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Still Cloudy Days Ahead - Karl Chen

I visited several hosting & cloud service providers at VMworld including Savvis/Century Link, Navisite, Verizon/Terremark, and ViaWest. I listened to each of their presentations to better understand the variety of cloud services available to customers. It’s clear to me that they are all evolving from co-location services and transitioning to the Infrastructure as a service (IAAS) and managed hosting services. They all boasted about how many world-class data centers they had and how secure each facility was. It was very confusing to truly understand what services each vendor provided. Lots of “buzz-words” were thrown out such as ISP, private & public cloud, MSP, IAAS, PAAS and more.

Most of the vendors were willing to customize their services to meet customer needs, but Savvis was the only vendor who had a “Stairway To The Cloud” diagram (see below) to educate customers on their various Cloud offerings starting with:

  1. Co-location

  2. Manage hosting

  3. Providing virtual infrastructure in a private cloud to

  4. Managed applications including hypervisor, OS, databases and SAP

I really liked their “Stairway to the Cloud” solution approach to helping customers better understand this Cloud Services. Buyers beware. Make sure that the vendors have experienced system engineers who have extensive virtualization, OS, database and application implementation experience. Interview the SEs who will be assigned to work on your IT cloud services projects and understand their SLAs. Your CEO will still be holding you accountable whether your application and data is stored locally or at a cloud service provider.

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