Messaging services vendor Interop Technologies runs three data centers to provide services to customers and to run its own back-office systems. Interop also provides turnkey hardware/software solutions that run at customer sites. Pandemic-related hardware shortages, particularly those of servers and storage, have put a severe crimp in the way it does business.
"When you go to procurement, you get so much push-back," said Joshua Collazo, the company's director of infrastructure. "This is back-ordered, that is back-ordered." Before the pandemic, the company was able to jump on opportunities quickly. "That's gone away," he said. "Ad-hoc has gone the way of the dodo for us."
Interop is used to adjusting for seasonal supply-chain disruptions, particularly around the end of the year. But now, more of these dead windows have appeared.
The larger the order, the bigger the problems. It might take about a month to provision a smaller system for companies that only need a handful of boxes, but “if you want 20, 30, or 50 boxes, it looks like six months," he said. "When you consider that you've got projects that could span nine to 18 months to deliver, and you're adding six months right off the bat, it makes things challenging."
Shifting workloads to the cloud
Interop has considered moving its core services out of its private data centers and into the cloud, but it’s just not feasible
Cloud providers aren’t optimized for messaging services, and running Interop’s infrastructure on-prem gives the company greater flexibility in the services it can offer, Collazo said. "If you're going to control the whole stack, you get a few more options than, say, Amazon's load balancing. They're going to do it their way, and you have to tailor everything to the capabilities of the cloud provider."
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