A Closer Look at the Enterprise Cloud
July 29th, 2008 By: Rich Miller
There’s been a lot of discussion recently about enterprise reluctance about cloud computing. Corporate IT managers are fascinated with the emergence of cloud computing platforms such as Amazon Web Services and Google’s App Engine. But they’re also wary of running their mission-critical applications on someone else’s platform, and concerned about meeting complex regulatory obligations for data management.
Colocation and managed hosting provider Terremark Worldwide (TMRK) is confident it has the platform to address the concerns of corporate users, as reflected in the name of its new service: The Enterprise Cloud. Terremark says the platform is enterprise-ready, running on “best of class” hardware and software from major vendors and designed to support the compliance standards of regulated corporate customers. The new service is built atop Infinistructure, Terremark’s fully-managed utility hosting service.
The Infinistructure platform, developed by Data Return prior to its acquisition by Terremark last year, allows companies to quickly deploy apps without buying hardware. In recent months, Infinistructure has been responsible for more than half of Terremark’s new business.
“We had clients that were interested in Infinistructure but still wanted to have more control of the virtual machines,” said Randy Rowland, VP Product Development for Terremark. “They asked ‘is there a way for me to control my virtual machines more directly, while you manage the infrastructure?’ Those client requests are what sparked our investment in the new software we’ve written for the Enterprise Cloud.”
That multi-tenant management software, known as digitalOps, allows Enterprise Cloud customers to manage virtual machines in Terremark’s data center much as they might manage physical servers in their own. The service will be sold in “slices” of computing capacity, and billed by processor megahertz with allowances for RAM and storage.
“We’re really moving to a true computing utility,” Rowland said in a discussion last month at Terremark’s new NAP of the Capital Region in Culpeper, Virginia. “We believe enterprises have certain requirements that we are well positioned to provide.” Terremark says it is using “best of class” hardware and software from vendors including HP, IBM, VMware and Cisco Systems, and Enterprise Cloud customers will have access to integrated firewalls, private VLANs, and VPN console access. “We’re going to provide an SLA that has teeth on this platform,” said Rowland.
Even as it seeks to usher enterprises into the new world of cloud computing, Rowland also describes the Enterprise Cloud as “Colo 2.0,” applying the familiar colocation model for data center space housing physical servers to a virtualized platform housing virtual machines.
“We feel this will open us up to a lot of clients who wouldn’t have bought colo, and wouldn’t have bought managed services,” said Rowland, who added that Terremark “will always sell colo.”