Considering Cloud

Paul Plauche, IT Director, Turner Industries

As a rapidly growing provider for heavy industrial construction, maintenance, module and vessel fabrication as well as heavy hauling across nine offices in the Southern US, we were faced with a common IT problem when it came to meeting the data center needs for our business growth — build a new facility or outsource.

Initially we hosted our own data center in our corporate headquarters, but as we grew we had concerns about building out due to the cyclicality of the construction business. We decided to save our real estate for our employees who contribute to our customers’ success and move the datacenter to a more flexible operating expense.

We first turned to Venyu for disaster recovery co-location services, but as time went on we turned to Venyu as our primary data center co-location provider. With Venyu, we were able to realize:

*Significant savings in new data center infrastructure capital costs by leveraging an operational expense model

*Flexibility to support nationwide deployments

*Ability to run all production business applications from Venyu –and rely on uptime of ERP, CRM, File Services and email with zero disruption

*Physical and network security protection, disaster recovery, and a wide range of environmental controls including smoke detection, fire suppression, and redundant cooling controls – with the ability to weather natural disasters

As our relationship with Venyu evolves and we consider moving to cloud services, our question has once again become: Do we build it or buy it?  There are three main areas we look at when trying to untie this Gordian Knot:


  1. Perception of Key Stakeholders – It’s true, most of them involved in this decision don’t have the depth of cloud knowledge. It’s the project champion’s responsibility to inform everyone with the reasons, pro’s, con’s, and risks of the shift. This allows everyone to be heard, address issues, and avoid misinformation and rumor mills.
  2. Control – In your own data center, you might not have to worry about locked cages, people seeing your hardware, or someone interfering with your cable. You can be as relaxed or as rigid as you want to be. In a tenant environment, it all runs under the same rules. That is a difficult concept for certain personalities to contend with.
  3. Security – The complexity of the IT security field is growing very rapidly. The closer you get to being in a shared pool of resources, there will need to be a mutual understanding between the tenant and the customer around security of the shared resources.

Reasons why cloud services are needed include:

  • Use valuable real estate for employees or more business related needs
  • Running out of physical space or power
  • Power and air conditioning costs are too high
  • Needed a more scalable option
  • Desire to move off of tape backup
  • Storage is running low

Cloud-based services are one of the best methods for companies to enhance their IT infrastructures. However, when it comes to outsourcing, while it is advantageous to adapt to new technology, it is also wise to address concerns so as to avoid the possibility of misunderstanding and false expectations.