Part 1 – Infrastructure
Big or small, there are four key components of any cloud-based software that are necessary to ensure the success of a program and, even more importantly, the safety of customer data. At ECi, these are the four cornerstones of our philosophy for the cloud:
- Infrastructure: The correct hardware and software components to deliver cloud computing
- Commitment: Dedication to constantly monitoring and improving the quality of systems
- Security: Protection, both physically and in the cloud, to ensure data security
- Compliance: Compliance with PII, PCI, HIPAA, and GDPR, and adherence to federal safety standards
Each cornerstone is equally important and cloud providers spend millions of dollars each year to ensure their success. If any one of these areas is lacking the proper attention, the risks of security breaches, equipment failures, and other disasters grows exponentially.
At ECi, we adhere to the philosophy that the above items are fundamental to our customers’ success and the success of our business software solutions. By implementing these principles, ECi strives to meet each need in a robust and resilient manner so that our customers can have peace of mind in the ECi cloud.
In this post, we’ll discuss infrastructure and learn about the importance of resiliency and redundancy.
The infrastructure of a cloud environment isn’t much different than that of any conventional on-premise business system environment. You have your off-site backup, your data center or room where you keep your storage and servers, your computers and processors, your networking devices, your security devices and firewalls to protect the data traveling through the internet.
A cloud-based system takes this structure to a new level because the expectation of resiliency and redundancy lead to systems being ever-present and ready for business transactions.
Resiliency is the ability to recover quickly, with as little damage as possible after disruption. If you experience a virus or cyberattack, how quickly we can recover your data and get you back in business is our gauge of resiliency and what cloud service providers strive for.
To achieve high resiliency, a system needs redundancy to ensure the integrity of every layer, from the data center (i.e., power and environmental services) through the storage and backup of data. ECi meets a Tier 3+ standard and requires every layer of its datacenters be at the very least, duplicated. To deliver our solutions as a service, ECi similarly deploys compute, network, storage, backup, and security systems at similar levels of duplication and redundancy. Our goal is to ensure that the environment is designed for failure, BUT the service remains resilient.
Redundancy often does not stop at having a single location, but multiple locations within which services are provided and workloads shift. This provides geographic separation of environments to protect customer data should any sort of natural disaster strike. ECi has six (6) data centers that host our cloud environments. We also leverage best-in-class public cloud infrastructure from Amazon Web Services™, Microsoft Azure™, and IBM Cloud™ to deliver products.
Cloud service centers use a host of systems that provide not only the compute capacity, but also the capabilities and resources to facilitate the business through data sharing, to integrate with internal and external services, and to keep businesses running 24/7. Each ECi center has multiple layers of control including around-the-clock security and operations staff, multiple boundaries to gain access to infrastructure, and security systems that are straight out of The Bourne Supremacy or Mission Impossible.
ECi’s dedication to infrastructure is the first step in maintaining your systems'integrity and data security. In future posts, we’ll go deeper into the cloud environment with discussions about data security, threat prevention, vulnerability management, disaster recovery, penetration testing, and much more.