INTERVIEW Dade2 – “The Only Real Risk with Cloud is Still Having Data On-Prem”

With a team of IT management experts and project managers operating out of London, United Kingdom, Dade2 provides its managed cloud hosting and data center services to mid-sized and large companies across the world. Reckoning a vertical such as the financial sector to its client base, sat down with the company’s CEO Manuel Trongone to learn more about current cloud trends on a global scale as identified by Dade2.

“Nowadays most of our customers are running a hybrid IT infrastructure, maintaining on-prem only old software that is planned to be discontinued in the upcoming years, or applications that have to run on extremely low latencies between the offices. Some of them are slowing down the cloud adoption just to be sure they are fully using previous hardware investments and to reach break-even or EOL before doing a complete switchover. Since we started in 2009, our mission has been clear: helping companies of any size and vertical in this journey to move their workloads to cloud. With a roughly estimate I can now easily say that 80% of the computing power of our customers is already in cloud.”

As a managed hosting provider going all in on cloud, Dade2 was founded 10 years ago. What are the main product values and market differentiators offered by Dade2?

“No doubt on this: support. I may talk about the obsession we have to always find the right balance between high performance and stability. I may mention our attractive pricing model or the deep customizations we do for our clients. But overall, the high level of support and human touch we bring with us, is what makes us different. Finding a cloud services company who helps you end-to-end in your cloud journey is not an easy task.”

“Ideally, you would like to have an MSP help you with the very first assessment of your IT infrastructure, preferably on site, and deliver a concept of a new or improved architecture in a matter of days. Then you would expect this MSP to prepare your migration timeline; perform the migration on your behalf and support; and maintain and upgrade your infrastructure in the cloud. That’s exactly what Dade2 does, that’s our modus operandi.”

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Manuel Trongone
Manuel Trongone, CEO and founder of Dade2

It seems like Dade2 is specifically targeting the high-end cloud services market, with offerings like CTO as-a-service, cloud architecture, cloud compliance auditing, and cloud brokerage. Why this focus on the enterprise/high-end market?

“I have to raise an objection here. It’s true that we’re offering high-end cloud services, but our scope is to bring the same high-quality to any SME. In our portfolio we’ve companies listed on the NYSE as well as one-man-show companies. Our goal is to put the same attention and guidance in every single job we take onboard. At the end of a project we’ll leave both of them, SME and enterprise clients with the same feeling of satisfaction. Our experience in the enterprise market gives us the tools and the confidence to approach any project with a creative mindset. We’re always trying to identify opportunities for technical improvement or for budget saving.”

What is the value of hyperscalers within your cloud offerings?

“When Google and Amazon joined the hosting and cloud industry, they have flattened a market that was before divided and diversified in a very large and heterogeneous constellation of small and medium providers, everyone with their own peculiarities and expertise. That’s where we found the inspiration and even more opportunities than before. The big players helped all of us in creating a buzz and transforming what was a niche market in a mass market, dragging even the most conservative businesses to the cloud era. I can safely say that there’s more need than ever among smaller firms to accelerate their journey to the cloud and be closer to their customers through the adoption of cloud.”

What are the risks of migrating your whole IT infrastructure to cloud, and what is still the value of on-premise deployments?

“For an average company the only real risk is still having data on-prem. When your IT infrastructure is just to support your day-to-day activities, it can be very easy to overlook some important details, like backups, integrity of the data, security patches and policies, data that can be stolen, the physical security of the perimeter, etc.”

“That said, from time to time, we still meet and assess companies running mainframe systems, AS400 and ‘custom-made’ Cobol applications that have very limited cloud portability. That’s the only case where we strongly advise to maintain these systems in-house and start a soft hybrid cloud approach. With a more structured team and together with partners we can then prepare for a digital transformation project.”

Dade2 also delivers its managed cloud services to financials. What specific/unique requirements do financials have when it comes to cloud infrastructures? And how does it relate to other market verticals served by Dade2?

“One of the main verticals that we have on-board is the financial sector. Banks, FinTech and Money Remittance companies demand a very high privacy level, which our data center under the Icelandic legislation provides. Irrespective of legislation, our expertise in highly customized private cloud environments is what the financial sector is looking for when they decide to move part of their infrastructure outside of their premises. The ability of our engineers to go to a customer on-site, evaluate the project, and prepare a proper testing environment is what make clients comfortable to go with a cloud solution. Their ability to visit and monitor their installations via cameras in our data center also adds to an enjoyable experience. We bring the same efforts, knowledge and privacy attention to customers of any vertical, to make sure they can always work in the best possible environment for their needs.”

When it comes to trends like IoT, AI, machine learning, deep learning, and edge data centers, how will this impact your managed cloud services business in the near future?

“Here at Dade2 we decided to focus on two main trends: Managed Big Data and Edge Datacenters. This year we got on-board several Hadoop and Devops engineers to be able to not only provide our customers with the needed infrastructure for their big data projects, but also to offer them all the onboarding consulting and the expert maintenance and trouble-shooting needed once their applications go live.”

“We deeply believe that Edge data centers will play a crucial role in the IoT development and for many other projects that require ‘close to zero’ latencies. In our roadmap, we’ve at least two edge locations we’ll add to our cloud regions by the end of 2020. We’ve committed ourselves to this trend and plan to invest heavily in it.”

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Dade2 - data center iceland
As a managed hosting provider offering a wide range of cloud services to clients worldwide, Dade2 has its data center facilities located in Iceland. This Tier III+ constructed data center runs on green energy that comes from geothermic activity.

Dade2 is focusing on cloud consultancy and high-end support. What geographies are you targeting and how scalable is this business model?

“Nowadays, we’re targeting Europe as a whole, USA, Canada, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Central America. We’re minimizing our marketing efforts to be able to invest more in being closer to our customers. As we were not able to scale as fast as we wanted, we’ve build up a very aggressive partnership program this year, and we’re on the look-out for systems integrators and MSPs worldwide willing to add a high-quality cloud solution into their portfolio.”

You’ve previously worked for well-known hosting companies like UK2, Cartika and Lunarpages. What lessons did you learn from your professional career, and what does this mean for Dade2’s current managed cloud services go-to-market strategy?

“Having had the chance to work for several large hosting and cloud companies before launching Dade2, I’ve taken the opportunity to look through a magnifying glass at the business. It has shaped my idea of establishing a superior cloud services company. We know each and every customer in person, and we deeply understand their businesses and the business concerns of their IT environments with us. It’s about a human touch you don’t get very often nowadays, just to provide our clients with the best cloud services they could get.”

To conclude, what company milestones can we expect from Dade2 in the next two years?

“I foresee a tremendous growth for the cloud industry as a whole in 2020. Here at Dade2 we have ambitious plans to support this growth. During 2020 we will add new cloud locations. After adding Miami in 2019, we will focus on Europe again with the addition of cloud regions in London, Madrid and Budapest. We also want to give all the power of software defined networks and SD-WAN directly in the hands of our customers. For this reason we’re adding a new powerful network section in our cloud portal that will go live on April 2020. Overall, we will focus on helping our customers to fully accomplish the best multi-cloud strategy for their needs, to offer the perfect mix of security, stability, scalability and business meaning.”

About Manuel Trongone and Dade2

As CEO and founder of this UK-based Managed Service Provider (MSP), Dade2, Manuel Trongone is an industry veteran with many years of experience in the IT industry at technical and business levels. He has a robust background in compliance and risk mitigation for high risk, mission-critical technologies and process-based business solutions. He knows what it takes to successfully implement new technologies including cloud to meet the most demanding business requirements.

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