nordcloud team will be in touch with you shortly.