Not all clouds are created equal. That's especially true for specialized clouds built to serve a single industry, such as the RMS(one) platform rolled out last week.
Risk management specialist RMS will use Datapipe’s Stratosphere high-performance cloud to support RMS(one), a new service that combines “big data” analysis and a cloud delivery model to provide insurers with real-time information on the risks posed by natural disasters.
RMS maintains large databases of information about disasters and runs computer models to analyze the risk faced by its customers, which include about 400 insurers and reinsurers. The product was once delivered through DVDs for desktop analysis, but is now being ported to the cloud for an as-a-service model for RMS and its clients.
RMS(one) is the latest of a growing number of clouds that are targeting a specific vertical. "You'll see a lot of industry-specific clouds starting to surface, because it's not one size fits all," said Paris Georgallis, Vice President of Platform Operations for RMS.
That's certainly true when it comes to infrastructure. The service will run from data centers in London the United States, with disaster recovery operations hosted by Datapipe at its facility within the Verne Global data center in Keflavik, Iceland. RMS(one) will run on enterprise-class hardware, including Cisco UCS servers, EMC Symmetrix VMAX storage arrays, and Vertica databases from HP.
"The RMS cloud is not a generic public cloud," said Georgallis. "It's a purpose-built cloud, built to do one thing only - deliver results extremely fast. That's a key differentiator. We've built a dedicated set of rails and put a bullet train on those rails. It's all about predictable performance and control. If I have that, I can write an SLA to that."
That speed will dramatically accelerate the amount of time it takes RMS clients to run the intensive data-crunching required to deliver real-time updates to disaster models - which can be crucial ahead of a developing event like a hurricane. When RMS(one) needs addditional compute capacity, it will use burst capabilities provided by the Datapipe Stratosphere cloud.
"This is the type of challenge we like to sink our teeth into," said Ed Laczynski, Senior Vice President of Cloud Services for Datapipe, who said the company's Iceland data center provided to be ideal for RMS' testing and disaster recovery needs.
"We're halfway between the US and Europe, and our customers like that," said Laczynski. "Some of our largest customer footprints are in New York and London."
While most companies believe their clouds are special, RMS' approach to its new service has impressed some partners, including those who have worked with a wide range of customers.
"This is not a plain vanilla system," said Neela Jacques, Director and Senior Cloud Strategist at VMware. "These guys know exactly what they want and need, and many customers don't. On the upside, they are willing to do what's required to accomplish their goals. They've really created something that's a flagship for an industry cloud."