Amazon EC2 cloud servers can now be provisioned in OnApp’s Cloud Platform. OnApp provides a federated cloud or “cloud of clouds” that blends a few hundred service provider clouds into one.
This is the first time third party cloud infrastructure, or infrastructure outside of the federation, is available and manageable through the cloud platform. The 3.5 release means that clients can offer and control AWS alongside a range of other types of Infrastructure as a Service under one control panel.
OnApp's Federation is arguably a way for several regional clouds to band together and compete against the giants. Does the inclusion of AWS mean OnApp is no longer leveling the playing field for these small providers?
OnApp’s utility is largely in providing as varied a cloud option as possible. Ignoring AWS is not the way to compete with AWS. The way to win customers is not to wall them in. OnApp is creating an abstraction layer between app and type of infrastructure it needs to sit on.
The compelling value proposition is the ability for anyone to go in and carve out a cloud infrastructure tuned exactly for their needs in terms of location, performance, compliance and a multitude of other factors.
“We acknowledge the fact that people need different clouds,” said Kosten Metreweli. chief commercial officer, OnApp. “You, as an application provider, should have a single API to put your workload in anything. It’s what we’re striving to get to.”
OnApp acts as a single point of orchestration. Service providers can tap and extend with EC2 in addition of around a few hundred clouds within. The clouds vary from very small to very large.
EC2 provisioning joins the several other larger service providers found within OnApp's Federation, including IBM’s SoftLayer, Peer 1, and large telecoms like TDC and Pacnet. The federation allows them to extend into other markets, and the addition of AWS allows service providers to extend into AWS-based services.
From a pricing standpoint, it’s hard to compete with AWS’ scale. However, there are several other facets that make OnApp attractive to both cloud providers and customers beyond pricing.
“Differentiation is absolutely possible,"said Metreweli. "By giving that radical transparency, you can build all sorts of value propositions to customers. The clouds within are differentiated by region, technical details like SSD, performance, and compliance…the objective is to create something that gives the enterprise/end user, as much choice as possible in types of infrastructure, with deep transparency.”
Metriweli said a lot of the value proposition comes from the way applications are deployed today.
“Your customers are everywhere, you can have an instantly global business,” he said. “The likes of Amazon have pretty good reach, which is great. But if you’ve got a customer in Africa somewhere, AWS doesn’t help you. The only way you can build out is by sharing an economic model and allowing service providers in any geography to create something bigger than a sum of its part. Think of what Uber did for transportation.”