I’m really bullish on regional clouds – they solve a bunch of problems from legal jurisdiction to latency, from privacy concerns to support issues – putting the cloud closer to the customer is a great approach. So a partnership just announced between theCloud, a New Zealand based hosting provider and ScaleXtreme, a US based provider of server automation products piqued my interest.
The partnership comes through the ScaleXtreme CSP program, an initiative that enables customers of theCloud to rapidly (read automatically) deploy and manage cloud servers running on vCloud. It allows for provisioning, management, configurations, monitoring and server automation, all from within the ScaleXtreme account. In terms of what partners get from ScaleXtreme, the program consists of a reseller/affiliate agreement, an integrated API for user and account management, as well as management resources and training modules.
theCloud customers building virtual servers on VMware vCloud can use any of ScaleXtreme’s three product offerings – Xpress, Xpert or Xtreme – to provision and manage their servers through unique management resources and individualized training modules. ScaleXtreme’s Dynamic Server Assembly product (which feels like Chef or Puppet by another name) allows for customers to use pre-built server templates and launch a variety of applications without additional coding.
ScaleXtreme contends that it is different from other agent-based management tools in that it only requires encrypted HTTP links between any client, the Xpert service, and the managed servers; customers don’t need to open up ports on firewalls to let Xpert in to work their servers.
I’m quoted in the release as saying that;
Cloud computing is a hugely transformative change for IT and business in general. However, in order to gain the benefits that Cloud can bring, organizations need to be able to harness the scale and flexibility in automated ways. By including ScaleXtreme with its core offering, theCloud is helping to make real the benefits of the cloud for Kiwi businesses
I’m excited about this announcement for a number of reasons;
- An offering that overcomes geographic issues is a compelling proposition
- Seeing tiny vendors like theCloud carve themselves out a space in the market against some massive players is heartening
Of course not every workload is appropriate for this offering – it’ll appeal to people that have strong concerns about where their data is held. It’s a small market and theCloud isn’t going to take on an AWS anytime soon – they are however now able to carve themselves out a small but important piece of market share – that’s good for them, and good for the market as a whole.