We are pleased to announce a new feature on Data Center Map, that will help clients navigate through the growing jungle of cloud server providers – just as we did with colocation when Data Center Map was launched in 2007.
The new feature can be found at http://www.chainclocks.com/cloud.html
Cloud – Feasible Alternative
The reason for this new feature is the rapid growth of cloud computing, that is causing the demands from clients to change and thereby forcing providers to be agile and change their strategy to adopt to these changes. Renting infrastructure as a service rather than investing in network equipment, servers and storage to colocate, is becoming more of a feasible alternative for many clients as technology evolves and more providers start offering such services. However, it has become quite a jungle for clients to find relevant cloud server providers and compare their services.
A recent study performed by IDG Research on behalf of Savvis, Inc. shows that 75% of companies will use enterprise-class cloud computing within the next five years, but that 60% consider it extremely or very challenging to find the right cloud computing solution for their companies. We therefore feel that there is a huge need in the industry for such a service, to make it easier for clients to navigate the market and find providers in specific geographic areas (which is often necessary due to regulations of where data may be stored) or providers offering specific features – and afterwards compare them.
Lack Of Cloud Definition
Comparing the various cloud server providers is not an easy thing to do though, as there is no clear definition of what cloud servers are in the industry – and it varies a lot what kind of features are available with the various cloud platforms. For some the most important factor is that the service is billed as a utility service, while others consider high availability the most important factor. We have chosen to narrow down the definition of infrastructure as a service, to being virtualized server instances that are automatically deployed.
In addition we are then gathering details about whether or not the various providers offer utility billing, high availability etc., to make it possible for clients to filter the cloud providers and see only providers that live up to their own requirements rather than fitting in to a definition of cloud servers defined by us. Currently we are gathering the following details:
- Physical data center locations
- High availability / full redundancy
- Minimum billing period
- Providers selling model (whether resources are bundled or sold separately)
- Scalability of server instances
- Guaranteed minimum CPU resources
- SAS 70 audit
- API access
- Availability of CDN services
- Availability of managed services
- Availability of free trial
- Availability of phone support
- Integrated backup/snapshot functionality
- Integrated load balancer
- Integrated firewall
- Operative systems supported (Linux, Windows and custom image installation)
- Technology: Cloud Management Platform
- Technology: Hypervisor (KVM, Xen, Hyper-V, VMware etc.)
- Technology: Storage type (Central SAN, local disk storage, distributed storage system etc.)
If you have any suggestions for other data to collect, or other ideas that can improve this service, feel free to let us know.