How to Provide Cloud Computing without a Data Center

Recently, I had an opportunity to meet with Richard Dym, CMO, and Koss Yokota, VP Asia Pacific Business Development, at OpSource’s headquarters in Santa Clara, California, about their brand-new offering, OpSource Cloud.

Their web page is the best source of information about who they are and what they do. However, like any other company, they have several different offerings, each fairly complex, and it was hard for me to grasp their operations at the highest level. So Dym gave me a comprehensive presentation.

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OpSource’s main business has been to provide comprehensive services at three operational levels to make sure clients’ applications run smoothly. These are the levels:
Technical—Provides technical infrastructures, such as servers, in a colo data center.
Applications—Tunes applications to run without any issues.
Business—Provides metering, CRM, etc.

Its latest offering, announced October 5, is OpSource Cloud.

Dym mentioned that although Amazon is a leader among the few cloud computing companies, it does not have many enterprise customers. This is because Amazon’s offering is weak in security, performance, and control.

OpSource Cloud provides:

  • Security—Private firewall
  • Performance—Multitier architecture
  • Control—Many layers of passwords
  • Standards—De facto standards
  • Support—24 ´ 7 phone support

This is very similar to what I described in my previous blog.  Here is a recap: Cisco’s James Urquhart introduced the notions of “internal” and “external” to cloud computing. His point was that two factors should be considered in the classification of clouds: control (public vs. private) and physical location (internal vs. external).

These factors create four possible combinations of clouds:

  1. Public and external
  2. Public and internal
  3. Private and external
  4. Private and internal

Numbers 1 and 4 are the original definitions of public and private clouds, respectively. Number 2 does not make sense and should be removed from the list.

I argued that when you run out of computing capacity in your private internal cloud, you burst the private cloud to exploit private external cloud, as shown in the previous blog. What OpSource provides is the private external cloud that it calls OpSource Cloud. My question is whether there is a minimum charge to reserve some computing power in the private external (outsourced) cloud. OpSource does not charge a minimum fee; it enforces the pay-as-you-go scheme 100%. This is great for clients, but how about for OpSource? It is hard to foresee IT demands and the right level of IT gear–provisioning ahead of time in the private external cloud.

Dym said that this is the secret sauce for forecasting and provisioning IT gears and power at a right level. The cloud offering is hosted at an NTT data center, and NTT gives OpSource power as needed. This is too good an arrangement. Why? NTT is the most recent investor.

This visit was very interesting from the following points:

  • Private external cloud is actually implemented.
  • Private external is targeted to enterprise customers.

This was the first time I heard about the actual implementation of private external (outsourced) cloud. With real private external cloud implementation, cloud computing may enter the mainstream of enterprise, although Dym thinks outsourced cloud has not crossed the chasm yet, á la Geoffrey Moore.

Finally, I think OpSource plays its game well without having its own data center, as opposed to the likes of Amazon and Rackspace, which do. OpSource can pick and choose data centers to implement their outsourced cloud offerings in selected geographical areas. They leave the data center facilities management to colo players like Equinix and NTT. In the previous blog, I wrote that only a small number of companies (five, according to a Yahoo research executive—IBM, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, and Amazon) can afford to be a cloud provider because it takes an abundance of money to implement a cloud offering with very expensive data centers. But the way OpSource plays its game, there could be more cloud offerings with data center operators like Digital Realty, Terremark, and other large colo players.

Zen Kishimoto

About Zen Kishimoto

Seasoned research and technology executive with various functional expertise, including roles in analyst, writer, CTO, VP Engineering, general management, sales, and marketing in diverse high-tech and cleantech industry segments, including software, mobile embedded systems, Web technologies, and networking. Current focus and expertise are in the area of the IT application to energy, such as smart grid, green IT, building/data center energy efficiency, and cloud computing.

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2 Responses to How to Provide Cloud Computing without a Data Center

  1. Hawk
    hawk October 23, 2009 at 7:09 am #

    Hi Zen,

    I’m curious if the cloud providers you talk to discuss a how to on “data policy? Drazen Drazic is joining this group on Monday and he sees this is a huge piece of this puzzle which isn’t being addressed.

  2. Tony Warren December 10, 2009 at 5:19 am #

    OK, so I recently purchased the 780 through Amazon and took it on a road trip. I love it! I was borrowing the Magellan 4350 prior to my purchase. It’s touchscreen is much faster, it’s TTS is less wordy and pronunciations are more accurate. One of my favorite features is the on-screen speed limit which has been incredibly accurate. The menu layout is much simpler than Magellan, you can get where you want in the menus from whichever screen you are on, rather than weeding through the layers of Magellan. You can add on-the-fly via points (bathroom breaks, fast food, etc) with much faster searches. You can zoon way in on the map and points of interest icons appear which you can tap and get info and add to your trip. It is just REALLY easy to use and works the way you think it should, unlike the Magellan.

    Also, if you’re even considering the 760 instead, why? You get a $100 MSN direct cable for about $20 more just by purchasing the 780. I enjoyed having the live traffic around Cincinnati when I travelled. Also, used the movie times feature with MSN.

    I’m so glad I got the Garmin over the Magellan, I can’t think of a single reason I would choose the other way around.

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