infoTECH Feature

July 11, 2011

Cloud Hosting: Everybody's Talking About It, Who's Actually Doing It?

At the recent Cloud Expo 2011 in New York City, TMC CEO Rich Tehrani (News - Alert) had a chance to interview Ditlev Bredahl, the CEO of OnApp.

OnApp makes a cloud platform intended to provide a way for a web host to set up, configure and manage a cloud hosting operation, without requiring a lot of specialized equipment, just an off-the-shelf server and storage hardware. Then once the cloud is deployed, OnApp gives the user such web-based functions as control of clouds, virtual machines, storage and compute resources, users, billing and more.

Bredahl noted that time to market is a big concern of many of their clients. “We had one guy who wasn’t happy with one of our competitors, and we migrated his whole setup in 12 hours – billing, everything,” he noted. Admittedly that would be fast, a normal migration is about 24 to 48 hours.

It’s not exactly an untapped market, but it’s one where OnApp knows its focus. As Bredahl says “there are around 33,000 hosting companies in the world” who deal with more than a thousand domains, have over five employees and have a million dollars in revenue. And of those, only 500 have a cloud offering, and “we power 278 of those 500,” he said.

As Bredahl noted, cloud hosting is one of those things that “everybody’s talking about, but not that many are actually doing.”

We’re about a year away from the cloud ceasing to be “cool and sexy,” as Bredahl said, and just down to “Okay, how good are you really, what can you offer and what do you cost?” When that time comes, providers will have to “decommoditize” themselves by the features they all on top of simply offering cloud hosting.

And someday, of course, cloud will no longer be “cloud,” it will just be how things are done. “I can’t wait for that phase,” he says.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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