OnX targets Canada in $20 million cloud investment

OnX Enterprise Solutions Ltd. today announced a $20 million expansion of its cloud and data centre infrastructure, a move the Toronto-based company says will reinforce its position in the Canadian market.

The money will be used to make its data centres more robust and meet the “enterprise-grade” requirements of some its more demanding customers, said Mike Cardy, global CTO at OnX.

“We upgraded our facilities to what’s called a Tier 3 facility, which means completely redundant power supplies right from the mains going to the data centre, right to the individual assets within the racks themselves, and complete redundancy through UPS generators, cooling systems, etc.”

OnX is among a number of cloud providers that have begun to cater to clients interested in hybrid cloud deployments (the company prefers the term “federated cloud.”). The OnX Federated Cloud allows enterprises to integrate their on-premise data centres and private clouds with public cloud services.

“We feel that we want to give the clients in the market, the market in general, choice in terms of whether they consume IT  through the traditional approach or through a cloud-based services approach — deployment model, if you will,” said Cardy.
OnX has also recently opened several federated cloud centres of excellence, including one in Toronto, which are interactive demo centres where prospective clients can try out cloud computing with live data.

One of OnX’s clients is Privacy-Assured Inc., an Oakville, Ont.-based distributor of enterprise security software. When the company decided to offer a Ziften desktop quality-of-service application, it turned to the OnX cloud because of the small initial investment required and its scalability for clients.

“The sales cycles in these product areas can take years, and if not, at minimum, many months, so a lot of companies are really strapped for being able to have enough resources today,” said Brian Roemmele, CEO of Privacy-Assured.

Privacy-Assured’s MSP is hosted by OnX and it is also partnering with the cloud provider to offer several of its security products. Roemmele said OnX’s strong emphasis on serving health care clients was a key reason for choosing it.

“We took our highest requirement area, which just happens to be health care, and is the most demanding,” says Roemmele. One thing many organizations in Canada “aren’t too excited about,” he said, is having their data hosted outside of the country. “We wanted a Canadian company whose facilities were here in Canada..”

Roemmele says another reason his company found OnX appealing as a provider was because of its size and the breadth of its offerings compared to smaller Canadian firms his company had initially considered. “They just didn’t have the expertise level we were looking for,” he said.

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