In the battle for enterprise cloud computing customers, the field includes newer companies that have pioneered cloud technology, as well as established players with deep roots in enterprise IT. And then there are companies that seek to bridge both worlds.
These include SunGard Availability Services, which has been stepping up its push into cloud services. As the leading name in enterprise disaster recovery, SunGard has a lengthy track record in handling valuable mission-critical data for America's largest companies.
"Our business model is to provide shared infrastructure that is available on demand across a geographic footprint," said Indu Kodukula, the chief technology officer for SunGard Availability. "So we know a little bit about this. We have an appreciation for what it takes to maintain large multi-tenant environments. It's in our DNA."
New Cloud Partnerships, Geographies
As it seeks to leverage that legacy, SunGard is expanding its partnerships, services and the geographic reach of its cloud-ready infrastructure. Last week the company announced that it will provide cloud backup through Amazon’s Direct Connect services to both Amazon Web Services and SunGard cloud customers during the course of 2012.
Yesterday the company announced the expansion of its Enterprise Cloud Services footprint. SunGard's data center in Mississauga, Ontario will become its first site in Canada to offer its enterprise-class Vblock cloud technology from EMC, VMware and Cisco.
SunGard’s Enterprise Cloud Services feature an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform, with a service level agreement for 99.95 percent infrastructure uptime. SunGard also offers Recover2Cloud Vaulting services, which provide online backup and recovery of physical and virtual environments, assuming recovery responsibility on behalf of an organization.
'Defining Time' for Cloud Adoption
"We see the next 18 to 24 months as the defining time for enterprise adoption of the cloud," said Kodukula, who said SunGard launched its cloud services last year in a limited number of facilities, and is gradually expanding their availability in 2012. "We are going to have a set of data centers in our footprint with large cloud deployments. We'll have geo-redundancy and be backed up with other data centers."
This Amazon Direct Connect service, currently in technical preview availability, will also allow customers to utilize the AWS Storage Gateway, a software appliance with cloud-based storage using Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to asynchronously write customer data between the SunGard Enterprise Cloud and AWS’s storage infrastructure, providing customers an added layer of data protection for their data. The service will be architected by SunGard and will utilize both SunGard and AWS technologies.
Test and Development Offering
In addition to cloud-based recovery solutions, SunGard will offer a broader set of cloud solutions on AWS to their customers for both production and testing-and-development environments, allowing customers to choose from different cloud platforms based on the requirements of their application. Application testing and development has been a key entry point for developers seeking cloud platforms
"What we see happening is that a lot of customers will begin with us on development and testing," said Kodukula. "The question now is 'how do I incubate this.' We understand how applications break and how to get them started again. We've been doing this for a long time."