Queensland's iSeek buys NetApp to fire up local alternative to AWS, Azure

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Queensland's iSeek buys NetApp to fire up local alternative to AWS, Azure

Queensland-based cloud, connectivity and co-location provider iSeek Communications has built an object-based storage (OBS) service through an investment in NetApp StorageGRID Webscale.

The provider hopes OBS will give it a state-centric competitive play against hyperscale cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services and Azure by guaranteeing customer data "remains safe and secure in its Queensland data centres, and compliant with regulations".

"Our big differentiator is the majority of cloud providers fleece people on the way out. People put their data into the cloud and then when they want to pull it out, that is when they get hurt," chief operating officer Ian Porter told CRN. "Our proposition is if you put it on our cloud and you are on our network, it does not cost anything to take it out."

Porter said it was "a niche offering in Queensland".

"The big players aren't here. We are never going to be a big player in cloud to the same scale as AWS or Azure but we will have got a niche in the market that we can satisfy our customers in Queensland."

AWS' Australian data centre footprint is solely in Sydney, where it has multiple points of predence, while Microsoft has Azure availability zones in Sydney and Melbourne.


iSeek had historically used Hitachi Data Systems as its single storage supplier, but "decided to spread our wings as far as vendors go", said Porter.

"We looked at all the alternatives and NetApp just seemed to be the best option at the time – technically, commercially, they have a good product with a good model."

He added that iSeek would continue to look for a multi-vendor mix. "We will certainly not be walking away in HDS in any way shape or form."

The company runs two data centres in the Queensland capital: one in Woolloongabba and the other in Eagle Farm, with a 24/7 support team in its Brisbane network operations centre.

According to an announcement from the vendor, StorageGRID Webscale is the vendor's "foundational platform in NetApp’s approach to object storage".

Steve Manley, vice president at NetApp South Pacific, said: "We are delighted at the opportunity to work with an Australian company to help it get the most from its strategic IT investments for data management that delivers the speed, security, and scalability needed.

"Leveraging over 10 years of enterprise object-storage experience, StorageGRID Webscale provides a foundation for software-defined, globally distributed object stores with policies that enable IT to govern data placement and protection worldwide."

Queensland has been prime hunting ground for NetApp, given that Brisbane-headquartered software company TechnologyOne recently selected NetApp's Private Storage.

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