2013 The Year That Was

2013 has been a great year for Layer3.

Since 2005, Layer3 has been a Managed Services company focused on delivering Outsourced IT Support for businesses around the Wellington region.

Layer3 had the need to become more cloud focused, as the cloud was becoming more than just a buzz word. We could have focused on selling Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps for business, or many of the other cloud services out there. However, these services just don’t cut it. We soon came to the conclusion we needed our own cloud.

We needed something completely different. Something that we could control directly. If we wanted to create a new cloud service, we wanted the ability to just do it, not wait for a cloud provider to offer it as a service.

In November 2012, I made the decision to build our own cloud datacentre. We named it Stratus3. This may have had something to do with the Redbull Stratos space jump at the time, I’m not sure.

Stratus3 was born out of all our frustrations with cloud services, products and resellers. The main goal of Stratus3 was to be flexible and agile.

Two months went in to the planning and design, and another month in to the build phase. We had the service operational early 2013, with our first customer going live in February.

Designing and building Stratus3 was one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever undertaken, but also the most rewarding. Stratus3 sets Layer3 apart from other IT providers. Building, maintaining and supporting your own cloud is a very demanding job. It also doesn’t come cheap. We’ve now invested over $140,000 in Stratus3.

Our initial projections required us to upgrade our cloud infrastructure within one year. We would then need to significantly invest again in two years for new infrastructure. Well… those projections didn’t work out at all. We completed our first upgrade after four months of operation and are now significantly expanding the infrastructure over the Christmas period.

This was mainly due to our hugely popular Cloud Office service, in which we were nominated this year for an innovation award in the Westpac Hutt Valley Chamber business awards. The service allows companies to ditch their services and move their entire business in to the cloud and access it anywhere.

Also hugely popular is our recently announced Filecloud service which went live in October. Filecloud allows businesses to access their files on mobile devices, laptops and desktops. It’s very similar to Dropbox, only it has more enterprise features and hosted in Stratus3.

Another milestone this year was hosting our own Business After 5 event in which demonstrated our Cloud Office service. We far exceeded our target numbers attending the event.

2014 is shaping up to be a very exciting year for Layer3. We have new staff starting in January, new cloud infrastructure to implement in to our ever growing datacentre and a few new customers to setup in the New Year.

A big thanks from the Layer3 team.

We wish you all the best and have a happy and safe Christmas.

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