Turnkey software aims to get service providers into cloud-computing game more quickly

December 31, 2009

3 Min Read
VMOps Claims Cloud-Computing Creation

How hot is cloud computing among telecom service providers? Consider this: VMOps Inc. , a company that developed software to enable rapid deployment of computing clouds, launched its beta product earlier this year and ended up with 30 participants, instead of the expected three to four.

As 2009 comes to a close, VMOps announced its first two public beta deployments: ReliaCloud, which launched a public beta in mid-December, and Cloud Central, which began its public beta in Australia. VMOps competes with companies such as VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) that are also offering cloud-computing capabilities.

The ability of companies such as VMOps to get service providers to market quickly in cloud computing is also an indication of potentially competitive and diverse market. Major telecom service providers including AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Enterprise Solutions have launched their cloud-computing initiatives, as have NTT America Inc. and, most recently, Orange Business Services . (See NTT America Touts Cloud Support, Orange Unveils Cloud Formation, Verizon Unveils Cloud Services, and AT&T Joins Cloud Computing Set.)

With all this cloud-computing activity, VMOps hopes to leverage speed to market, ease of use, and flexibility of its platform to attract service provider customers. The company offers a turnkey software stack that service providers can deploy on commodity hardware and have a ready-to-launch service, said company founder and CEO Sheng Liang.

It will be up to each service provider to decide how to customize its cloud-computing offer, said Shannon Williams, vice president of business development for VMOps. He believes there will be tiers of service, from the basic utility of Amazon Web Services Inc. 's EC2 offering right up to a highly secured service with five-nines reliability built in.

The expectation is service providers will take VMOps' software into their existing data centers and integrate it into their operations and support systems and billing systems, Williams said.

"We integrated all the pieces of the infrastructure today -- networking storage, virtualization -- and built a management interface on top of that," Williams said. VMOps provides an applications programming interface to plug into the billing and management systems of the service providers.

While some companies are selling virtualization capability, VMOps is more focused on the turnkey approach and greater integration of cloud-computing capabilities, Williams said, with key things such as security already built in.

"Cloud technology makes sense, but it only works if I can secure it, and make sure it is kept private -- that is where the conversations start," he said. "One of the things we had to do was build in a whole other layer of network isolation and service isolation."

Service providers can differentiate their services by offering their customers a different look and feel and different kinds of additional services based on cloud computing, such as disaster recovery offerings, Williams said.

"We think disaster recovery is going to be huge," he said.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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