With the VMware vForum 2014 Johannesburg around the corner we take time out to chat to customer Jonathan Kropf, CEO at Cloud in Demand, who will be part of a customer panel at the event, on why he selected a VMware SDDC (software-defined data centre) as the technology to run his business.
Q: Tell us a little about Cloud on Demand and what you do.
A: We are a cloud vendor and Hybrid Cloud enablement partner, we currently offer a platform, complimentary applications and solutions to assist our partners and their customers with embracing the benefits of cloud technology easily and in the most cost effective manner. In short we provide local resellers cloud services they can sell to their customers in the capacity of a cloud distributor.
Q: Why cloud distribution?
A: There is a big gap in South Africa for cloud services as well as a lack of understanding of what cloud services are. The customers of our partners want to move into the cloud but the offerings available is either a blade in an ISP, which isn’t a cloud service or an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) service, which is repackaged as a cloud solution. At Cloud on Demand we have identified that our customers want to help put the businesses of their customers into the cloud, they want the full scope of what this means, but they do not want to make the physical investment into the infrastructure required to do this.
Q: It’s a bold move to take the leap into the cloud as you did. How did you reach your final decision to use VMware’s technology?
A: We first looked at some open source technologies but after evaluating VMware and seeing what its SDDC offering provided by way of automation, billing and security options. It was a no brainer. It answered directly to our desire to have one solution for all of our needs. We really did not want to create vulnerabilities by cobbling different technologies together. What’s more is that VMware is already pretty much the defacto basis for virtualisation and private cloud customers in South Africa – by providing them a system that already integrates seamlessly with their existing systems we can provide them the option to host off site in a hybrid cloud model with very little fuss and almost no barriers to entry.
Q: Any specific components of the project that made you think wow we didn’t expect to be able to do that?
A: The best thing about the deployment of the SDDC was the fact that we could virtualise the network as well as the security. The VMware SDDC solution allowed us to ensure that the physical layer was completely irrelevant. So where we are today is that at Cloud on Demand it doesn’t matter what brand of hardware we have underneath the services, what we do have is an application based environment and a hungry animal that we feed more memory, hardware and processers as it grows.
Q: Can you cite some of the real benefits you have seen from rolling out VMware?
A: We have completely negated the need for a bloated technical team, bear in mind we started with nothing, but we still don’t need technical, networking, virtualisation, etc. etc. personnel. Because we are on VMware we also have an immediately addressable market that is comfortable with the technology we run on and then there is the billing efficiency and the fact that we aren’t tied to a single hardware vendor that has also helped.
Q: That is all pretty amazing. If I were to contact a Cloud on Demand customer / reseller what could I expect to be able to “buy” from them?
A: In short? Our partners are able to provide a cloud business in a box, IaaS and a variety of packaged cloud solutions, as well as pitch themselves as a hybrid cloud implementer. Some of the services they are packaging include: IaaS; hosted software solutions; Email; Backup; IT Service Management; Hosted Desktops; and Cloud Consulting. Our partnership with security vendor Trend Micro has also added that security layer into the mix.
Q: Any parting thoughts for our readers?
A: If we had decided to launch two years ago we probably would have spent double on the systems. With the VMware SDDC our switching environment, network, firewall and overall hardware infrastructure has cost a fraction of what it could have. The brain and logic of our entire business sits in our SDDC and we don’t have to rely on hardware such as complex routers and switches, that cost millions.
If you want to meet the Cloud on Demand team they will be speaking in a customer panel at the keynote session of vForum Johannesburg and will be found in the exhibitors section of the event.
Don’t forget to register your spot at vForum 2014 – its free and its geared to give you all the tools you need to Amplify the Possibilities in your business! Register at https://bitly.com/1k3kjUa or visit http://bit.ly/Rkv7WQ for more information.