Channel Partners buzz: security, cloud education and wholesale cloud

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The team is back from Las Vegas from the annual Channel Partners Conference and our heads are spinning with ideas from all of the great discussions we had with service providers and colleagues.

channelpartnersmarch2015_shengDuring our panel session, on the exhibit floor, and during show related events we heard a lot of chatter about various cloud related topics. Here are just a few of our takeaways from the event:

  • Security and compliance are still top concerns – during our panel session Moving Clients’ Apps to the Cloud at the Channel Partners Conference, security and compliance were hot topics. There is still a lot of apprehension when it comes to the cloud, but it becomes apparent that we need to look at both the application and infrastructure layers individually to determine the proper division of responsibility. In our recent blogpost we discussed security and the misguided notion that on-premise solutions are inherently safer. The bottom line: the cloud is a secure place to be, it really is just a matter of looking at the whole picture and understanding how your stack is built to effectively address vulnerabilities and implement an ongoing strategy that will keep data safe.
  • White label wholesale cloud is a game-changer for channel partners – after numerous demos and discussions of our wholesale cloud platform and the benefits our ground-breaking Cloud 2.0 architecture engender, it was clear that many attendees were unaware that an option like OrionVM even existed. This exemplifies how service providers today really are trapped between the cost and complexity of either building their own cloud (typically via legacy stacks e.g. VMware, Cisco, EMC etc.) or resigning themselves to using a public retailer like AWS. A light bulb literally goes off when they realize they can have the advantages of both approaches, minus any of their drawbacks. Wholesale white label cloud continues to garner traction amongst telcos, MSPs, SIs, and VARs alike as these clients discover the ease and speed at which they can brand and deploy their own Private, Public and Hybrid cloud solutions. No other CSP at the expo offered an out-of-the-box, turnkey platform like OrionVM, making us a unique opportunity for the channel to truly differentiate and gain a competitive advantage in the market.
  • The need for education around cloud innovation – cloud is still a relatively new concept for a wide range of service providers previously focused on selling hardware, colocation, or telecom products. We are seeing a huge need for education on emerging tech, data center advancements, and recent cloud innovations. Other companies, along with OrionVM, represent an IT transformation that can liberate from legacy approaches as the brave new world of cloud is cluttered with spin, hype, and a complex array of vendors and services.  In the spirit of this IT transformation, we attended the very cool Renegade Trust launch party during the conference, and are excited to collaborate/participate with this consortium in the future to help educate the market and evangelize some of the new tools and technologies now available. The current cloud ecosystem is populated by many who are unaware of the cost-savings and options now possible, or still simply view the industry through the biased lens of a particular vendor, agent, or outdated infrastructure allegiance. Whether someone uses OrionVM or not, it really all is about building community and helping peers and colleagues make better informed purchasing decisions that best match their specific requirements.

Did we miss you at the show? No worries, our expo special promo is still available to eligible channel partners until June 30th, 2015. Find out more here.

The OrionVM Wholesale Cloud Platform gives any service provider a tremendous opportunity to quickly and profitably deliver enterprise-grade cloud services for their users and organizations.

Gearing up for the Channel Partners Conference 2015

channelpartnersIt’s that time of year again when the channel partner community descends upon Las Vegas for the Channel Partner Conference hosted by Channel Partners. OrionVM is proudly participating as an exhibitor (booth #346) and as a speaker.


Our Co-Founder and CEO Sheng Yeo will be speaking on Monday at the session “Moving Clients’ Apps to the Cloud: Evaluating Cost vs. Value” on Monday, March 16, 2015, 10:45 am to 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time, Location: Lower Level Islander I. The session description: There are a lot of reasons to talk with clients about putting their business apps in the cloud. For starters, the capital investment is lower and a smaller staff is required. But customers’ resistance remains. One reason: Customers don’t see the value in making a switch. In this session, learn how to spot which apps are prime for a transition to cloud and discover how to perform a cost analysis that will turn cloud skeptics into buyers. One lucky attendee of our scheduled speaking session on Monday will win a Fitbit as a door prize, provided by OrionVM.

During the show March 16-18, 2015 we are excited to offer a giveaway and a promotion during the show as follows:

Prize Giveaway

One lucky attendee of our scheduled speaking session on Monday will win a Fitbit as a door prize, provided by OrionVM. Join the Session “Moving Clients’ Apps to the Cloud: Evaluating Cost vs. Value” on Monday, March 16, 2015, 10:45 am to 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time, Location: Lower Level Islander I. Simply attend the session on Monday for a chance to win the door prize.

Channel Partners 2015 Expo Promotion

OrionVM is offering a Channel Partners 2015 Special: Automatic Gold Partner status with a guaranteed 25% margin providing on demand resources (compute, storage, networking) at AWS reserved instance rates + a limited time 5% cash back on all charges.

All channel partners who sign up and join our network as a result of the show will be eligible for this limited time promotion. Simply register here online to become an OrionVM Channel Partner to take advantage of this offer before June 30th 2015. Or stop by our booth #346 during the show next week to learn more.

We hope to see you in Las Vegas next week and if not, drop us a line we’d love to hear from our valued channel partners!

We made the “Coolest Cloud Computing Vendors” List

100 Coolest Cloud Computing Vendors of 2015We are thrilled to announce that OrionVM has earned recognition on The Channel Company’s CRN 100 Coolest Cloud Computing Vendors of 2015, and specifically as one of top 20 Coolest Cloud Infrastructure Vendors Of The 2015 Cloud 100. This annual list recognizes some of the most innovative cloud companies supporting the IT channel today. See our press release for the details.

CRN introduced the 100 Coolest Cloud Computing Vendors in 2010 with the aim of helping solution providers navigate the cloud market. Since then the cloud market has grown and navigating this space is more important than ever as the transition from a traditional on-premise model to a recurring revenue model is becoming a do-or-die proposition for many solution providers.

What makes the Cloud 100 so valuable each year is that it provides a look at the startups in the space satisfying a niche need or problem. This is where the true innovation is happening. OrionVM is honored to be included in this list and recognized for our impressive rise against the larger incumbents.

Way to go team!

 

Is Cloud Security Keeping You Awake at Night?

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Cloud security is an important and trending topic, especially in light of recent security attacks such as Heartbleed and the iCloud social engineering hacks that exposed celebrity photos. Though these breaches may reside at different levels of the stack, they all can contribute to shaky confidence in cloud computing and fuel the naysayers. Cloud security concerns, real or “perceived,” are often the biggest hurdles that service providers face when presenting cloud solutions to their SMB and enterprise clients. The irony is that on-premise solutions could actually be more dangerous than cloud environments.

Perception vs. Reality

No solution is without security concerns but the majority of your vulnerabilities are not in the cloud. You are more likely to be negatively impacted by a rogue employee than a trusted cloud hosting provider (CHP):

  • Physical theft, employee mistakes (such as lost devices), and insider threats were responsible for 42.7% of 2013’s data breaches in the US, according to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
  • An enterprise data center (EDC) is four times more likely to suffer a malware or bot attack than a cloud hosting provider, as cited in a recent LA Times article.

OrionVM has effectively addressed cloud security hurdles with a wide range of enterprise clients from government agencies and tier 1 telcos to big pharma and publicly traded SaaS organizations. After years of working through the rigorous compliance requirements these customers demand, OrionVM has honed a set of best practices and internal procedures to successfully support high-traffic, mission-critical public, private, and hybrid cloud deployments.

More Stable = More Secure

Additionally, OrionVM’s fully redundant Cloud 2.0 architecture enables rapid fail-over of servers in the event of an outage, thereby delivering greater platform stability and performance than the offerings of other legacy Cloud 1.0 systems. Unfortunately, due to numerous breaches and outages, Cloud 1.0 providers have set the expectation bar too low in terms of what workloads many clients will trust with a CHP.

Obviously, security is a multi-faceted discussion when it comes to the cloud, because there are various points of vulnerability impacted by a company’s own policies, as well as the applications built on top of a cloud provider’s infrastructure. That being said, a prudent approach starts from the ground up. At OrionVM, security is a top priority across every level of our platform stack. We recently published our security statement and have included it again here:

OrionVM Security Statement Overview

Physical Access

Our entire cloud infrastructure, including servers and networking, resides in Tier 3 data centers in Australia and the United States. These data centers require stringent security measures, including full registration of parties prior to access.

We also enforce our own security procedures. Only senior management and operations staff are registered for access to the data centers and internal documentation around the location and configuration of hardware. We perform police background checks on all employees and mandate a clean criminal record before employment. We’ve also informed data center security to contact us for confirmation before giving access to anyone claiming to be an OrionVM employee.

All our racks are locked and have strict access controls. All premises have CCTV recording, including the data centers and our corporate offices. Both are protected with biometric scanners and at least two locked doors. We also mandate all employees use full drive encryption on their workstations, use automatic security updates, and security requirements are routinely audited.

Under no circumstances do we allow third-party access to any of our facilities.

Logical Infrastructure

Our architecture was developed from the ground up with security in mind. We use the Xen hypervisor with a proven security track record.

We operate segregated networks for command and control, storage, and customer traffic. These are air-gapped networks running on different switches. For example, storage runs on InfiniBand and customer traffic runs on a secure, encrypted Ethernet network. These are not connected to prevent customer traffic from leaking into internal networks and also to secure our command and control channels.

All access to our internal network is performed over a certificate-based VPN with strict access controls, and only Tier 3 engineering staff has access to this network. All external communications are performed over SSL encrypted connections. Plain text passwords are never stored; OrionVM encrypts and salts all credentials.

We have strict access control systems to ensure that all customer data is contained within their user account and that it isn’t able to be mounted by any other user.

As an infrastructure provider, we allow partners to encrypt their instance storage if they require.

Access Policy

As a company policy, we do not mount instance partitions in storage devices. This means that we cannot perform certain management services for customers, but we believe that this is the only acceptable position.

When partners create Linux instances, root accounts must be protected with a password before in-band access with SSH can be gained. Windows Server instances are provisioned with temporary, high entropy pseudo-random passwords that Windows requires changing upon first successful login. In both these cases, we are either never privy or cannot know the passwords used by partners or customers.

As an alternative, our administrative panel allows partners to import public SSH keys into instances using our internal context system upon provisioning. This ensures that customers never have to submit passwords to us.

Network Segregation

Our platform segregates networks, customer accounts and instances. That said, customers attempting unauthorized or illegal access to networks, instances, or customer accounts will not be tolerated and will result in account termination. This includes interfering with or circumventing security measures.

These conditions are clearly defined in our Terms of Use, which all partners agree to abide by upon deployment of the platform.

For clarification or further details, please don’t hesitate to contact our support team at support@orionvm.com.

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Summary

The security question has many dimensions to consider and some experts have suggested it is useful for organizations to view themselves as if in a continual state of breach. No SLA or policy is a substitute for the constant vigilance and review necessary to ensure the integrity of any enterprise infrastructure and operations. New technologies are making this vigilance easier to accomplish with less resources and far greater accuracy and detection. Also helpful in this conversation is to distinguish between a true vulnerability and a loss of direct control (which typically occurs when shifting from on-premises and internally managed hosting deployments to a public or externally managed cloud solution). More often, what presents itself as a perceived “security liability” stems more from internal IT’s psychological reluctance to “let go of control” than from an actual flaw or fundamental limitation in cloud infrastructure. The fact is that the cloud is more secure than you may think, and with the aid of next-gen cloud platforms like OrionVM, service providers now are able to make smoother, structurally sound and sustainable transitions to the cloud.

Advisory: OrionVM Platform Not Affected by Xen Hypervisor Vulnerability – XSA-108

To address any customer concerns in regards to the recent, well publicized Xen vulnerability, we want to let you know that the OrionVM platform was not affected by this issue. The following bulletin was shared with OrionVM customers while the Xen hypervisor vulnerability (XSA-108) was under embargo this past week. The embargo was lifted October 1st.

As you may have heard companies (such as Rackspace, IBM and AWS) have already rebooted customer instances over the last week, proactively responding to the information of this potential security breach.

OrionVM was part of a limited set of vendors approved for pre-disclosure access and received details about the issue, which would have allowed us to patch our systems before the issue was made public by Xen.

The good news is that our platform was not affected by this issue, so no action was necessary.

We take customer security extremely seriously. Immediately upon learning the issue existed, our operations team worked diligently to bring extra compute online in anticipation of migrating customer instances to patched hypervisors, and also began testing an upgrade path. Given our preparation and quick action, an effective process was in place to handle the situation if a patch update had been required.

Now that the issue is no longer under embargo, we are now learning just how vulnerable customer data may have been with other cloud providers that were impacted by this issue. Per a recent article Olivier Lambert of the Xen Orchestra Project said the flaw could be used to read the memory of other guest virtual machines or crash them. Disgruntled users of other cloud providers forced to reboot their instances has led to a call for a set of industry patching best practices  to better handle these types of security updates in the future.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing support@orionvm.com

The Cloud Street Fight: How Leading IT Broker Stratacore Wins with OrionVM Wholesale Cloud

We recently published a case study on our channel partner, StrataCore, an IT services consultancy and brokerage based in Seattle. Today, we thought that we would share their story and explore some exciting trends in the world of next-gen IaaS, wholesale cloud, and the rise of the IT broker. StrataCore began sourcing cloud services for their business clients a few years ago as demand for cloud began growing rapidly. Dealing with vendor selection and management can be problematic for IT executives, so StrataCore assumes the burden of selection, negotiation and ongoing management, thus saving time, mitigating risk and reducing costs. Brokers like Stratacore play a critical role in the booming cloud ecosystem as they help differentiate real value from spin, optimal configurations and vendors from a seemingly infinite set of hardware and software options, all the while balancing the often-competing technical, financial, and strategic priorities. Successful brokers like StrataCore do this with a holistic vision of a company’s goals so that their decisions do not detrimentally sacrifice one aspect (technical, financial, or strategic) in a manner that negatively impacts the overall health of a client’s business.

Broker+Client+OrionVM = Win-Win-Winning

StrataCore pairs a client’s need for a public, private, or hybrid cloud with the appropriate cloud service provider (CSP) to ensure that operational goals are achieved. With a multitude of vendors and services available today, it’s up to StrataCore to differentiate among them to identify the best possible fit for each particular project. A recent example of this was a NASDAQ-listed client who needed a CSP with presence in Australia that could deliver high-performing cloud IT in support of a multi-million dollar commercial SaaS application. After a thorough review of the market and various vendors, StrataCore referred OrionVM to their client as the best solution. OrionVM’s deployment was not only a success in terms of meeting cost, performance and timing requirements, but now is expanding to additional global POPS (points of presence). Complex deployment requirements, matched with an innovative cloud vendor, and StrataCore became the hero brokering a solution not otherwise possible via traditional options. Consequently, a happy client also means additional business and exemplifies the type of channel partnerships that provide ongoing value and profit for all involved parties. A true win-win-winning collaboration.

OrionVM’s groundbreaking tech suite sits squarely in StrataCore’s sweet spot: its firm commitment to providing the best possible solutions at the lowest possible cost to its clients. As a leading IaaS partner, OrionVM allows StrataCore to offer superior technical performance, huge CAPEX savings, and extreme flexibility for deploying premium cloud IT.

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Josh Gay, Director of Strategic Alliances, StrataCore

As Josh Gay, the Director of Strategic Alliances at StrataCore states:


“The stakes are high when deciding how to best deploy and scale a company’s IT, and OrionVM’s next-gen technology helps StrataCore deliver winning IaaS solutions for some of our top clients. OrionVM has cracked the code of how to build high-performing, extremely reliable cloud infrastructure—all at significantly lower price points than the offerings of bigger name vendors.”

By signing on as an OrionVM channel partner, StrataCore is now able to offer the tangible technical benefits of Cloud 2.0 to clients, which include:

  • A turnkey, custom-designed and built infrastructure platform that utilizes technology commonly found in supercomputers
  • The highest level of efficiency, with performance that allows migration of enterprise workloads
  • 40–1000 times the storage performance of a standard Amazon server, enabling clients to do more with less infrastructure
  • A fully redundant platform for rapid fail-over of servers in the event of an outage, ensuring resiliency with multiple copies of all data
  • Premium cloud IT built with a 50%+ reduction of the power/hardware footprint of prevailing Cloud 1.0 systems for huge cost savings

Advice for fellow IT Brokers and Resellers—proven innovators trump your misperceived allegiance to legacy vendors.

Identifying the best-in-class solution demanded by clients takes thorough research and vetting, and StrataCore stakes its reputation on the quality and reliability of its partner vendors. Successful deployments are the proof in the pudding, and satisfied clients ensure that this ongoing symbiotic relationship continues for the benefit of all. When it comes to sourcing CSPs, they look for companies that will not only meet the financial and technical requirements of the project, but they will be easy to work with, are well-supported, and provide tools and features that offer speed and efficiency when launching new systems. Additionally, by identifying breakthrough innovators like OrionVM, StrataCore sets clients up to win by delivering an infrastructure ROI not otherwise possible via legacy vendors, thus enabling clients to gain a real competitive advantage.

Cloud 2.0 changes the game – Is your CSP bonafide?

IT service providers have historically struggled between (1) the huge CAPEX and long development cycles of building their own cloud (BYO) and (2) the limited features/flexibility and hidden scaling costs of public retailers like AWS. Until now, there simply has not been cloud tech this cost-effective and powerful (in performance and reliability) to enable a third option between BYO and retail IaaS. OrionVM wholesale cloud delivers all the benefits of each approach, and amazingly, with none of the drawbacks.

This type of one-stop, complete turnkey cloud solution is unprecedented in the IT ecosystem, and thus, is truly a game-changer. Or as stated by BizCloud:


“OrionVM’s Wholesale Cloud Platform has the potential to really shake up the U.S. Infrastructure as a Service market. The breakthrough technology and fully distributed architecture of the platform enables cloud brokers and service providers to maximally monetize the cloud by rapidly delivering differentiated, enterprise-class cloud services while keeping costs down. By offering the best price-performance ratio on the market to its white-label partners, OrionVM enables them to compete more effectively with larger, more established cloud providers.”

OrionVM Venn Diagram

Summary: Cloud is a street fight – who really has your back?

We are entering a new realm of cloud computing as the next wave of technical innovation from emerging startups brings the dawn of Cloud 2.0, and with it, a new era of IT transformation and agility.

Alongside breakthroughs in disruptive IaaS technologies is the rise of the IT broker’s role in sourcing solutions, particularly for SMBs not beholden to legacy systems and therefore able to quickly move to or launch in the cloud. This new wholesale cloud superstructure presents a tremendous opportunity for service providers to capture market share. The global market for cloud services is expected to grow from $131 billion in 2013 to $244 billion by 2017 (source: PwC).

Wholesale cloud capitalizes on 3 exploding global ICT trends

Wholesale cloud capitalizes on 3 exploding global ICT trends

If your company is not leveraging these advancements of Cloud 2.0, and purchasing known quantities of cloud consumption at wholesale rates—then you are at a competitive disadvantage and probably throwing money and resources away on legacy Cloud 1.0 vendors and business models. OrionVM has flipped the cloud narrative, and though the saying goes that ‘nobody got fired for using IBM’, tech savvy CEOs and CFOs, not brand-hypnotized, may soon be asking their IT leaders, “Why didn’t we choose a CSP that allows us to easily launch stunningly secure and reliable enterprise cloud services, but at half the cost of our current big-name vendor?!?”

Ignorance will no longer be an acceptable answer.

Behind the Curtain of OrionVM’s Next-Gen IaaS Platform

By now, you’ve probably seen a great deal about our IaaS platform making business sense. Our Wholesale Cloud Platform provides a turnkey cloud computing infrastructure you can use to launch your own cloud, complete with a white label rebrand, integrated account management and no CapEx.

We think it’s pretty cool. But how did we build it? How does the underlying technology work? Today we thought we would give you a look under the hood of our distinctive cloud architecture.

Industry standard

Firstly, we use the industry standard Xen Hypervisor to run your customer’s virtual machine instances. Xen is a microkernel hypervisor that allows us to run multiple instances on the same physical server, all with complete isolation and security. We host this equipment in our Equinix data centers around the world. Compared to other hypervisors, Xen provides the performance we were looking for, along with the rock solid reliability and security that our customers demand.

On most of our instances, we take advantage of a specific mode in Xen called PVHVM – which stands for Paravirtualised Drivers on HVM. This delivers the best of both worlds, the operating system support and CPU performance of HVM (Hardware Virtual Machine) with the Network and Disk performance of a PV (Paravirtualised) driver.

Utilizing Xen, we are able to run almost any operating system within our environment, including Linux, Windows Server and FreeBSD.

Logo of the Xen project

But then we do more!

For those well versed in Xen, IaaS and cloud infrastructure, none of what we’ve discussed so far may sound new. Where we differentiate ourselves from other cloud computing infrastructure or IaaS providers is our breakthrough, InfiniBand-backed architecture.

In traditional Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) systems, instance storage and compute are often physically located on different servers. Storage is placed in a storage area network (or SAN) cluster, and is connected to the compute nodes with some form of network (usually Gigabit or 10 Gigabit Ethernet). This design has worked reasonably well for Amazon’s IaaS platform, so other providers have tended to emulate it.

While this segregated approach sounds reasonable, easy to maintain and cost effective in theory, it comes with several shortcomings. Our intimate knowledge of Ethernet, informed even further with Gordon Bell‘s mentorship and investment in our platform, tells us it’s not ideal as a storage conduit. In a nutshell, the best-effort approach and variable latency of Ethernet was simply not designed for sustained, high speed, reliable data transfer. At the level it operates, it lacks the capacity to determine packet loss, link level flow control, and can’t be efficiently used to aggregate bandwidth.

This traditional, EC2-clone approach also turns out not to be that cost effective either. SAN controllers and drive arrays are substantial investments, which would have to be passed on to your customers. They also represent a single point of failure and create points of storage contention within the cluster. This all leads to inconsistent and slow performance, while still being relatively expensive.

Enter our world-class, high speed fabric

Rather than work around these issues, or retrofit existing infrastructure to fit as so many others have done, we redesigned the entire system from scratch and removed these issues from the equation entirely.

Firstly, our cloud infrastructure platform is built around a decentralized and distributed architecture. We utilize a homogeneous node architecture, where each node has compute, memory and storage assets. By utilizing homogeneous servers we are able to deliver greater performance at a reduced cost. Traditionally using direct attaches storage has introduced issues such as reduced flexibility and redundancy, but OrionVM has overcome this issue by utilizing a distributed storage architecture over InfiniBand, creating a virtual SAN across our cluster.

This architecture reduces latency, is more cost effective, and mitigates the points of contention and failure that Centralized SANs can cause. The virtual disk of each server can be mounted on any physical server (allowing us to move the instances around the cluster) and is also replicated across multiple servers for redundancy.

InfiniBand was designed specifically for low latency and sustained data transfer, making it perfect for a high performance cloud to be built on. Benchmarks and figures aside, it has also allowed us to design and develop some great features that regular Ethernet and Xen would not have afforded us.

Would you like a slice of “high-availability” with that?

With this redundant, decentralized InfiniBand fabric, we’re able to continuously replicate storage across several nodes while maintaining performance. It allows us to distribute storage efficiently across our cluster, as well as remove hot-spots without impacting performance for customers.

As for your instances, having network backed storage allows us to automatically migrate your instances to different nodes in the event of a physical server failure, rather than having to wait for a technician to enter a data center and perform recovery operations on a physical node.

This design drastically reduces downtime, simplifies the deployment of instances, and provides more immediate feedback to customers.

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Great, so how can my cloud be administered?

This industry leading infrastructure is accessible for your customers through several channels.

Central to this is our completely pre-built web panel. When you deploy your cloud using our platform, you can customize the entire front facing experience your customers will have, including logos, colors, page layout and support links. See how an Australian Telco (AAPT) deployed their CONNECT system with us.

From this panel, your customers can create, administer and remove instances and their associated resources.

For simpler tasks, they can be up and running with one our predefined operating system templates in minutes, with only the RAM and storage space they require specified.

For more customized instances, clients are free to allocate storage and IP addresses and then pull them together into a new instance. Instances can be assigned storage and IP addresses during advanced configuration, or indeed any time they’re shut down. As you’re probably already aware, this elastic provisioning provides far more flexibility than traditional hosting providers.

Conclusion

So, there you have it. At OrionVM, we’re proud of what we’ve built and feel the unique combination of features and functionality can help you attain your cloud computing infrastructure goals. We look forward to seeing the solutions you build using the platform.

Want to be featured on the OrionVM Blog? Please drop us a note and tell us about your experience. We would love to feature your case study.

Wholesale cloud capitalizes on 3 exploding global ICT trends

Welcome to the OrionVM Blog! Top 5 Lessons about Next-Gen IaaS and Wholesale Cloud

The launch of our OrionVM blog comes with auspicious timing, given the recent 25th birthday of the internet. We look to become a meaningful voice for a new generation of cloud technologies that will shape the next 25 years by redefining how and by whom enterprise ICT is managed and deployed.  We have discovered a few things about the industry since our inception in 2010. Read on for the top 5 lessons about next-gen IaaS and wholesale cloud computing that we have learned.

OrionVM’s message is a message of simplicity, innovation, and above all… possibilities; the business agility and profitability made possible when freed from traditional IT approaches to seize upon the many benefits of disruptive innovation. Engineering breakthroughs have enabled a whole new era of efficiency, flexibility, and performance for deploying cloud computing infrastructure. You need to ask yourself, do your technology partners fully leverage these innovations (is it in their DNA?) or do they ultimately have a legacy business to protect? As Larry Dignan states:

“Cloud-first players don’t have legacy businesses to protect. And cloud-first players don’t have sales commission models that will favor big licensing and maintenance deals over recurring revenue subscription models.”

We have ambitious plans for 2014 as we evangelize Cloud 2.0 and the wholesale business model that will enable a growing audience of integrators, VARs and IT solution providers to easily gain a cloud competency and successfully bring clients to market. High performing, premium cloud services – at wholesale prices, are the dream that OrionVM delivers. As Australia’s largest wholesale cloud provider, and now also in the US with the launch of our San Francisco office,  we have learned a few lessons and identified some key trends that you may find useful to consider:

“Global spending on cloud infrastructure to reach $285 Billion by 2017.”– HIS Tech, Feb. 2014

OrionVM Wholesale Cloud Venn

OrionVM’s wholesale cloud IaaS platform capitalizes on three exploding and disruptive global ICT trends

Top 5 Lessons about Next-Gen IaaS and Wholesale Cloud Computing:

  1. Not a commodity – selecting a CSP is strategic.  All clouds are not created equal. Your vendor selections engender many consequences in terms of features, flexibility, and hidden costs that you are wedded to for the duration of the relationship (sometimes longer). You must choose wisely.
  2. The current cloud incumbents have it all wrong — There are some fundamental limitations to how traditional cloud architecture is built. We will talk about the heart of the matter: the problems with 3 tier architectures and the corresponding cost of goods sold (COGS). Stay tuned.
  3. Margins do exist for IaaS resellers and channel partners. Despite what some analysts and CMOs might have you think, the dawn of Cloud 2.0 also brings great opportunity for the channel.
  4. A new approach to infrastructure might be exactly what your business needs.  In the words of Constellation Research, “As with all disruptive technologies, start with the business model, hone in on the business value, then chose the right technology”.
  5. The rise of IT brokers and how channel can challenge the enterprise. A new segment of providers is growing to meet the exploding demand for cloud, and their customers are wary of managing data centers, million dollar infrastructure investments, or worrying if a production environment can reliably scale to support high-traffic, mission-critical workloads.

Follow this blog frequently for relevant discussions and fresh perspectives about the emerging cloud ecosystem. You will gain technical deep dives from experts who are building platforms and tools that make the brave new world of Cloud 2.0 possible. Our mission is to help you better grow your business by making more informed IT decisions. We look to cut through the noise and ever-present “cloud-washing” that too often frame the cloud conversation. We will challenge the biases, agendas, and vested interests of incumbents (as well as our own) to offer real insight and a compelling dialogue to the booming industry of next generation cloud computing infrastructure.