There has been a great deal of innovation around automated provisioning, scaling and decommissioning of cloud services in the past couple of years. The primary driver of this innovation is the ability to easily consume cloud services and pay only for the services that are being used. Creating cloud servers and appliances has become a remedial task to the end user with point-and-click provisioning being performed via slick web portals, while modern day cloud orchestration systems do the heavy lifting on the backend provisioning of the services that were ordered.
Archive for the 'Virtual Private Datacenter' Category
You’ve made the decision to move to the cloud, but as with anything, all products aren’t created equal. And like with any complex decision, you need a roadmap.
But let’s start with something important – you need to start to Think Vertical. Many organizations have the responsibility for the compute, storage, data center and network split across manager. Of course, when you only have a few servers in a closet and you’re running a local area network to connect your PCs, it might have been OK. But today it doesn’t make sense. The optimal decisions are totally connected. Let’s say you acquire a new business in Japan. Should you get a high-speed network back to your servers in California? Should you buy a data center cloud service in Japan and put your own servers in there? Or should you connect to a compute & storage cloud service in Singapore?
Ten years ago, Nicholas Carr wrote a paper entitled “IT Doesn’t Matter” published in the Harvard Business Review. He might not have realized the far-reaching effects but in many IT shops, and with many senior executives, it signaled a shift from focusing on compute, storage, data centers and networks to applications. This also coincided with the rise of enterprise applications and, as a result, CIOs spend a lot of time discussing packaged applications, integration, and implementations, resulting in the treatment of the fundamental engine of their business as a commodity. But in most companies, packaged applications represent less than 20% of the overall footprint.
When was the last time you dialed an 800-number for customer support or chatted with an online support rep about a product or service you’re using? As I type this post, call center agents for major corporations are handling tens of thousands of calls, e-mails and chat sessions. That’s a lot of customer interactions at any given time, and each customer engagement is important and must be treated personally. Some of the world’s largest brands, including Priceline.com and eBay, rely on customer service solution provider KANA Software to better manage their ever-increasing customer interactions. Ballooning customer interaction volumes put pressure on IT infrastructures, which is what drove KANA to re-evaluate the infrastructure it had in place.
KANA looked to leverage the benefits of a cloud computing infrastructure, especially because the pay-as-you-go pricing model and flexible architecture was more cost-effective and efficient. After reviewing several vendors, KANA decided to partner with Layered Tech because of our expertise and ability to support their needs on both sides of the Atlantic. We created a customized package of virtual private data centers (VPDCs), managed services and disaster recovery solutions so KANA can support their clients, large and small.
We are excited to partner with the leader in customer service management and provide the international presence and flexibility KANA needs to give their clients customer service applications on a highly scalable infrastructure. We enjoy working closely with KANA, and we take pride in getting to know our customers’ businesses so that we can provide them with the custom infrastructure solutions they need to succeed.
How can we help your business?
It’s undeniable – cloud computing and virtualized environments have evolved into enterprise-worthy infrastructure solutions. But for enterprises, putting their data at risk on shared public servers still presents a security challenge they can’t overlook. From our experiences working with enterprises of all sizes, we know that while they all have different business goals, they all have the same cloud environment needs: enterprise-class security, choice and flexibility.
To address enterprises’ concerns and strengthen cloud security, Layered Tech has developed a new Virtual Private Data Center (VPDC) platform that delivers a virtualized environment on servers dedicated to individual enterprise customers – in other words, customers aren’t sharing resources, which reduces their risk profile. Our customers using the new platform will receive levels of managed services, security and flexibility via a proprietary API previously unavailable in an integrated offering.
While putting everything on the cloud might not necessarily be the best option, companies still want the cloud’s benefits, which is why we created this platform to offer enterprises a hybrid cloud computing approach that delivers the best of both worlds – traditional dedicated hosting and cloud computing. To meet constantly changing enterprise needs, the virtualized platform gives customers the reliability and security of dedicated servers with the flexibility and scalability of virtual machines.
But what can this platform really do for your business? Let’s break it down:
RELIABILITY: You get the reliability and control of dedicated servers from your VPDC platform that operates exclusively within Layered Tech data centers.
CHOICE: You can choose the virtualization platform that best suits your needs, including 3Tera’s AppLogic, VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V, because our VPDC offering is technology-agnostic.
FLEXIBILITY: With our automated server provisioning system, enterprise customers can design, order and deploy a secure virtualized environment within an hour, instead of the weeks or months it can take many on-premise data centers to provision a similar solution.
CUSTOMIZATION: Developers will have more than 100 applications immediately available to them through the new API; those developers then have access to the API for customizing additional applications of their choice.
SUPPORT SERVICES: You can choose from a range of support options with the new VPDC platform’s tiered managed services, which lets you focus on managing your business, not your VPDC. Support ranges from fully managed by Layered Tech to self-managed options with varying levels in between.
To learn more about the new VPDC platform, which will be available later in Q1 2010, click here!
Let’s kick off the New Year by sharing some industry insight about expected IT trends and the initiatives most likely to dominate IT budgets in 2010, according to Enterprise Systems Journal. Their first newsletter of 2010 says businesses will increasingly adopt cloud computing and virtualization as viable and cost-effective infrastructure strategies. It also weighs public vs. private clouds and discusses which meets business needs best. And along with new technologies and strategies comes the need to adjust security practices to keep mission-critical data secure, while managing applications to meet end-user’s performance standards.
To highlight the private cloud hosting trend, the Enterprise Systems’ newsletter includes an article authored by Layered Tech President and Founder Todd Abrams, called “Clouds in 2010: Will Yours Be Lined With Silver or Filled with Coal Dust?” Todd shares his 2010 predictions for cloud computing’s growth and enterprise usage, all fueled by operational and financial improvements. He discusses the advantages of private clouds for enterprise control and security and explains the value created by managed private cloud services. For enterprises looking to better align IT solutions with overall corporate business needs, Todd advocates custom migration plans and says that successful enterprises will take a more holistic approach to their infrastructure. Check out the entire article here!
Other interesting articles include:
Plano, TX – Layered Technologies, Inc. (Layered Tech), a leading worldwide provider of on-demand IT infrastructure, today announced that it is the first hosting company to give enterprise customers the option of transferring their Microsoft Windows operating system (Windows OS) environment to an AppLogic-based cloud computing solution. Layered Tech will use 3Tera’s AppLogic™ 2.4 to enable customers to run their Windows OS platform in a virtual computing environment, which means customers will have the same high-availability as their dedicated physical servers but with far more scalability, all for a fraction of the cost. Learn more >>
Virtualization creates profound cost savings for the Windows OS environment for several reasons, including that customers:
>> No longer have to buy and maintain hardware including servers, load balancers and SANs.
>> Save money because virtualization enables them to reduce the complexity of their operating environment by consolidating multiple physical servers onto a handful of virtual machines.
>> Save time when setting up new servers because virtualization software’s templating and snapshot capabilities can replicate entire OS and application set-ups in 10% of the time it takes with physical dedicated servers.
>> Eliminates the cost and complexity of maintaining and installing their OS because The Grid Layer® solution from Layered Tech means that management of virtual machines is handled by Layered Tech data center employees.
“In the current economic conditions where everyone is looking to spend less but still achieve their business objectives and profitability, Layered Tech is presenting customers with a particularly compelling opportunity to significantly cut costs by consolidating their Windows OS server operations onto our virtualization platform,” said Jack Finlayson, CEO of Layered Tech. “By bringing Windows OS onto The Grid Layer, we are literally creating a market that didn’t have a place before. To achieve virtualization’s high-availability, scalability and replication in a physical server environment would cost customers millions, yet with Layered Tech their cost is a tiny fraction of that.”
In conjunction with its new Windows OS/virtualization offering, Layered Tech has launched an Early Adopter Program (Request info) so that existing customers can transfer some of their Windows OS servers to Layered Tech’s grid to evaluate cost saving opportunities, as well as operational and performance improvements that come with Layered Tech’s virtualization solutions.
“We’re very excited to bring this offering to the market because our customers have been asking for Windows OS virtualization support, and now we’re making that possible by being the first to provide AppLogic 2.4,” said Layered Tech Chief Marketing Officer John Pozadzides. “Even in this tough economy we still have many customers who need to rapidly scale their computing capabilities because they’re experiencing explosive growth, are bringing on new customers or even that they’re expanding R&D. Having their Windows OS servers on a virtualization platform means they can consolidate servers with Layered Tech and have the scalability and redundancy they need, all while still operating within a fairly lean IT budget.”
In addition to the Windows OS environment, Layered Tech continues to offer The Grid Layer to enterprises and companies that use other operating systems, such as Linux and Unix. Customers of Layered Tech’s Grid Layer, including those operating on Windows OS, are now available to take advantage of its DEFCON managed services, enabling enterprises to scale the level of data center and server management that best fits their individual needs.
Recently, Layered Technologies announced that the company became the first hosting provider to launch dedicated servers running Microsoft Windows 2008 and Hyper-V. In this exclusive interview, we talk to Mr. Todd Abrams, COO & President of the company, about the challenges and promises of virtualization technology. Read actual article >>
HostReview: Layered Technologies’ Hyper-V dedicated server offerings are most likely meant for professionals. Nevertheless, how would you explain the benefits of LT’s Windows Server 2008 based virtualization solutions to a less tech-savvy audience?
Todd Abrams: I’ve seen a lot of people overcomplicate the concepts behind virtualization. This seems to make those of us who are less technical shy away from experimenting with the technology. But the reality is that virtualization actually simplifies installation and management of operating systems and applications.
One example of how virtualization could make life easier comes in the form of pre-packaged applications. Let’s say a business wanted to use the popular SugarCRM application. Instead of having to install an operating system, install the application, optimize both, and secure them, one could simply download a virtual machine created by a SugarCRM expert and run it instantly.
Indeed, once a server has been virtualized, it has a number of capabilities that were simply not present previously:
•Snapshots and backups
•Instantaneous provisioning of Virtual Machines
•Easy migration and upgrade paths
•Simplified management of multiple machines
Why did you choose Hyper-V? Did you initially consider similar open source technologies?
Microsoft and Layered Tech have a long-standing relationship. In addition to supporting many Microsoft operating systems and applications we are strong believers in the future of data center virtualization. From this perspective supporting Hyper-V is a necessity.
In addition to working with Microsoft, Layered Tech also has experience with supporting other major virtualization offerings from 3Tera, VMware, Xen, and Parallels.
What did being the first hosting company to implement Hyper-V involve? How long were the planning and implementation phases, and did you work with Microsoft experts on this?
Hyper-V was implemented in essentially the same manner as any new product roll out. However, Layered Tech’s extensive experience in supporting virtualized environments, including our Grid computing platform, enabled us to move much more quickly than other hosting providers.
We worked very closely with the Microsoft team in all aspects of the roll out including training, implementation and product development.
What kinds of clients are you targeting with the new Hyper-V offerings?
We believe Hyper-V will be particularly attractive for Enterprise level clients with a large investment in equipment powered by Microsoft operating systems. Hyper-V fills a gap for clients who previously found competing products either too expensive on a per VM basis, or too unsupported for serious investment.
About: Todd Abrams, COO & President
Todd leads the Layered Technologies team and oversees daily operations. Prior to founding Layered Technologies, he served as CEO and founder of FX-Directors Solutions, a leading technology services company in the funeral services industry. At FX Directors Solutions, Todd worked to build a solid technology and financial foundation that was acquired to form Aldor Solutions in late 2003. Previously, Todd served as Vice President of North American Operations for EDGE Technologies, a large wholesale computer component and white box system distributor. While at EDGE, Todd built the North American Operations and grew sales from $2 million to over $110 million within 2 years, while also establishing 8 U.S satellite locations. Earlier in his career, he worked for EDGE Internet Services Australia (EISA), an ISP that was publicly traded on the Australian Exchange. EISA aggressively grew in the US market by acquiring other ISP’s across North America.
NeXplore Leverages the Grid Layer from Layered Tech for Fast Integration, Speedy Launch and Instant Scalability
FRISCO, TX–Jun 5, 2008 — NeXplore Corp. today announced the successful transitioning of the recently acquired ClickCaster.com website to the NeXplore Grid Server. Powered by The Grid Layer hosting solution from Layered Technologies, in combination with 3Tera Inc.’s virtualization software AppLogic, the NeXplore Grid Server is the company’s Virtual Private Data Center for efficiently and cost-effectively operating and managing NeXplore’s growing portfolio of Web 2.0 products and destinations.
The rapid transitioning to the NeXplore Grid Server of ClickCaster.com enables NeXplore to quickly monetize and scale this popular website that provides tools for fast-and-easy audio and video podcast creation, publishing and management. Upon acquisition by NeXplore, ClickCaster.com had approximately 245,000 unique users, a number NeXplore plans to significantly grow by the end of 2008.
NeXplore currently utilizes the NeXplore Grid Server to host and manage NeXplore Search, the company’s recently launched Web 2.0 search engine optimized for a superior end-user experience, rich-media display and social network integration. NeXplore is working to integrate ClickCaster.com podcasting capability into NeXplore Search.
“The quickness, low cost and relative ease with which we were able to transition ClickCaster.com to the NeXplore Grid Server validates our decision to utilize this cutting edge hosting and application management system,” said Dion Hinchcliffe, chief technology officer for NeXplore Corporation. “The pace of innovation today is blistering. Web companies hobbled by the cost and complexity associated with traditional infrastructure — datacenter co-location, private racks and managed hosting services, etc. — are destined for extinction. The road to success in today’s dynamic Web 2.0 world — the path that NeXplore is forging — is paved with glitch-free performance, speed-to-market and instant, on-demand scalability.” Read more at Yahoo Finance >>
For more information about NeXplore, visit www.nexplorecorporation.com >>
For more information about Layered Technologies, visit www.layeredtech.com >>
For more information about the Grid Layer, visit www.thegridlayer.com >>
Interview with Todd Abrams, COO, Layered Technologies
Historically, the only option available to businesses with large mission-critical applications was to distribute them across a number of dedicated servers intermixed with firewalls, switches and load balancers. These enterprise grade solutions have a high degree of complexity, require a staff of system administrators and engineers to provision, and are extremely expensive to deploy with 100% redundancy.
Layered Technologies cloud computing offering, The Grid Layer, solves all of these problems by providing users with a powerful graphical configuration interface which lets them create entire virtual infrastructures within the Grid comprised of a wide range of devices including firewalls, load balancers and servers. Switching, routing and monitoring are all built into the Grid as well as complete physical redundancy and RAID 1 network duplication of data across physical nodes.
We believe that cloud computing services are the next generation of infrastructure and that as more businesses learn about these offerings the huge cost reductions, inherent redundancy and extreme scalability will compel CIOs and CTOs to migrate their sprawling applications to service providers like Layered Technologies.
2. Why do you choose AppLogic OS and 3Tera?
The choice to use 3Tera’s AppLogic operating system was a simple one. When Layered Technologies began to work with 3Tera over two years ago there were no natural competitors. Even today the 3Tera OS is unique and still developing. AppLogic allows service providers like Layered Technologies to deploy and support standard enterprise grade hardware and to aggregate resources to mimic much larger and more expensive supercomputing systems.
3. What kind of industries use your services?
Layered Technologies currently has a number of Web 2.0 clients like Nexplore and Woopra who utilize The Grid Layer for redundancy and scalability. These companies rely exclusively on their online presence so their infrastructure requires 100% uptime. We also have a wide range of enterprise customers ranging from global telecom companies, to healthcare providers, to educational institutions using The Grid Layer.
As far as Cloud or Grid computing is concerned, virtually any enterprise can take advantage of the capabilities of the Grid. We offer services that range from individual Grid-based Virtual Private Servers to large multi-node Virtual Private Data Centers which allow clients to build and deploy their own complete hosted architectures on demand.
4. Do you have any plans to launch your services to the Japanese Market?
The Japanese market is very important to Layered Technologies. Not only do we currently have a number of Japanese clients, we view Japan as a strategically important market with huge growth potential.
Layered Technologies recently signed an agreement with Bit-Isle in Tokyo and as begun to deploy infrastructure in Tokyo. We intend to make our full range of services available including The Grid Layer to any clients who require Japanese localization.