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Virtustream takes aim at complex cloud migrations

Brandon Butler | June 19, 2014
Small IaaS provider is rubbing elbows with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google

The company has some unique features as well. Virtustream offers what it calls application-level service-level agreements (SLA). Whereas most providers offer infrastructure availability guarantees (a promise that the service will be up some percentage of the time during the month), Virtustream can guarantee that customer's applications that it hosts are available.

Virtustream also charges customers based on a consumption model of pricing. Most cloud vendors, specifically AWS, charge customers based on resource allocation, not how much is actually used by the customer. A user could spin up a VM for six hours, and not use it, but pay for all six hours of its use in Amazon's cloud. Virtustream's micro-virtual machines are metered in five-minute intervals; only if the VM is being used will there will be a charge.

In an effort to define itself as a major player in the increasingly competitive IaaS market, Virtustream is adding features to appeal to a broader audience. This week the company announced that it has enabled geofencing, which is dictated by the Intel chips that it runs its cloud off of. These chips can be programmed to not allow workloads to run in certain geographic regions. The move is basically an enhanced security feature that ensures customers where their workloads are hosted across the company's data centers in the U.S., U.K and Amsterdam. Intel is an investor in Virtustream.

The company's xStream platform also added support this week for OpenStack. Reid says down the line even bigger changes are coming. Specifically, the company hopes to unveil a credit-card swipe virtual machine onboarding service. It will be housed in a completely isolated area from its current customer caseload though, he adds.

In reviewing the company, Gartner summed it up:

"Although Virtustream supports a solid set of self-service features, it primarily targets complex, mission-critical applications where it is likely that the customer will purchase professional services assistance for implementation, and managed services on an ongoing basis. It does not have the resources to compete for all workloads against providers whose greater resources allow development of much broader product portfolios. Rather, it provides deep and differentiated capabilities in its focus areas."

For companies that want not just a service provider, but a consultant in deploying the cloud, Virtustream is a compelling option.


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