There is an ongoing theme of companies setting up solutions to act as a central and neutral portal to organizations loud services – in the past few weeks I’ve talked to a number of people who, for example, provide web frontends for managing cloud services from Rackspace, Amazon etc. Into this growth area jumps Datapipe, a provider of managed services and data center infrastructure for IT and cloud computing. Datapipe already has their own data centers in New York, San Jose, London, Hong Kong and Shanghai and they’re now offering customers Amazon infrastructure as well.

I spent some time talking with Datapipe who were keen to articulate what they see as the hidden pain and expense of managing cloud deployments – in a move reminiscent of Enomaly and enStratus among others, Datapipe seeks to ease these pain points.

Datapipe Managed Cloud, is a mashup of regular managed services with bundled cloud offerings from AWS. It’s an interesting concept that plays well into the hands of those who promote the concept of hybrid clouds – giving organizations the ability to utilize dedicated infrastructure but to also to scale up onto public cloud (at least as long as they like the Amazon flavor of public cloud). However Datapipe is doing much more than simply automating and centralizing cloud deployment, they offer a high service offering that includes architecture and design, forklifting, ongoing monitoring and management, patching and OS maintenance, and change management.

With this move to a partnership with AWS, Datapipe now also includes a suite of Cloud Accelerators for enhanced cloud infrastructure design. The modules include:

  • Customer Access Manager – A user management system that provides complete access management for all cloud computing resources. Group and role support (i.e., web team, DB teams) allow customers to delegate access to resources on an “as needed” basis.
  • Email Relay – Supports bulk-email applications and provides email relay capability from Amazon Web Services. Email relays are globally load balanced and highly available.
  • Global Load Balancer – Datapipe offers global load balancing for AWS solutions from its highly available load balancing service.
  • Web Application Accelerator – Datapipe delivers web caching of dynamic content and distribution to content delivery networks (CDN) through an award-winning infrastructure stack.

Of course this offering will only make sense for organizations who ant to scale their infrastructure needs onto Amazon’s cloud, I quizzed Datapipe on a possible tie up that would bring cloud offerings from other players into the mix, specifically Rackspace and Azure. Datapipe have nothing to announce at this stage but the idea make total sense to them – watch this space for a broadening of the offering.

In the interests of its desire to simplify things for customers, Datapipe offers customers a simplified billing model for accessing AWS infrastructure and the Cloud Accelerators as part of an all-inclusive price model for managed services, servers and storage – they’re also pragmatic about the drivers for enterprise IT and are offering customers a base monthly charge hat gives them certainty over their costs – full utility pricing is available but many customers prefer the stability that a base charge brings. In another interesting twist, Datapipe offers customers choice over their SLA, including the ability to specify a 100% uptime SLA, Datapipe achieves this by utilizing multiple Amazon regions plus their own infrastructure.

Abstraction of IT isn’t just about infrastructure – there’s a whole level of management that, t least for some organizations, is best handled by a third party. For organizations with these drivers, the Datapipe offering makes sense.

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Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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