Thursday, May 24, 2012

Everything Online, Everything In The Cloud.

Mike:  I’m sitting down here with CEO and owner of Adar IT, Vadim Vladimirskiy, to talk to him about his company Adar IT, how it works, and what they do.  So Vadim, can you tell me a little about your company?  How did you get started?

Vadim:  I started working with a company called Solus in 1999.  They provided traditional IT network support such as firewalls, virus protection, and other technical issues.  One of the major services Solus offered was data backups.  They would put all your data on a tape backup, helping customers maintain their data in case their computers ever went down.  In 2005 we felt there was a better way to do this.

Mike:  So what made you want to make that jump?

Vadim:  Well, there was one client we had who was doing backups via tape.  There were two sets of tapes that we gave them; one for cleaning the heads, and one for doing the actual backup.  The procedure was, every night, right before you left, you put the tape into the drive and backup your data.  The next day, if the tape popped out, you knew the backup worked.  If the tape didn’t pop out, you would call Solus and we would come onsite and fix it for you.  Once a week or so, you would take the second tape and clean the heads of the recorder.  Well, we got a call from one client whose IT system went down, and they couldn’t retrieve their backup.  We get there and it turns out the employee was putting the cleaning tape in everyday, instead of the recording tape.  It would pop out every night after it was done cleaning.  She figured since it popped out, the backup went fine.  I realized  there was a better way to provide a reliable backup service, so we started  Adar IT.  A lot of customers signed up as first time users, others did it to complement their existing backup routine.

Mike:  But don’t you deal with other things besides just backups.  My understanding was that you provide the computers, too.

Vadim:  We found that people had to upgrade their servers every few years.  Once they would go through all the upgrades, they would run into one of two problems.  Either the server didn’t have enough capacity as the company grew, and they would have to replace the server once again.  Or they would buy a server that had too much capacity thinking they might need it in the future, but not utilize all of it.  We decided the best solution was to provide a server with the exact amount of capacity they needed, with the option to scale up or down.

Mike:  So you provide a cloud service?

Vadim:  Exactly.  Except when we first started Adar IT, there was no term such as ‘the cloud’.  They called it ‘infrastructure-as-a-service.’  We provide the IT platform that runs any software.  In 2009 we started hosting desktops, as more and more people wanted virtual desktops they could access from anywhere, anytime.  What’s great about virtual desktops is that you no longer have to worry about viruses, hardware, or backups.  Adar provides full system backups to every single one of our customers every two hours. We even storethe backedup up saved in 2 different locations.  This is the norm for big enterprises, but for the small to medium sized business, this kind of protection was never available as it was too expensive.  Now we can offer what the big guys get, for the price of the small guys.

Mike:  So you are a tech company?

Vadim:  No, we are a service company. 

Mike:  What’s the point of Adar IT?  I can do all my backups on DVD’s or thumb drives, why do I need a company like yours?

Vadim:  The reason people come to us is because they don’t want to deal with the technical aspects of maintaining a server and backing it up.  Our customers just want it to work.  To use the words of Jean Luc Picard, they want someone who they can call and say, “make it so”.  People today don’t care what type of technology they are using; it could be Apple, HP, Dell, Intel, it doesn’t matter - they just want it to work, and that’s what we provide.

Mike:  Who is Adar IT for?  Who is your main clientele?

Vadim:  Our clients are mostly small to medium size businesses.  People want the flexibility of working from multiple locations; they don’t want to be tied to their office.  We also have quite a few virtual companies, which have no central offices. 

Mike:  So is there a difference between Adar IT and being cloud based?

Vadim:  Great question, a lot of our clients ask the same thing.  The difference between what we do, and what companies such as iCloud or DropBox do, is that we  provide full service cloud solutions for businesses.

Mike:  So you are a server farm?

Vadim:  We are more than that.  We aren’t a hosting company, we are a service company.

Mike:  You’re the next generation of computer repair.

Vadim:  Not really.  We see ourselves more as people who prevent the need for computer repair by providing them with the least amount of equipment possible, resulting in fewer repairs. 

Mike:  What do you mean?

Vadim:  We put in a ‘smart monitor’.  It has no hard drive, no operating system, it’s just a monitor with a few USB ports and a network connection.  Our customers plug their network cable into the monitor and it connects to our servers. We wanted to make this as simple as possible for our clients.  They don’t want to have to worry about how things work.

Mike:  Do you see this as the “next big thing”?

Vadim:    The future is going to more of a move to service based companies.  People aren’t going to buy hardware; there is a trend to move towards the cloud.  There’s going to be one big mainframe, with a bunch of dumb terminals.  More and more people are going to have the setup we provide, where all you have is a monitor with a few network connections, no local desktop. 

Mike:  Finally, where do you see your company in five years?  Where are you going?

Vadim:  It’s hard to say as technology is changing all the time.  But that’s not really our major concern, as we are a service company.  We use technology to empower small and medium size businesses and give them the same tools that large companies have.  Most of our clients are in Illinois, where we are located.  However, as connectivity gets better, we will see a lot of geographical expansion.  We are able to provide a superior level of service because we can easily gain access to our customer’s IT system.  That’s what so great about us.  We are where our clients are, because we do all the actual computing here in our offices.

Mike:  Vadim thanks for giving me this interview.  It’s enlightened me a lot into where cloud technology is going.  

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