From cloud computing in traditional IT environments to introduction of containers–IDC Frontier, meeting diverse IT infrastructure needs–ZDNet Japan


SoftBank Group’s IDC Frontier is a long-established company that provides digital infrastructure services to enterprises through its data center business and cloud business. Recently, with the concept of “any infrastructure”, we created an “IDCF cloud container” that can centrally manage container systems running on various IT infrastructures, from our own services to large clouds to customers’ on-premises environments, Published with Kubernetes. We asked Mr. Takuya Fujishiro and Mr. Keita Ehashi from the Business Promotion Department about their characteristics and charm.

Mr. Takuya Fujishiro, Business Promotion Department, IDC Frontier Co., Ltd.

IDC Frontiers Ltd
Business Promotion Department
Takuya Fujishiro gentlemen

Mr. Keita Ebashi, Business Promotion Department, IDC Frontier Co., Ltd.

IDC Frontiers Ltd
Business Promotion Department
Jiangqiao Jiatai gentlemen

Filming Location: WeWork

Advantages of developing data center business and cloud business

IDC Frontier has been developing services as a telecom operator since the 1980s, changing and expanding its business according to the trends of the times and customer needs. When the Internet became popular and started to be used in commerce, the data center business grew rapidly. Then, when the need for cloud services became apparent, we started offering internally developed public cloud services.

“We believe that as a data center operator, it makes sense for us to provide cloud services. For example, many general-purpose cloud service operators specialize in providing cloud services and users, and we cannot support systems that cannot be migrated to the cloud. On the one hand, we can store customer systems that cannot be migrated to the cloud in our data centers, customers can store customer systems in data centers and in the cloud, and you can freely combine the two services and use them as a hybrid system. Our The main advantage is that we can provide the best IT infrastructure for all our customers’ systems.”

This is what Mr. Jiangqiao Qitai from the Frontier Business Promotion Department of IDC said. I am in charge of service planning for “IDCF Cloud Container”. In addition, Mr. Jiang Qiao described the advantages of IDC Frontier as follows.

“Some customers face the challenge of increased network traffic as their business grows. We continue to do the backbone network, and now the backbone capacity is about the same as our operator. Our advantage is that we can always provide customers with a stable environment because we consistently Provides everything from data centers to cloud services.”

IDC Frontier opened a large-scale data center with a maximum power capacity of 50 MW in Fuchu, Tokyo in December 2020. We have 7 bases across the country, including a hyperscale data center for high integration and large-scale needs. In terms of cloud services, in addition to the public cloud, we will strengthen the use of VMware’s virtualization technology as a dedicated (occupied) private cloud provided by our own services, and as the foundation of “Google Cloud Storage™️” for IDCF cloud storage. We are also stepping up service collaborations with other businesses, such as adoption. In 2021, we will start offering “IDCF Cloud Containers” that support Kubernetes containerization.

“IDCF Cloud Containers” that can be easily introduced into Kubernetes

“Kubernetes is a paradigm shift every 10 years. Being able to start a virtual machine with a computer also adapts,” said Mr. Fujishiro Takuya, who is in charge of the service planning of “IDCF Cloud” and “IDCF Cloud Container” in the business promotion department like Mr. Ehashi. Societal trends driving digital transformation (DX).”

“IDCF Cloud Container” can be used not only for data center, bare metal, private cloud and public cloud services provided by IDC Frontier, but also for data centers and public clouds provided by other operators, as well as for local environment support and centralized Manage Kubernetes run by multiple infrastructures.

In recent years, many companies have begun to consider the introduction of containers, which are actually more complex than cloud-based systems and applications in physical environments. The introduction threshold is very high. For example, if you modify the application to run on the container, you need to learn the operation management method unique to Kubernetes to manage a large number of containers in a centralized manner. It has overcome many problems and must have. “IDCF Cloud Container” is a service that addresses these issues and realizes a system environment with excellent flexibility and agility through containers/Kubernetes.

IDC Frontier uses SUSE’s Kubernetes management software “SUSE Rancher” as the basis for “IDCF Cloud Container”. The reason is to enable simpler and more intuitive operations that even companies with few technical resources can safely introduce into a container/Kubernetes environment. Therefore, the user interface is customized to implement the service with good usability. Also, before and after the introduction of the container/Kubernetes environment, IDC Frontier faced various customer issues, such as demo and hands-on for customers, and providing support further than the giant cloud.

In addition, Mr. Jiang Qiao said, “We minimize the restrictions on contract units and infrastructure to be operated, so that customers can easily start using the ‘IDCF Cloud Container’. Specifically, starting from a node, it can be used. “Also, nodes can be used even if they were created by other IT infrastructure. Try it out in a small environment first to check the usability and effects unique to our service, then use it as a production environment. You can scale up usage. “

IDCF Cloud Container

IDCF Cloud Container

Enable “any infrastructure” and keep evolving

Mr. Fujishiro introduced the future prospects of IDC Frontier, which advocates “Any Infrastructure”, as follows.

“From March 2022, the ‘Tokyo Fuchu Data Center’ has been able to use high-power ‘high-load housing services’ with a standard of 15 kVA and a maximum of 20 kVA per rack. Today, AI (artificial intelligence) autonomous driving, genomics The computer power consumption required for applications such as drug discovery increases year by year, and AI-specific systems equipped with GPUs that require high power and HPC systems bundled with high-performance servers are becoming available. Used. “High-load housing services” meet this need. “

According to Mr. Fujishiro, the “IDCF Cloud Container”, which was just released in 2021, will be further developed to reflect the voices of customers who have already verified and used it, and make it an easy-to-use service for domestic enterprises, which is said to be carried out. “We are not only developing new functions and services, but also improving the services we already provide so that we can continue to use them comfortably.” (Mr. Fujishiro)

For example, IDCF Cloud has been in use for nearly 8 years since its launch in 2014, systematically replaced with new ones before hardware fails. In mega cloud etc. it is common for users to do update work due to the aging of such hardware, but in IDCF cloud the update work is done by IDC Frontier. “Because there is no burden on customers, I think such a place can be used for a long time with peace of mind,” (Mr. Fujishiro)

IDCF Cloud Services

IDCF Cloud Services

Some leading companies trying to containerize their IT systems may be unhappy or have issues with the cloud services they currently use. Also, some companies have a situation where they want to maintain the legacy IT environment as much as possible. Even in this case, IDC Frontier can meet the demand with the various infrastructure and services introduced so far. Ease of use, step-by-step support is also a big factor you can rest assured, considering the users unique to domestic companies. If you have questions about your IT infrastructure, please feel free to contact IDC Frontier.

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