"Data Center Operating System" by gridscale
29.04.2019 I Author: Dr. Stefan Riedl
The term "skills shortage" is controversial because it is politically charged. Nevertheless, good people are always hard to come by. gridscale wants to free up the working time of IT specialists for other tasks through automation in the data centre.
As CEO and founder, Henrik Hasenkamp has long-term plans with gridscale. Part of this is a three-stage go-to-market approach, which is now reaching stage three. "As a first step, we directly marketed our offering as a public cloud to demonstrate the performance of our technology. The second step was to establish a channel in the form of partnerships with system houses, digital agencies, system integrators and telecommunications providers," said the entrepreneur. Partners had access to a white label offerings. Now comes the third step: "We are bringing our entire software stack onto the market as a data center operating system - directly and indirectly - for colocation tenants or data center operators. The working title for the data center operating system is "gridscale Hybrid Core," but it may still change. Direct business is to be retained in addition to the channel. "Because the direct line to customers is very important to us in the development of the software. This way, unfiltered input comes into our product development, which shows what is going well, where improvements need to be made and what customers want," explains Hasenkamp.
Hyperscale-Workloads im Datacenter
Ultimately, software is about making the operation of data centers running hyperscale workloads autonomous. These workloads include Hadoop applications, hosted web applications, virtual desktops in the cloud, SAP databases, Kubernetes-based development environments, and classic Exchange servers. According to Hasenkamp, the technology has been operating the company's own data centers virtually autonomously since 2015. "If there are problems with the hardware that our system recognizes in advance on the basis of statistics - sometimes the big word AI is also used for this - our software intervenes and ensures that our customers notice nothing," says the CEO. Of course, if a fan or disk fails, a service technician is required. However, there is no hurry for tasks that have been initiated with foresight, so that the service technician can intervene in his/her own time: "Tomorrow, next week, in a year", says Hasenkamp. According to Hasenkamp, there have never been problems with automation - the core task of the software - at any point in the three years.
To the "DNA" of gridscale
"In terms of corporate DNA, we are a software manufacturer," says Hasenkamp. Because of the IaaS and PaaS offerings, however, the company also acts as a cloud provider at the same time. According to Hasenkamp, many virtualization and cloud projects fail because the players fail to understand what can be automated. The data center operating system is supposed to be in this notch. "One of our customers said that the biggest cost advantage of our solution was that he could easily shut down the virtualized systems after work and then restart them on the next working day," says Hasenkamp. "Admins tell us they're counting on not getting an error message on the weekend. That's nice."
Of course, the question also arises as to whether automation makes IT staff unemployed. "I see it quite differently," says the CEO. "We don't replace jobs with software, but change the content of the jobs. Experienced sysadmins who were responsible for the maintenance of a cluster, for example, are sought-after experts who can then be used, for example, in the area of cloud architecture. So we're helping the IT professionals who are in demand and talented to take care of new, modern, exciting and diverse projects, instead of having to worry about defective hardware or software somewhere."
gridscale currently has 43 employees, most of whom are based at its headquarters in Cologne. Over the next year and a half, the company intends to cautiously expand into other EU countries