Hybrid Infrastructure

July 01, 2021

Danny Hook, Director Enterprise at Gibtelecom discusses the benefits of hybrid infrastructure.

Over recent years we have seen a transition from dedicated infrastructure to what is commonly referred to as Cloud or IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), but first a little background as to how we have got to where we are today. 

Historically companies in the iGaming industry were founded by a combination of technical knowledge and business entrepreneurship, a winning combination in many cases. Typically, the founders of these first entrants into the eGaming landscape were very hands on, they wanted to manage and control their own infrastructure. This and the establishment of gaming friendly jurisdictions led to the rise in “offshore” data centres in places like Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Malta, Kahnawake and Curacao. Companies were looking for regulated jurisdictions to host their infrastructure which resulted in the boom in co-location services. 

As the companies and the industry matured new entrants entered the market with predominantly business plans. These companies didn’t want to be hands on and we witnessed the emergence of managed services or managed infrastructure. The data centres became responsible for maintaining the equipment, hardware support, cyber security requirements and managing any networking, allowing the gaming companies to concentrate on their core business and marketing to their customers.

At this point the data centre providers to the industry were still predominantly based in the off-shore licensing jurisdictions. Global data centre providers often operated on a real estate model or on a scale that could not be applied in these jurisdictions with many of them having geographic challenges. Another underlying factor preventing their entrance into the market was their ownership’s (often US based) reluctance to get involved with the gaming industry.

With the increase in regulated markets in Europe and more recently a number of the US States, many of the Hyperscale Providers changed their policies and began to welcome the gaming industry. In computing, hyperscale is the ability of an architecture to scale appropriately as increased demand is added to the system, global providers include companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

During these regulatory changes, many of the industry’s established data centre providers developed cloud solutions that sat alongside the existing hosted infrastructure. Some jurisdictions were slow to regulate cloud solutions, with technology outpacing regulation – a classic case of the dog wagging the tail!

What we have ended up with is a complete mixture of infrastructures: Co-location, Managed Services, Private and Public cloud. Many of these solutions are distributed across different locations to either service a market or due to regulation.

What we are seeing today is the bringing together of these infrastructures to provide a global solution or what we today call hybrid infrastructure. Most people tend to talk about hybrid cloud which is a combination of public and private clouds. A hybrid infrastructure can consist of any mix of Co-location, Managed Services, Private and Public cloud in any location and from multiple service providers. Preferably these distributed locations are connected using private connections, thereby increasing the security and service levels.

Companies are using distributed infrastructure depending on their operational requirements, legal requirements and cost benefits. Using an off-shore location for product development doesn’t make sense but keeping sensitive player data makes perfect sense to use the location where they are licensed, the latter is probably also a regulatory requirement.

Many companies will be able to offer you a selection of the services I have described, but choosing a company that can offer you an end to end solution makes more business sense. At Gibtelecom we are able to offer co-location, managed services and the full range of Cloud solutions at all of our locations with the added benefit of a global private network that connects Europe, Africa, Middle East and the Far East. In addition to the data centre we launched in Malaysia in May we are further expanding our data centre foot print with at least two more European locations this year. 

Most cloud providers will be able to offer specific products for connecting with the hyperscale providers, at Gibtelecom we provide a Cloud Connect service that allows companies hosted in any of our global data centres to connect directly with any of the global hyperscale providers, creating a hybrid cloud or infrastructure solution.

If anything, the last 12 months has highlighted the advantages of hybrid infrastructure solutions for companies to integrate new and legacy systems, bring distributed offices and home workers closer together. 

Article featured in Gambling Insider June - July 2021

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