Cloud computing for the enterprise is becoming more stratified. Savvis Inc. sees the breadth of approaches to the cloud as an opportunity, and is crafting its new infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offering with three tiers of pricing and features - all powered by the latest technology from Cisco and VMware.
The new platform, known as "Project Spirit," is being announced today at VMworld 2009 in San Francisco. Savvis will launch a beta in the fourth quarter of this year, with general availability in 2010. The service is being billed as a"virtual private data center" that is a leap forward from Savvis' initial foray into the cloud in February.
Powered by Cisco and FCoE
The new platform will be powered by Cisco's Nexxus 5000 and 7000 switches and use a unified network fabric running over Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). Savvis, which was an early adopter of Cisco's Nexxus line, will also use VMware's vSphere hypervisor and Cisco Nexxus 1000 virtual switches.
Although high-end hardware and software will power Project Spirit, Savvis is offering three levels of plans, ranging from a top tier for the most stringent enterprise requirements to a bottom tier with pricing and features optimized for testing and development projects - the types of services currently being run on Amazon Web Services. The company is describing the service levels as being defined by quality-of-service (QoS).
"The enterprise client base represents a range of different needs," said Savvis CTO Bryan Doerr, who said the lower-level tier will offer fewer features and minimal support, but would be "priced highly competitively." Savvis isn't yet outlining details of its pricing, preventing any cost comparisons with other IaaS offerings.
Unified Cloud On-Ramp for Enterprises
Doerr made it clear that Savvis wasn't seeking to compete with Amazon so much as offer enterprises the ability to consolidate different types of cloud apps with a single trusted provider.
"Our intention is not to put our portal on the Internet and alllow people to swipe credit cards," said Doerr. “Our next generation cloud services and resulting virtual private data center will, for the first time, enable push button web application hosting for the enterprise.”
Savvis ’ new cloud services will offer multiple grades of user selectable QoS levels via the Savvis portal and enforced by next-generation QoS controls.
Savvis said Project Spirit was named for the famed aviator Charles Lindberg’s flight “The Spirit of St. Louis,” in honor of the company's St. Louis headquarters.