Tiscali SpA is an Italian company that offers a range of telecom and internet services to business and domestic customers across Europe. It also offers data centre services to businesses within Italy from six regional data centres, including managed services, cloud, disaster recovery and migration.
Smaller businesses are catered for well at Tiscali data centres. It offers a good range of ‘pick n mix’ services designed to create a flexible, scalable package of services that can grow, or shrink, in line with business needs. Those services include housing, private cloud, domain hosting and dedicated servers. Small business products are charged on a pay monthly basis; for example, a Linux based dedicated server costs EUR 99 per month. Housing is modular and scalable, allowing small business to use and pay for as little as two rack units (2RU).
In September 2015, Tiscali launched Cloud – a service aimed at large companies and organisations with complimentary ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions for SMEs. Cloud covers a wide range of business needs, from disaster recovery and remote desktops to ‘billing as a service’, a complete cloud billing service that includes everything from data collection to the issue of invoices. All of these services are offered as a tailored package developed with customers as partners.
Cloud services for SMEs are equally comprehensive, with private cloud, back up, virtual servers and storage as a service, available for monthly fee for the first 100GB then charged per GB thereafter as storage needs grow.
Tiscali owns and maintains significant national network infrastructure. Its data centres are connected by three fibre optic rings covering 6000 kilometres. It also maintains its own backbone fibre network of about 10,000km and a Metropolitan Area Network of around 7000km. In June 2015, Tiscali selected Alcatel-Lucent to upgrade its existing submarine cables between the Islands and mainland and implement a new 100G optical backbone network. The work will improve data transmission speeds and capacity to businesses and domestic customers.
Tiscali SPA is headquartered in Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia. It runs offices and subsidiaries throughout Europe but business data centre services are restricted to Italy.
Tiscali owns eight carrier neutral data centres in Europe, seven of which are in Italy. Those data centres are in Rome, Bologna, Cagliari, Milan, Città St Angelo, Palermo and Florence. The eighth is in Frankfurt, Germany. The former four Italian data centres are used for business colocation and cloud services.
Cagliari is the most secure and resilient data centre and is certified tier IV by the uptime institute. The Bologna and Milan sites are both Tier I and Rome is Tier II.
All four data centre sites offer dual power feeds, peak power of 3Kw per rack and back-up generators, as well as a cold water cooling system. Cagliari additionally offers 24/7 surveillance, fingerprint and card access control and intruder detection, with extra levels of security available on request. None of Tiscali’s data centre sites offer 24/7 access to equipment outside of business hours except in exceptional circumstances and by prior agreement. Support is, however, 24/7 with urgent enquiries escalated immediately.
Tiscali actively seeks to create energy efficiencies that lead to both lower operational costs and savings for customers. It upgrades and commissions technology that cuts both space and energy requirements. For example partnerships with Cisco and Nexus led to significant energy savings whilst improving efficiency.
Tiscali SPA is a public listed company. It is listed on the Italian stock exchange and is still led by its founder, Renato Soru. In summer 2015, the board and shareholders approved a merger between Tiscali SpA and Italian broadband group Aria SpA. The merger is expected to bring significant synergies and cost savings of around EUR 10 million per year and should be finalised at the end of 2015.
Customers and partners
Tiscali is in partnership with Hewlett Packard to offer enterprise-grade cloud services based on open stack. It has also been in partnership with Cisco since 2010 to strengthen its network and cloud services.
Many of Tiscali’s customers are in the small and medium sized business sector, although the new cloud services are beginning to attract larger companies and organisations.
Tiscali leading the way in data centre services in Italy
Tiscali’s data centres may not be at the cutting edge of technology, security or environmental sustainability by some standards, but it does offer almost every service a business could need in a data centre.
The fact that only one of its data centres has Tier IV certification may be of concern to organisations seeking a home for mission-critical applications and data, but for smaller businesses looking for good value, modular and scalable packages at an affordable price, Tiscali’s offering is excellent.