Open source platforms, pricing drive provider success
By Khoo Boo Leong 05-Apr-2012
This trend is being driven mainly by open source technology that was first proven at scale in large production clouds, then made available to customers of all sizes under open source licenses.
Meanwhile, the rapid rise of Amazon as a global infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) player is putting pressure on many service providers that are hampered by slowing, commoditized businesses. This new market will feature thousands of clouds of all shapes and sizes, ranging from business, infrastructure and developer offerings, to consumer, mobile and gaming services.
"The service provider market will be a competitive one with end customers even able to enjoy portability [in some cases]," said Nabeel Youakim, the vice-president of Asia Pacific Product Marketing, Partners and Alliances at Citrix. "They can try their workloads on one service provider and if things don't go well, move them to other service providers. It depends on who provides the best service and pricing model on the CPU, storage and management layer."
"Service providers [seek] general-purpose platforms on which to start building IaaS," Youakim added. "As they see Amazon expanding globally over the years and taking business away from them, [the challenge for them becomes] knowing where to start. Do they start with the hypervisor first or a management stack? How do they get provisioning? There are many questions to ask and things to build."
The quick and the open
One such platform is the Citrix Cloudstack. "CloudStack, coupled with our CloudPortal [for automating the commerce and customer service aspects of operating a cloud business, including on-boarding, billing and metering and cloud services provisioning], enables service providers [to quickly] build an Amazon-like infrastructure out of the box and provide IaaS to end customers," said Youakim.
"Cloudstack's flexible yet performance-enhancing architecture allows uCloud to deliver stability, security and convenience that make it more agile and usable at a price that is 40% lower than Amazon Web Services."
- Suh Jung-Sik, Korea Telecom
With Cloudstack as the open platform and CloudPortal as the interface with the end customer, service providers can differentiate themselves through their account management, pricing and billing, customer relationship management and reporting capabilities. They can also deliver unique cloud services such as desktop-as-a-service and Windows apps as well as business applications like Exchange, Office, SharePoint, Lync and web hosting. Their customers can add or change services, view reports and manage users without IT intervention.
"CloudStack's easy integration and flexibility dramatically decreased our time to market as well as allow us to provide customers with overall cost savings," said Suh Jung-Sik, the senior vice president of the Cloud Business Unit in Korea Telecom's Service Innovation Group. "Cloudstack's flexible yet performance-enhancing architecture allows uCloud to deliver stability, security and convenience that make it more agile and usable at a price that is 40% lower than Amazon Web Services."