Dimension Data is a global player in the enterprise cloud industry. It competes with the biggest tech brands in the world and one of its critical engineering centres is right here in Dublin.
The Dublin office used to be an Irish firm called LaCayla and it was bought over by US cloud company OpSource. They were so impressed by the developers in their new Dublin office that they moved their global engineering centre to Dublin.
Later, when Dimension Data bought over OpSource they kept their new Irish team at the centre of the action.
This is in-line with a trend among US investors who are deciding to set-up high value parts of their software development operations in Ireland; which is great news for the local engineering talent pool. They get the opportunity to work in the highest tiers of the coding profession.
Managed Cloud Platform
Back in 2012, Dimension Data rolled out its cloud computing suite that’s allowing it to compete with the biggest players in enterprise cloud market.
At the core of the offering is the Managed Cloud Platform. This is a blueprint for all of the company’s enterprise cloud solutions. It’s designed to offer flexibility to customers.
The platform delivers Compute-as-a-Service (CaaS) in a variety of configurations; CaaS is available on shared and private as well as hybrid platforms. The resources available include data storage, RAM and processing power.
The company can even deliver the service from the client’s own data centre, which can be built for them by Dimension Data, if that’s what they want. And many enterprise firms do prefer this kind of solution because of a number of issues they have to consider, like infrastructure integration, security and their own specific industrial regulation compliance.
The private option includes the same range of computing resources and services on offer from the public cloud option; the quantity is pre-determined and it’s hosted in the client’s data centre.
Other options in Dimension’s portfolio include a hosted private CaaS, where the same services are delivered to the client but in a data centre built for exclusive use by the client and hosted by Dimension Data. The closely related “Provider” option offers cloud services branded with the client’s own brand but delivered from a Dimension Data centre.
Because of this breadth of product options, Dimension build a lot of data centres. In their 9 global regional markets they have 26 data centres including those private centres built for clients. Dublin has a crucial function in this complex data centre operation.
They develop the company’s CloudControl software which allows the client to manage their cloud solution whatever type it might be, public, private or hybrid.
CloudControl is designed to cover just about all the customer’s needs; Dimension Data itself says that it offers “complete automation of the orchestration, administration, provisioning, management, support, metering and billing of cloud-based resources”.
The software suite is made up of 5 components. The first is the User Interface (UI) that allows clients to sign-up for the CaaS and manage their cloud solution by, for example, adding or taking away servers to or from the platform; most compute resources can be configured by the client as the need arises.
As well as this resource orchestration, the customer can automate load-balancing and configure firewalls with the UI. Users can also import, export and clone images to and from the cloud.
The UI’s design is different from an interface that might be used by consumers. In this case the users are system administrators and infrastructure engineers employed by the client.
It sits on top of the second component to the cloud management platform: the Application Programmable Interface (API). The RESTfulAPI is used by the UI itself and everything done via the UI can be done directly through the API.
The third element to CloundControl is an integration component that enables the client to communicate with the cloud networking infrastructure and virtualisation layer. This is done via a webservices layer.
The usage component is fourth on the CloudControl’s list of constituent elements. It tracks billable events, or customer usage of the cloud services. This means billing can be 100% accurate. The fifth component is a billing and reporting engine that generates usage reports and bills.
The Dublin team in Dimension Data are doing their part to ensure that the city is a major centre in the cloud industry and that it’s at the heart of the revolution, where the IT function is being streamed on a global scale as a range of services. The city is in an ideal place to benefit from increasingly mobile tech capital and big IT companies looking for high quality talent pools to establish their engineering centres.