CloudSigma Version 2.0 Embraces SDN and SSDs

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CloudSigma wants to be the silent partner in your computing. The company has released CloudSigma 2.0, and it’s not just a marketing thing. The new software features a completely new codebase to take advantage of new technologies, including Software Defined Networking and Solid State Drives.

The Zurich, Switzerland-based company is very different from most other cloud computing providers. It wants to make public cloud and owned infrastructure completely seamless. Founded in 2009, the company grew out of frustrations with public cloud offerings at the time.

“What we found was that public cloud offerings were restrictive and proprietary,” said cofounder and CEO Robert Jenkins. The company launched in 2010, and expanded into the U.S. in 2011. CloudSigma was self-funded, but it did take on a small group of angel investors, including Anthony Foy from Interxion. The company has around 40 employees.

The company made its platform as open as possible, focusing on providing qualitative rather than the quantitative. The business model itself is a different beast.

“It’s a challenge to explain it to people because it’s quite different than buying servers and drives,” said Jenkins. “You buy 300GB of RAM and we don’t care how you arrange it. You can spread it across a couple or hundreds of servers.  We sell resources, not servers or drives. You don’t buy on a per server basis; we look at aggregate consumption. It’s just like electricity. Customers can build it out and it’s a very efficient way to do so. Longer term usage combined with short term purchasing. If load goes up, you spin up some more servers. Our system looks every 5 minutes and we charge on what you’re using. Customers have a credit limit or pre-paid balance and purchase however they want.”

What’s New in Version 2.0

As mentioned before, the company started from scratch with a completely new code base to take advantage of new technologies.

  • Direct private patch/hybrid cloud capability: CloudSigma allows customers to connect their infrastructure to CloudSigma’s public cloud vLANS, improving data portability by exactly mirroring on-premise infrastructure (regardless of software or OS) and improving security since VMs are not on public IPs. “Us and Amazon are the only two clouds that can take a physical cross connect and put it in our cloud,” said Jenkins. “With private networking, you can choose a completely private IP solution, a private line coming into the cloud. You wouldn’t know whether the server was in the cloud or yours if you want. One environment flows into another.”
  • Disaster Recovery as a Service: CloudSigma streamlines data portability through new private patching, giving customers instant data access and recovery while further protecting against cyber-attacks, data leakage and malicious hacking by avoiding public IPs. CloudSigma is completely open, you can get in and out if you use x86, meaning customers are never tied to its platform. This also has the advantage of enabling cloud disaster recovery quickly and easily. “We’re allowing customers to do live snapshots and backup to another cloud location,” said Jenkins. “It’s an ideal solution – run the same environment in the public cloud. You can run any x86 in our cloud, unmodified. You don’t need to constantly run two environments. You can seamlessly have resources going private to public. You can do that in CloudSigma.” 
  • All-SSD, high-performance storage:  The solution incorporates all solid-state drive (SSD) storage eliminating I/O bottlenecks and CPU wait time to provide the highest levels of speed and stability.
  • Advanced CPU options for better application performance: The company places no restrictions on VM size, offers all resources, including CPU and RAM on a utility basis, and now incorporates advanced CPU options with a fully-exposed architecture, including CPU and NUMA visibility to meet any app requirements. “What this means is people running big machines, it has a big performance difference,” said Jenkins.
  • SDN support: CloudSigma now includes full SDN support with the ability to network cloud private networks directly onto physical customer lines without the need for a VPN, offering very high network throughput with low latency.

Jenkins disclosed that the company is working on rolling out a marketplace to offer Platform as a Service options.

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About the Author

Jason Verge is an Editor/Industry Analyst on the Data Center Knowledge team with a strong background in the data center and Web hosting industries. In the past he’s covered all things Internet Infrastructure, including cloud (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), mass market hosting, managed hosting, enterprise IT spending trends and M&A. He writes about a range of topics at DCK, with an emphasis on cloud hosting.

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