We are to announce that we have been listed for a second consecutive year in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 for 2014.
Tech Track identifies private UK tech companies with the fastest-growing sales between 2011 to 2014. 4sl’s sales grew by nearly 42.08% per annum over the period.
Barnaby Mote, CEO of 4sl, commented: “We are really proud of this achievement. Not only is this the second year we have featured in the Tech Track 100, but this is testament to our customers’ recognition of our focus on a service led approach to meeting their desired business outcomes.
For more information on this year’s list and to view The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 supplement, visit the Fast Track website.
4sl, announce that Martin van Roon has been appointed Director for Northern Europe.
Martin’s role is the latest appointment to 4sl’s EMEA operation and reflects its growing importance to the company as 4sl continues to expand its presence in Europe. As Director for Northern Europe, Martin will initially concentrate on building relationships with customers and channel partners, which offers the company a proven route into the market.
Martin is a dedicated sales professional, with expert knowledge of the Northern European market. He joins 4sl after almost eight years at CommVault, where for much of that time he served as International Strategic Accounts Director.
On Martin’s appointment, 4sl CEO, Barnaby Mote said: “Martin will be a crucial part of our EMEA team. He brings an outstanding track record and breadth of experience that will help to expand our reach in Northern Europe. I’m eager to work closely with him to realise the full potential of that market.”
Martin’s previous experience at CommVault Systems, as well as ADIC, OpenWave and SGI, demonstrates a proven track record of growing revenue in highly competitive markets.
Martin said: “4sl is at the forefront of data management services and I’m absolutely thrilled I’ll be bringing it to the Northern European market. I’m looking forward to working closely with partners and customers to help the company grow in this region.”
Martin took up his role at 4sl in August 2014 and is based in The Netherlands.
We are delighted to announce that we have been placed 37th in the prestigious Sunday Times / Hiscox Tech Track 2013.
Tech Track identifies private UK tech companies with the fastest-growing sales between 2009 to 2012. 4sl’s sales grew by nearly 87% per annum over the
Barnaby Mote, CEO of 4sl, commented: “This is a great fillip for us and recognition of the tremendous amount of hard work and the sacrifices made by all our staff over the last few years. I’d also like to thank our clients for giving us the opportunity to work with them and I look forward to continuing to make a positive impact on their businesses.”
For more information on this year’s list and to view The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 supplement, visit the Fast Track website.
4sl is pleased to announce a partnership with Arkivum, the data archiving specialist, and its 100% data integrity guaranteed digital archiving service.
Jim Cook, Arkivum CEO, says: “4sl is a specialist in the backup market which is an ideal entry point to introduce digital data archiving into a customer’s storage strategy. It is commonplace for over 80% of expensive enterprise storage to be utilized by unchanging and infrequently accessed data. This data can be easily migrated to a cost effective digital data archive service such as Arkivum where data is guaranteed, secure and simple to access. Consequently we are looking forward to working with 4sl and its clients to deliver an effective tiered storage solution that will secure their long term data, reduce backup windows and make their storage expenditure work a lot harder.”
4sl CEO, Barnaby Mote commented: “With the likes of Amazon S3 demonstrating just how low cost and flexible cloud storage can be, the enterprise is desperate to find a similar solution with a decent service level that is orders of magnitude cheaper than a traditional on-premise storage deployment. We’re delighted to partner with Arkivum to add cloud archiving to our cloud backup and storage portfolio. The point about cloud is that’s it’s supposed to be flexible and easy to deploy and in that regard the Arkivum service fits the bill whilst providing an enterprise SLA. Our free 30-day trial will also be extended to include cloud archiving.”
Arkivum offers the only archiving solution to provide 100% guaranteed data integrity. It uses data tape, which consumes very little energy, making it one of the greenest technologies available for the data centre.
Founded in 2011, Arkivum specialises in the management and storage of an organisation’s information assets. Arkivum delivers systems that can intelligently manage content to efficiently store and retrieve data over the long term while offering a highly cost effective solution, with low up-front investment and zero risk.
Arkivum was formed as a spin-out from the University of Southampton. With a world-class reputation in the field of digital preservation, the University has been working for over a decade to develop best practice for the safe keeping of digital data over the long term. With on-going links to the University, Arkivum has direct access to state-of-the-art research and this is complemented with a team that has in-depth experience in datacentre operations and storage system implementation.
Arkivum provides a completely transparent data archiving service and its approach to data safety and security is simple; it keeps multiple copies of customers’ data in secure UK data centres and actively manages its integrity to ensure it remains in bit-perfect condition all the time. Arkivum relies on proven storage technology and open standards to deliver fast and efficient online access. The company’s unique solution is the only system available on the market which guarantees 100% data integrity.
More information can be found at http://www.arkivum.com/
As a leading supplier of enterprise-class infrastructure services, 4sl is pleased to announce that their managed and cloud backup / archive services have been approved through the UK Government’s latest cloud framework G-cloud-iii. It aims to transform the way that Government uses information and communications technology allowing departments to buy leading technology solutions quickly and cost efficiently.
G-Cloud suppliers offer a range of ‘cloud-based’ software, infrastructure, platform and consultancy services to prospective buyers through a web-based portal known as ‘CloudStore’.
Stuart Tarrant, 4sl Director added “By proving our capabilities as one of the UK’s leading Managed and Cloud backup providers we are delighted to have been approved for G-Cloud. We can now offer government agencies the same benefits of ease of use, cost savings and performance levels that our enterprise customers enjoy.“
CloudStore provides some assurance to buyers that suppliers have been assessed and selected against Government procurement standards and that their services offer efficiency gains and value for money.
For more information about how we can help you:
- Go direct to the G-Cloud backup page.
- Call us on 0203 307 1030
- Discover our full range of storage and backup services.
Cloud backup may be the answer for your future data protection needs, but what about your historical data?
You’ve still got to store the tapes and keep the infrastructure going for restores, costing almost as much it does today.
Offloading all the hassle and expense of your legacy backups could take years – literally.
Our “Stop Using Tapes” service deals with this problem in a stroke.
We take on your infrastructure and provide a legacy restore capability alongside your new cloud solution, priced per GB per month:
|Your drivers||Our solution||Benefits|
|Datacentre space is not at a premium24 hours is acceptable for legacy restoresLowest possible cost||Your infrastructure stays in your datacentre but your tapes move to our storage facilities.We buy all your equipment and licences from you at Net Book Value so you don’t have to worry about a write off cost.You novate your hardware and software maintenance agreements to us and terminate your tape management contract.You free up your backup operators for other activities.If you need a restore, we ship the tape to you within 24 hours, you load it and we carry out the restore process remotely.||Typically 30% savings versus keeping legacy restore capability going in house.One supplier responsible for your entire backup and recovery process.Predicatable opex cost for legacy restores (for as long as they are required)|
|Your drivers||Our solution||Benefits|
|Concerned about deterioration and/or security of your tapes.Want to get all backup infrastructure out of your datacentre.Need fast legacy restoresLess sensitive to cost||We import your tape data into our disk-based cloud.You re-use any backup servers for other purposes.We buy the remaining infrastructure and licences at Net Book Value to avoid a write off cost.You novate your hardware and software maintenance agreements to us and terminate your tape management contract.You free up your backup operators for other activities.Restores are carried out within one hour under the same SLA as our cloud service.||One supplier responsible for your entire backup and recovery process.One consistent SLAIncreased reliability and speed of legacy restores free up datacentre spacePredicatable opex cost for legacy restores|
Corporate data is a business asset.
Many business executives would agree with this and recognise that getting data protection wrong can lead to serious business, financial and operational implications. But many organizations don’t identify critical vulnerabilities in their existing methods until disaster strikes.
Data protection has traditionally simply meant ‘backup and recovery’ which in and of itself, has often been viewed as offering no tangible business value.
But with increased threat levels from external and internal data loss, security breaches and greater demands on compliance and risk management, that view has changed. Also, recent pressure for IT departments to offer more pay-as-you-go utility services using virtualisation and cloud computing techniques is forcing many organisations to think differently about backup & recovery.
We see four common challenges to the traditional backup:
Data Growth – even conservative estimates of 25% structured data grow per annum (with unstructured at over 50%) mean that existing solutions can’t scale and even if they could, budgets just can’t keep pace.
Server Virtualisation – the success of doing more with less has concentrated compute and I/O power into fewer physical resources. This exacerbates the problem of getting data out of the physical platforms in a timely manner.
Cost Pressures – with ongoing reductions in CAPEX and OPEX, IT delivery and operational models have become more efficient but many organisational silos still exist. For example groups responsible for high availability, backup/recovery, archive, disaster recovery, etc. can often still be rationalised.
Complexity of Storage Solutions – the range of technologies and products (e.g. block/SAN, IP/NAS, public/private clouds, deduplication etc.) has left many
customers confused as to how to build out an efficient operating model.
“We are moving to a model where user and corporate datasets and all associated components are protected as a whole and delivered through a utility service.”
Stuart Tarrant – 4sl Founder
The new backup machine – Data Protection as a Service (DPaaS)
Changing the way backup’s been done for years can be a challenge but it’s not necessarily a technical one, it often requires overcoming cultural tensions, politics, and setting proper business goals. Backup systems have been positioned through vendors as products. However, the DPaaS model radically changes the way we should view the relationship with vendors; the service should drive the solution which determines the underlying components, their products and ultimately the supplier.
A well-defined, menu-based set of data protection services that are clearly articulated and communicated throughout the organisation is fundamental to delivering more efficient IT and ultimately utility services.
Although it’s a non-trivial task – defining a formal Service Level Agreement (SLA) governing performance, availability and recovery/response aligned to business requirements along with standardising on backup policies for example – adopting a service management style model for data protection offers significant benefits. It enables the business to determine the service level required which helps identify the infrastructure components, data protection levels and performance characteristics that the solution needs to offer. Also, as with any utility offering, cost is aligned to the service tier and pricing can be identified and offered on a per unit basis.
Putting IT on the front foot
CIOs are increasingly frustrated by infrastructure that lives in silos. Data protection strategies that rely on leading with technologies rather than services are becoming outdated. According to Gartner, by 2015, over two thirds of IT organisations will be delivering some form of IT-as-a-service where self-service, pay-as-you-go transparency and simplified IT are characteristics. With data protection as a service, IT organisations can get on the front foot by reducing complexity, eliminate one-off solutions, minimise stovepipes and present a portfolio of reliable and trusted infrastructure services to support business users and applications.
CIOs outsource for a variety of reasons: better service performance, lower costs, greater efficiency and, in a few cases, to be seen as the executive making an impact. Irrespective of the rationale, most share a common expectation that their outsource partners will offer creative and innovative solutions throughout the contract. This was highlighted in a 2009 survey by Forrester Research which found that over 40% of organisations outsourcing IT services cited the lack of innovation or continuous improvement as their greatest challenge with vendors. With most IT suppliers recognising that the development of innovative and creative solutions is critical to their success, where does the problem lie? Often it simply comes down to organisations not articulating what is expected by way of innovation from their outsourcing vendor. This can be resolved by drawing on a technique from the IT Service Management toolkit, namely the Service Improvement Plan (or SIP). The SIP can provide the basis for an innovative response provided that the requirement is well defined, the context is set correctly and there is a means of measuring success.
Defining the requirement In other words, articulate the question to which you think innovation is the answer. To provide real value, innovation must be defined in the context of business objectives – it may be transformation efforts that improve shareholder value or create a level of strategic or tactical advantage. For business stakeholders, this could result in increased sales or improved customer satisfaction. Only with that level of understanding can an innovation discussion be clarified.
Regardless of the services or technology you need, or your information requirements, cloud computing solutions are increasingly cited as the answer to IT problems. Gartner estimates that the global cloud computing market will skyrocket to $150 billion by 2013, but with widespread concerns over security and service continuity, are such forecasts simply cloud cuckoo land?
The cloud is a combination of computing systems provided over the network through an ‘on-demand’ commercial model. Hosted computer facilities and resources are often blended to enable users to benefit from IT services without the need for costly, dedicated infrastructure.
So who is entering the cloud? It’s currently an immature market: LaunchPad Europe found that almost 50% of businesses said they are not using or planning to use cloud technologies within the next 12 months, citing security concerns as the primary deterrent.
Growth will be fastest in the consumer and SME market, rather than large enterprise and government. And uptake will vary widely from region to region due to the need for robust, mature networks and power infrastructure: North America and Western Europe are the biggest users of cloud and will be for many years. In the medium term, the developing world will begin to catch up, as cloud solutions are ideal where organisations’ proprietary hardware and software bases are that much smaller.
At some point the benefits of cloud will be just too overwhelming to resist, despite the risks. Awareness has increased in the last two years, as the challenging economic climate has motivated organisations to develop a cloud strategy or at least consider cloud solutions in response to the buzz.
Our view is that cloud is a solution just like any other, and organisations should be clear about their current and future needs in order to articulate the right questions before being told that the cloud is the answer.