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Part of the CSN Group, DATACENTER Services believes that IT parties do not want to invest in IT Infrastructure. It is too expensive in terms of cash and knowledge. Therefore they offer ‘low level’ IT services:

  1. CompanyCloud IaaS
  2. CompanyCloud On-line backup tooling and storage
  3. Company-Box, the secure alternative for DropBox

All of them are white labelled and true pay-per-use. Customers are IT Service providers, Independent Software Vendors and IT departments of larger Companies.

Business situation

DATACENTER Services set about choosing an orchestration platform to underpin their public IaaS offering, as Cees Doets (Director) explained “We needed an IaaS platform that was enterprise grade, fast to deploy and would enable us to offer the sort of service levels that our customers expect. We evaluated a number of options, both open source and proprietary, and CloudStack stood out as meeting all of our requirements.”

Cees Doets, Director

Cees Doets, Director

DATACENTER Services had originally deployed an early propriety version of Cloudstack in 2010. “Since our initial deployment, we had been following the amazing development of CloudStack by the Apache software community and decided that we wanted to benefit from the open standards offered by the community,” said Cees. “We revaluated the IaaS market in Q1 2014 and identified that Apache CloudStack really was the most mature, stable and easiest to deploy solution available. So, we set about updating our environment to use this open source technology.

“CloudStack is a complete solution that includes all the features we needed for an IaaS cloud. It allows us to manage the cloud with an easy-to-use Web interface, command line tools, and a full-featured API.”

The solution

“We chose Apache CloudStack as our orchestration platform as it allowed us to deliver expertise-grade IaaS to our customers and also allow us to gain the benefits and flexibility of an open source technology,” said Cees.

DATACENTER Services worked with ShapeBlue, the leading CloudStack integrator. “They reviewed our project plan and made some suggestions as to how we could improve the installation process,” said Cees. “As a result the build was very smooth. Again ShapeBlue proved to be a true sparring partner for us.”

Benefits

Cees summarised, “One of the key elements for our choice is the multitenant environment. We can draw a very clear line of responsibilities between our customers, their customers and us.

“By design this is much more secure than alternatives. Also it is highly scalable and most important, it works, right out of the box. Since moving to CloudStack, we have experienced 100% uptime.”

With CloudStack now underpinning their IaaS offering, DATACENTER Services have all the benefits of  an open source platform but with great support from ShapeBlue. “When there is a problem, we pick up the phone to them and get an answer immediately,” said Cees. “They are extremely professional and knowledgeable about CloudStack and as a result we are involving them in new projects such as replacing our existing cloud rack and 3D-CAD in the cloud.

“The change to open source was a new experience for us, but with ShapeBlue supporting us we know we can get advice to carry out additional tasks like programming, if required,” concluded Cees.

 

 

London, 6 September 2013

ShapeBlue, the cloud integrator and consultancy focusing on Apache CloudStack and Citrix Cloud technologies, today launched a dedicated cloud practice based in Brazil, aimed at developing the Latin America market.

This is part of a global expansion programme for the company that has already seen them extend their European and US operations into India & SE Asia.

The practice will focus initially on the Brazillian market. In July of this year, the company announced the development of a major public cloud offering for Ascenty, a Brazillian based datacentre provider.

Giles Sirett, CEO of ShapeBlue commented: “we are seeing a rapid increase in demand for our services relating to Apache CloudStack and Citrix CloudPlatform, being driven by both service providers building public cloud and enterprise adoption of private & hybrid cloud. We see more demand from Brazil currently than any other country.

We expect Enterprise adoption of private cloud for the next 12 months to rise significantly but we also expect CloudStack’s market share to rise exponentially. This is being driven by both CloudStack’s increasing reputation as the most stable, proven cloud management system and also Citrix’s exciting plans to integrate cloud orchestration with their enterprise offerings.”

The new practice in Brazil will be based in Rio de Janeiro and will give ShapeBlue both Consulting and sales functions in the region from mid September onwards.

ShapeBlue CEO, Giles Sirett will be visiting Brazil 10-20 September.

 About ShapeBlue

ShapeBlue are the globally leading indepndant integrator of Apache CloudStack & Citrix CloudPlatform. The company was the first Citrix Cloud Advisor in Europe and has worked with customers including Cisco, Citrix and SunGard Availability Services. The company provides cloud design & build, consulting and training services.

 

 

The cloud is now an accepted and mature technology utilised by companies of all sizes across the world to enable them to carry out their business smarter and faster. As a result, those organisations that can offer their customers a fast, value-for-money and easy-to-use cloud offering are placing themselves at a significant advantage over their competitors.

Ascenty, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, offers on-demand solutions for IT resources that are scalable and highly secure. This gives their customers more control over technology costs and resources without having to invest in new infrastructure, equipment, software licences and training.

Needed partner with CloudStack expertise

To ensure its continued leadership in the Brazilian market Ascenty had built a cloud platform based on Apache CloudStack at the start of 2012 but this had some problems, as Ascenty CEO, Chris Torto explained.

chris_torto_nologo“It was a very basic platform and we quickly came to the conclusion that it was not going to meet the needs of our customers. We realised we needed help to build the solution that we wanted and so started looking around for an organisation with the necessary expertise that we could partner with.”

After assessing a number of options including a local Brazilian company as well as an international organisation, Ascenty chose ShapeBlue. “Their experience with CloudStack was impressive and they were a good fit for our organisation,” said Chris, “as a result they were the natural choice to make.”

Flexible and cost-effective cloud platform

Early in 2013 ShapeBlue consultants flew out to Brazil to begin the work with Ascenty. “They initially looked at our existing platform and also what we were trying to achieve,” explained Chris. “This then enabled them to design a completely new platform that would meet our customers’ needs.

“The new design was based on CloudPlatform and CloudPortal Business Manager technologies from Citrix. By combining and customising these technologies, ShapeBlue were able to give us a true self-service IaaS cloud platform that is scalable, simple to use and integrates into our operational processes and systems. Ultimately, the system will allow our customers to access a range of our services, under a true IT as a Service (ITaaS) model.

“Once we had signed off on this design they worked with us to implement a robust infrastructure that will enable our customers to fully utilise the new cloud platform with no need for human involvement from our end. This embraces everything from initial specification and setup right through to billing and decommissioning.”

CloudStack experts

“We made the right decision in choosing ShapeBlue to help us with this project,” concluded Chris. “They were a pleasure to work with and completed all the work on time and within budget. Overall it was a great experience and I would fully recommend ShapeBlue to any organisation that is looking to implement CloudStack.

“I am very excited about our new Ascenty Cloud solution; it will provide customers with all the flexibility they need to leverage the cloud to their benefit. From testing and development sites through to full online trading, they will be able to quickly and cost-effectively specify and implement a cloud solution that they can design to meet their precise needs.

“I believe this will set us apart from the competition in Brazil and enable us to achieve our mission to be recognised as a leading provider of data center and telecom infrastructure and services.”

 

Information Availability pioneer, SunGard Availability Services has over 30 years of experience keeping customers’ critical applications up and running – in recent years, delivery of such services has necessarily embraced cloud Infrastructure as a Service offerings   SunGard looks to provide cloud infrastructures for all sizes of organisations, at all stages of their cloud adoption journey and whatever the use case – Test and Development, Pre-production or Production, the flexibility of SunGard Online – the company’s newly launched on-demand computing platform – is therefore a vital component in our services delivery.

Selecting best of breed partners who add value to SunGard’s offering so that customers can harness the best availability solutions for them has long been part of SunGard’s strategy.  So, when looking to develop SunGard Online,  expert cloud  integrators, ShapeBlue, were the obvious choice.

As a proven, stable and award-winning  provider of cloud infrastructure and managed services, SunGard enables it customers to harness the cloud to realise their business and information availability ambitions. However, to reflect the fast-moving and dynamic nature of both the technological and customer landscape, SunGard was looking to provide a more flexible solution for SMEs. Gary Watson, General Manager for SunGard Availability Services in Ireland explained.

gary_watson_sungard
“We wanted to offer our customers the capability to manage their own environment in addition to the fully-managed service we already provided. This flexibility would give them the adaptable and cost-efficient infrastructure modern organisations require, but backed up by an enterprise-class service.”

With organisations continuing to look to drive efficiencies and deliver always-available resources, they are increasingly reliant on IT to help achieve scalability, cost savings and flexible operations.  SunGard Online would therefore support rapid access to robust, scalable resources, but without lengthy set-up times or a complex management interface.  The service would also offer businesses the opportunity to realise these benefits through the cloud in an easy to access and secure hosted environment.

Affordable and flexible on-demand cloud computing platform

To provide such a flexible IaaS solution, SunGard carried out significant research in the market before eventually choosing CloudStack, the leading open source cloud orchestration platform. In use by many of the world’s largest public and private clouds it is a multi-hypervisor, multi-tenant, high-availability IaaS cloud management platform.

“CloudStack was chosen for a number of reasons,” said Gary. “Firstly, was its flexibility to cope with the demanding requirements we would place on it. As we wanted to offer an adaptable IaaS solution to our customers it was important that the framework we built our offering on could deliver this.

“Equally important was the fact that we could contribute to the solution going forward. SunGard has teams on the Apache foundation so we can have direct input into the future direction of the product based on our customers’ feedback and our experience.

“Finally, its multi-hypervisor capability would enable us to deliver the cost-effective functionality our customers wanted.”

 An Expert Delivery Partner

Having determined to base SunGard Online on CloudStack, SunGard then needed an expert partner to help design, build and implement the solution.  A track record of excellence in CloudStack deployments meant ShapeBlue was selected to work with SunGard in realising this latest extension to its wide portfolio of cloud and managed solutions.

Said Gary “We were aware that ShapeBlue was one of the few organisations who had implemented CloudStack at scale for global service providers, so we were confident that they would add both value  and skills to our team.”

A ShapeBlue implementation team started working with SunGard and Citrix in June 2012 as Giles Sirett, Managing Consultant of ShapeBlue explained. “We were initially involved with the requirements phase, working with SunGard to scope requirements to build an initial point of presence in Dublin. A series of workshops ran to establish detailed business, technical and operational requirements. This provided information to create high and low level designs for all aspects of the system. We then moved onto specifying the actual requirements for the physical storage, network and compute platforms.

“The build and implementation commenced in July 2012 and took some 16 weeks to complete. ShapeBlue fully managed the project during this time. This involved the build-out of the storage, compute hosts, virtualisation, CloudStack orchestration and CloudPortal Business Manager layer. We also specified and managed the customisation of Cloud Portal Business Manager by a team from Citrix and supported the integration of the platform with other systems like monitoring and billing platforms.”

Education and skills transfer were also a key deliverable and ShapeBlue developed a comprehensive training and skills transfer programme across SunGard’s technical and operational teams so that they could become self-sufficient. Finally, detailed operational, support and sales run-books were created as part of the handover.

High level of service at a reduced cost

Commenting on the service provided by ShapeBlue during this time Gary said. “They were excellent. It is obvious that they know both the technology and the industry very well. Importantly they also know how to apply this knowledge and experience for the benefit of their customers due to their technical and commercial astuteness. They were  there whenever we needed them, added value to our team and helped us meet ambitious targets for the launch of SunGard Online.”

Since coming to market in November 2012, SunGard Online customers can now enjoy the following benefits:

  • Efficiency: The underlying technology maximises multi-hypervisor capabilities and offers flexibility to future-proof the service by not restricting it to a single technology.
  • Flexibility and packaged service: Businesses only need to pay for resources that they use in a packaged service – starting from only 9c per hour for 30 day contracts. Extra resources can be provisioned within minutes via 24/7 self-service portals.
  • Intuitive: The secure online portal allows an autonomous approach to cloud management based on pre-defined packages that can be designated within your budget.

Gary Watson comments: “This is an important development in SunGard’s cloud capability, giving businesses control and autonomy, as well as ultimate flexibility, in how they choose to transition to the cloud. Companies of all sizes can leverage the stable and robust service, benefitting from enterprise service level guarantees, without the capital costs of larger IT projects.”

This latest development in SunGard’s portfolio of cloud solutions extends a capability that spans public, enterprise and dedicated private cloud infrastructures supported by experienced migration consultants.to ensure customers journey into, and through, the cloud is both smooth and cost-effective.

The next step for SunGard Online will be its expansion across the rest of Europe, as part of realising the overall SunGard global roadmap for cloud solutions.

www.sunguardonline.com

 

ASG provides Global 5000 businesses with world-class professional services and software solutions for Metadata Management, Applications Management, Operations Management, Content Management, Performance Management, Security Management, and Infrastructure Management.

Through a wealth of technologies, which have been either developed in-house or gained through strategic acquisitions, ASG enables clients with both mainframe and distributed environments to mobilise their resources, boost productivity, and enhance performance through the intelligent use of technology.

Business situation

For enterprises looking to automate and simplify the delivery of IT services for the private cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud, ASG wanted to offer a comprehensive solution proven to significantly reduce costs and decrease time to market.

They aimed to help customers plan, deploy and manage internally or externally hosted clouds that deliver an intuitive user experience accessible from any device.

Technical situation

As a result they set about developing CloudFactory to provide comprehensive cloud orchestration that will provision multi-vendor environments and automate most application delivery types – eliminating vendor lock-in.

This holistic, technology independent approach automates the delivery of IT services and leverages ASG’s 25 year record of enterprise IT management solutions.

The solution

A key part of the capabilities of CloudFactory is for organisations to have the ability to build their own enterprise grade private and hybrid cloud that can then be easily orchestrated. After an extensive evaluation process ASG identified Apache CloudStack as the most stable, enterprise grade, IaaS orchestration platform currently available.

ASG chose to directly integrate CloudStack into their CloudFactory platform allowing organisations to build their own private cloud and leverage CloudStack’s management interface in the administration of their cloud.

Benefits

Commenting on the use of CloudStack within CloudFactory, Pascal Vitoux, ASG’s Senior VP for development said, “CloudStack means that we can quickly and easily build cloud services within CloudFactory to offer on-demand, elastic cloud services.

“It allows us to take on hybrid platforms, making it easier to manage legacy environments while spinning up workloads that take advantage of the cloud model. It also offers higher efficiency, limitless scale and faster deployment of new services and systems to our customers.”

ASG chose to partner with ShapeBlue, the leading global, independent integrator of CloudStack for this project. ShapeBlue work closely with ASG and their customers to provide a seamless service for onboarding and integrating customers with existing CloudStack installations into the CloudFactory infrastructure.

 

ControlCircle is a leading provider of managed and cloud-based services to enterprises and on-line businesses on a global basis. ControlCircle serves organisations that require enterprise-grade solutions across the spectrum of IT requirements – from colocation to cloud – aligning the right solution to address the stated business imperative and evolving these solutions over time as demands and requirements change.

ControlCircle’s customers rely on them to manage their critical IT infrastructure and applications.. Since its inception in 2001, the company has focused on developing a robust foundation, including its ability to service customers from data centres across the UK, US and EMEA, ISO20000 and ISO27001 accreditation and key partnerships with technology leaders.

Business situation

ControlCircle recognised that although it managed its customers’ private clouds within its datacentres ControlCircle needs to be able to offer a service that enables the delivery of a hybrid cloud. As Tim Cox, Chief Technology Officer at ControlCircle explained, “All the private clouds we manage are revenue generating platforms for our customers. We need to provide a service that enables our customers to extend their private cloud for either testing or development purposes or to be able to bring new products to market, all with enterprise level SLAs and hardware.”

Technical situation

The new solution is named Hybrix™. It is a highly flexible and customisable platform that offers traditional Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS),IaaS with monitoring and management and hybrid platform connectivity.

Hybrix™ enables a customer to self-administer virtual servers, storage, virtual networking, security configuration and components with fully managed enterprise-grade load balancing and firewall options. The Hybrix™ architecture is built upon years of experience designing, building and managing mission critical hosted virtual platforms for large-scale enterprises.

The solution

ControlCircle decided on a parallel implementation strategy of using Citrix CloudPlatform (powered by Apache CloudStack) for the customer platform and Apache CloudStack directly for their own internal development estate with a view to ultimately moving everything to CloudStack.

After implementing Gen1 of Hybrix™, they approached CloudStack specialist ShapeBlue to help them with the design and installation of Gen2. “We wanted to upgrade using established best practices and with maximum flexibility and ShapeBlue provided us with the expertise to do that,” explained Tim.

“They were able to help us define the landscape and identify the decision points. This helped us understand exactly what our new platform could do so we were never in a position where we oversold its capabilities.”

Benefits

“Apache CloudStack is more mature and feature-rich than all the other solutions we looked at,” Tim noted. “It is possible to configure and deploy it out of the box and start making money. Its powerful API enables us to quickly build automation around it, and the customer can see the results in the GUI.”

“By having a parallel implementation strategy, we achieved the best of both worlds,” concluded Tim. “We have the documentation, support, development and SLAs offered by a major organisation as well as the benefits of being part of the wider Apache CloudStack community.

“Because the code has been donated by one company, Citrix have a vested interest in ensuring that it is sound, solid and maintained. Unlike other open source communities I have been involved with, people are regularly putting stuff back in, making it a very vibrant community that is progressing and growing.”

 

Working with leading-edge technology presents its own unique set of issues. Even technology specialists can encounter problems when faced with designing and building business critical systems on new technology platforms.

DSS, headquartered in Greater Reading, Pennsylvania delivers IT solutions that drive business for over 400 regional clients. From their Tier III data centre through a 24/7 service desk to a full portfolio of IT products, the company continually strives to produce high-quality, beyond standard solutions to exceed the expectations of their customers.

Proof of concept environment

Early in 2013 DSS was working on a new proof of concept environment for an IaaS platform based on Apache CloudStack. Justin Brophy, Systems engineer at DSS explained: “Although we have a great deal of experience in-house, this was a new technology for us to get to grips with so, naturally, we encountered a number of challenges. We were faced with the choice of either spending hours on end trying to make sense ourselves of what was available or to bring in an expert source of information on CloudStack.”

After spending some time on forums and researching the options available, Justin contacted ShapeBlue for advice. After initial discussions it was decided that the best solution to their problem would be for a ShapeBlue consultant to work with the DSS project team reviewing what DSS’ goals would be for the CloudStack environment and helping them to develop in-depth design and build documentation for the new platform.

CloudStack best practices

Justin continued, “ShapeBlue sent in one of their Cloud Consultants. He discussed with us what we were trying to achieve and how we had so far gone about it. From this he was able to understand our requirements and help us work through the problems we had encountered. This covered detailed topics like overcoming problems trying to assign a static IP to VPC as well as more general areas. By the end of the week he had helped us develop a build document that specified in detail what our final production environment would look like.”

Commenting on the time spent working with ShapeBlue, Justin said, “their Consultant was great, he was very knowledgeable and easy to work with. His consultative approach enabled us to understand why we had been having problems and it was easy to work with him to overcome them.

“He also used his in-depth practical experience of implementing CloudStack to build into the final design best practices for ensuring that our production platform would be able to support the new solution to the benefit of our customers.

“We now have in place everything we need to build our proof of concept IaaS platform using CloudStack and the skills transfer that ShapeBlue also effected has helped to greatly improve our internal expertise on this important new technology platform. ”

 

On-demand Cloud Computing Platform Puts Affordable, Flexible Infrastructure On Tap For Businesses

Dublin, Ireland: 20 November, 2012 – SunGard Availability Services, the pioneer and leading provider of Information Availability services, today announced the introduction of SunGard Online: An on-demand computing platform, providing Public Cloud service-level flexibility backed by SunGard’s over 30 years of experience in delivering resilient IT infrastuctures and that offers businesses the ability to access the enterprise grade compute resource they need, when they need it. The intuitive online portal allows SunGard customers to harness the power of the cloud to support rapid access to robust, scalable resources without lengthy set up times or a complex management interface.

 

Read full story  here:

http://www.sungard.co.uk/News-Events/Press-Release/Pages/SunGard-Launches-SunGard-Online.aspx

 

Moving to a cloud-based infrastructure can deliver a number of significant benefits. Whilst these are usually easy to identify and quantify the actual process required to migrate on-premise systems to the cloud can be complex and fraught with problems unless approached in the right way.

 Such a problem was faced by Texas based software developer eSkyCity. Located in Dallas, the company develops custom software solutions for specific vertical markets such as hospitals and provides these via a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. Traditionally, eSkyCity had offered their SaaS solutions either on their own on-premise infrastructure or Amazon Web services. But, in early 2012 decided that the best way forward was to build their own Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud.

 Meeting customer demands

Trace Finn of eSkyCity explained the reasoning behind the decision. “Providing SaaS is very unpredictable with regard to infrastructure requirements. The demands that our customers place on hardware can change daily. As delivering high quality performance of our applications has been key to our success we needed to get full control, we wanted to move to an easy-to-scale infrastructure that we could manage ourselves.”

After looking at the options available to them, eSkyCity chose Apache CloudStack, the leading open source cloud orchestration platform. In use by many of the world’s largest public and private clouds it is a multi-hypervisor, multi-tenant, high-availability IaaS cloud management platform.

“We chose Apache CloudStack because it enabled us to leverage our existing infrastructure and it is hypervisor agnostic,” explained Trace. “But, we knew that we had no internal expertise on Apache CloudStack so would need a partner to guide, train and advise us on every aspect of creating and migrating to the cloud, including hardware.

“We made enquiries as to who would be best to partner with and ShapeBlue were highly recommended as the global leaders in implementing this technology.”

 Building the infrastructure

ShapeBlue are a centre of excellence in the design and implementation of cloud platforms using Apache CloudStack and Citrix CloudPlatform. They have been involved in the Apache CloudStack project since before Citrix donated the code to Apache and remain at the forefront of developments in the platform. They combine deep skills in Apache CloudStack with extensive expertise and experience in building clouds utilising a range of storage, network, compute and hypervisor technologies.

After initial consultation with ShapeBlue’s consultants, eSkyCity set about building out their infrastructure to accommodate their cloud in the summer of 2012. “We have built an initial infrastructure with 7TB of storage, 128GB ram and 48 virtual CPUs but plan to extend it greatly beyond this,” said Trace. “ShapeBlue helped us setup a proof of concept and advised us every step of the way providing us with in-depth technical training to ensure the correct skills transfer and enable us to start to grow our internal Apache CloudStack expertise.

“We are now involved in testing to see how our old infrastructure can be incorporated into the new cloud and the migration of this will be the final part of the project.”

Elasticity to quickly and automatically scale up or down

Although their IaaS cloud has only been running for a short time eSkyCity are already beginning to notice the benefits it will bring, as Trace explained. “We like to be in control of everything we do. With our old on-premise infrastructure this was not always easy.” He continued, “It was difficult to forecast demand and scale our resources accordingly. This meant that at any time we could have too much or too little computing power available for our customers to run their software. Too much was costly for us, whilst too little impacted on performance for our customers.

“So, a solution that that gives us the elasticity to scale up or down quickly and seamlessly is ideal. Apache CloudStack provides that as it has a great API that gives us amazing control to be able to scale our infrastructure to meet customer demand automatically.

“We have also noticed a significant performance improvement when compared to our previous on-premise infrastructure. This is something that most organisations tend to overlook when considering IaaS. They think it is a cheaper solution, which it is, but forget that it will also provide better performance as well.”

Integrated skill set

With such a relatively new technology as Apache CloudStack the expertise and skills required to be able to successfully implement an IaaS cloud is limited worldwide but, it is not only understanding the software involved that is important as Trace outlined.

“The skill set of ShapeBlue’s consultants is pretty unique. They fully understand all the implications of hardware, software and the overall integrated infrastructure involved in a Apache CloudStack installation. They know how to implement Apache CloudStack and recommended to us the best configuration of hardware for it to run that would always enable us to provide a high performance solution for our SaaS customers.

“We found working with their staff very easy. They were great at explaining everything to us and their in-depth technical training was an important first step on helping us to build up our knowledge, so that in time we can be self-supporting.  In a nutshell, they helped us to understand and build.”

www.shapeblue.com

www.eskycity.com