The German "Initiative SMB" is interviewing gridscale, winner of the Innovation Prize IT 2017 in the category "servers & virtualization", regarding gridscale's SMB cloud hosting solution.
1. Can you describe your solution in three striking sentences?
gridscale offers its customers a highly automated cloud infrastructure with an availability guarantee of 100%. The infrastructure is characterized by freely selectable components, e.g. storage, network resources, and much more. As a result, the solution differentiates itself from providers such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure in terms of flexibility and availability.
2. What is the innovative aspect of your IT solution?
gridscale brings intelligence to the management of IT infrastructure and achieves a previously unachievable performance and availability through the use of modern algorithms. Combined with hardware certified for enterprise use and ISO-certified data centers in Germany, the user has four major advantages:
- Intuitive usability: Complex infrastructure is deployed in less than five seconds.
- Flexible scalability: Arbitrary CPU, RAM, SSD and network resources are billed to the minute and scaled independently as required.
- 100% availability: With modern algorithms and artificial intelligence in the management of infrastructure, gridscale achieves 100% availability - the so-called "zero-down-time" guarantee.
- Client and whitelabel capability: gridscales multi-client area enables central administration of departments, customers and projects via a modern web application. This is an ideal way of mapping business processes (eg. authorization concepts and cost centers).
3. Why does a SMB company need a solution like yours and what does it offer to medium-sized companies?
Small and medium-sized enterprises in particular want a partner who is able to pursue modern approaches in the field of information technology while at the same time ensuring the high German data protection standards.
Most offers in the cloud and hosting market overwhelm the user with high complexity. This makes the success of a cloud strategy dependent on experts, which are often not available.
gridscale solves this problem with a multiple-award-winning and intuitive user interface. Users are guided through all questions of modern IT infrastructure and can simply reuse existing and established concepts (for example in the area of network, firewall and load balancing). The translation of these concepts into the language of the cloud infrastructure is completely done by gridscale. As a result, there is no need for training when switching from conventional IT to gridscale, and success in the operation of modern IT infrastructures is a matter of moments.
However, gridscale's customers not only emphasize the high data security, the ISO-certified data locations and the intuitive usability: Thanks to the most qualitative hardware available on the market (e.g. HP, Samsung, SuperMicro, Juniper, Intel), gridscale ensures tremendous stability of the entire platform. gridscale is thus suitable both for temporarily very high computing loads and for the long-term, reliable operation of IT infrastructure.
4. How long did the development of your innovative solution take and what are your plans for further optimization measures?
The gridscale team launched the core product - the world's simplest IaaS solution - in autumn 2015 after one year of development. Since then the company has been growing steadily and has already won several awards. Since the launch in 2015, the team has developed a multi-client solution for large customers (MDAX / DAX), which in turn want to manage clients, map business processes and cost centers, and want to ensure authorization concepts. Several platform services, e.g. load balancer, firewall-as-a-service, object storage and simple cloud automation followed at short intervals.
The other technical roadmap includes container-as-a-service and serverless infrastructure as well as other platform services such as database, IOT, and machine-learning-as-a-service.
6. In your opinion, what is the role of "innovation" for SMEs?
The medium-sized and long-term success of established business models will determine the innovative power of German SMEs. Especially the agility of processes and structures is an important part of every company strategy. This necessary agility has a particularly strong effect on the IT infrastructure. Because what help is the best idea and the best concept if the realization takes too much time due to outdated processes and structures? In the field of cloud infrastructure, gridscale can help companies to map this agility in their IT processes. With an agile IT infrastructure, for example, the time-to-market of new ideas and new products is significantly reduced, which leads companies to gain important competitive advantages compared to others.
7. How does your company manage to remain innovative?
For gridscale, there are two key factors to remain successful and innovative in the long term: automation and proximity to the users. gridscale is already nearly 100% automated today. The highest possible automation guarantees consistent quality and eliminates human errors. Freed up personal capacities are used in a targeted manner in order to attract customer feedback and to constantly orient the platform further to the customer's needs. This strong focus on automation and customer benefit ensures that gridscale can continue to expand its technological advantage.
8. What are your future plans?
As explained above, gridscales product portfolio is continually expanded. The development also concerns gridscale's data center sites. The focus is on Europe-wide internationalization as well as locations in the USA and Asia. (The original article (German) can be found here.)