Upic created its first cloud data center in 2001, allowing United Ways to share resources and efficiencies not otherwise attainable. In the 15 years since, we have iterated and improved upon that concept resulting in our current 4th generation cloud data center. We engineered and built our second generation data center before Amazon (2006), Microsoft (2008), and others made theirs publicly available; before the term cloud computing was ubiquitous.

Along the way technology advanced at a rapid pace. Hard drives were 120GB in 2001 — a 16,000GB drive is available today. Server processors have gone from single-threaded processing to 48 (or more). These advancements allow for what would have been a room full of servers, be condensed down to a server or two. While at the same time virtualization and system automation allow many to run infrastructure without worrying about the details of cabling, switches, power, batteries, generators, cooling and many other necessary components of high availability systems. Amazon and Microsoft handle the physical systems at a scale most in the world cannot comprehend, using custom designed systems purpose built for the highest levels of efficiency.

United Way technology needs are evolving as well. With a desire to leverage the latest technology, to rapidly iterate on new methods to better help their local community, Upic’s cloud data center must evolve as well. We’ve been hard at work for months engineering the future, and Upic’s first Cloud in the Cloud will be deployed soon. Rob and Craig have been hard at work making this evolution a reality.

A few key benefits are:

  • Infinite flexibility with the ability to add compute and storage capacity in minutes, instead of weeks.
  • Improved security and predictable performance with workload isolation.
  • Automation allowing for consistent, repeatable infrastructure and software deployment improving end-user experience.
  • Faster access by locating systems closer to you.
  • Efficient use of donor dollars by leveraging the scale of Azure and AWS, removing the need for long-term investments in expensive hardware which may not meet tomorrow’s needs.

Consider this a sneak-peak into the future of Upic, there is much more to come.

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