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Growing Interest Abroad for Cloud-Based Email Infrastructure

Fred Tabsharani

Between September of 2015 and May 2016, (last 8 months) Port25 saw almost a 30 percent jump in new cloud-based email infrastructure interest outside the United States as indicated in the chart below. While most of the influential senders are not abandoning on-premises mail transfer agent (MTA) solutions, many are looking to cloud infrastructure for managing higher-volumes by bifurcating individual email streams to the cloud. The cloud for email infrastructure combines the stability and feature-rich environment of hosted MTAs with the flexibility and scalability of cloud-based email/transactional streams or marketing solutions.

Port25 has seen a near 30% rise in new cloud email infrastructure interest outside U.S. in the past eight months.
(Click to Enlarge)

The Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid of on-premises and cloud-based messaging infrastructure gives ESPs and Enterprises, the ability to quickly and cost-effectively scale operations instantly. Why invest IT time and resources when you can have two solutions that work genuinely and seamlessly together?

Some email platforms may use the cloud like a peaker power plant: when forward-looking demand is high, they partition some of the volume that can't be handled by their hosted MTA and migrate to the cloud; when demand is low, the cloud requires little overhead and maintenance.

Security and Redundancy

Service interruptions can spell disaster for high-volume messaging. When ESPs or enterprises add a hybrid cloud to their hosted MTA solution, they bring in not only agility but security. With two very different systems on board, one can be considered as a failover if the other is down. The cloud helps provide continuity of service. Continuity is the term frequently used by Email Service Providers and stakeholders of demanding senders.

One important challenge when creating a hybrid cloud is to make sure the data from both sources is standardized. You don't want the hours of labor the cloud saves you in upfront configuration time to be consumed on the back end trying to reconcile apples and oranges in your data and analytics. The good news is that many cloud-based email marketing solutions can be configured so that their data is normalized to the data you get from your on-premises MTA. Further, in regards to data, some or most cloud based infrastructure provides "even" more granular analytics.

Size Matters

While even some of the largest global ESPs are turning to cloud-based solutions, a recent chart of interest in cloud email in the United States shows that smaller companies have an even higher level of interest.

In fact, the largest chunk of cloud-based solutions users was among companies with hourly message volumes of less than 10,000. For Startups, and smaller ESPs and Enterprises, the cloud has a number of advantages. It allows them to keep their costs down by outsourcing development and provides affordable scalability during peak sending times and during tight-budget times when sales expansion outpaces revenue in a growing enterprise.

Among the younger generation of programmers, and for the most part millennials, "there is" little resistance to adding sending capacity in the cloud. After all, the cloud is their native environment. If you want to look into the future of email delivery, look to the cloud.

Nimble Environment for Software Development

Cloud based software for email infrastructure has as much agility in regards to customization, as hosted MTAs. One way the hybrid cloud does this is to offer ESPs the benefit of the latest features in real time — no waiting for the next release.

In a recent interview on the SparkPost blog, SparkPost co-founder George Schlossnagle described the ability of the cloud to facilitate rapid turnaround on new features:

"The biggest ... difference between architecting for the cloud [versus on-premises software] is that it flips many of the traditional challenges of release software on its head. In an on-premises world, you have to be extremely conservative about quality control, because when you release a version into the wild it becomes its own entity and you cannot force your customers to upgrade. When you control the entire deployment cycle yourself, you can iterate much faster because you can instantly (and globally) roll back from any issues. This allows for a feature velocity that is tremendously larger than on-premises software."

Aim High in the Hybrid Cloud

Getting the most from a hybrid cloud that leverages the strengths of both on-premises MTA infrastructure and resources that live in the cloud is a matter of design. Plot out the structure and flow of email traffic from your MTA to the cloud. A bit of forethought goes a long way to allowing teams to design an integration that makes the best use of the hybrid cloud to boost capacity and move data seamlessly from one platform to the other.

By Fred Tabsharani, Director of Data Access at Zetalytics Fred has spent the last two decades in IT and holds an MBA from John F. Kennedy University. Zetalytics, led by April Lorenzen, is a threat intel organization based in Rhode Island. Clients include, Microsoft, MailChimp, Northrop Grumman and many others. Fred is an 8 year veteran of M3AAWG.
Related topics: Cloud Computing, Email
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Promoted Post

Buying or Selling IPv4 Addresses?

Watch this video to discover how ACCELR/8, a transformative trading platform developed by industry veterans Marc Lindsey and Janine Goodman, enables organizations to buy or sell IPv4 blocks as small as /20s.