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On the 3rd and 4th of July, we officially launched our South Africa practice with two launch events in Johannesburg and in Cape Town. The event in Johannesburg  was kindly hosted by Westcon and the event in Cape Town was at the African Pride Hotel.

The objective of these events was to introduce ShapeBlue, explain the technology space we work in and why we think it’s highly relevant to the market in South Africa.

Dan crowe - SB launch

ShapeBlue are a organisation with global consulting, engineering and support teams who deliver services into many different countries for many major service provider and enterprise customers. The key for us when looking to enter a new territory, is to identify countries where the economic and technology develop cycles are in a position to benefit from our eneablement of public & private cloud services.

Our South Africa practice joins our existing practices in London, California, India and Brazil and is here to develop local technical capability and awareness.

Dan Crowe, Managing Partner of ShapeBlue South Africa started the day off with an insightful talk explaining his views on the key drivers towards cloud adoption in South Africa. In order to explain why ShapeBlue are in South Africa, Dan explained how research shows that Africa is predicted to have an incredible cloud adoption annual growth rate of 57% through to 2017.

Dan went on to share stories of organisations that have leveraged cloud technologies in order to disrupt existing markets and how, with its recent history of innovation, the technology sector in South Africa is currently in a perfect situation to leverage cloud.

Next up to speak was our CEO, Giles Sirett, with a talk titled “The business Use-Cases for building IaaS”. Giles gave a brief history of ShapeBlue and how he founded it with a vision to bring a new, specialist form of cloud integrator into the global market. He showed how, despite only being 2.5 years old, ShapeBlue have designed and built cloud environments for many of the world’s largest service providers and also many significant enterprises.

He went on to explain how the company have focused on Apache CloudStack as their core orchestration technology and how the company has deep involvement in this open source project. He gave some examples of companies that have used Cloudstack to transform their infrastructure delivery. One key point that Giles raised was that Cloudstack (and its commercial distributions) are in much wider use than many people realise. The technology doesn’t have marketing associated with other orchestration projects, but it is certainly the most widely adopted, production grade platform available today

Giles then explained the 4 key use-cases for building IaaS that he sees in the market today:

  1. Service providers building public cloud
  2. Organisations looking to increase agility through automation & devops
  3. The concept of “AWS insourcing” – moving workloads back into a private cloud environment when known demand can be predicted
  4. Enterprises looking to develop next generation infrastructures

 

Next, Simon McCullough from Citrix presented current trends and success that Citrix are having with CloudPlatform. CloudPlatform is Citrix’s commercial distribution of Apache CloudStack and is the technology that ShapeBlue often work with in enterprise customers.

Simon explained how Citrix also collaborate in the opensource project and how their commercial distribution is in widespread use worldwide. He talked through some interesting case studies ranging from a major international petroleum company to the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

The last speaker of the day was Andrew Potgieter from WesCon Security solutions. Andrew looked at some of the challenges in cloud security and focussed on Kaspersky’s anti-virus and anti-malware protection suite.

Dan wrapped the day up by thanking our co-organisers for the day: Citrix and Westcon and by giving a few places where people could go for further information. He suggested that people join the CloudStack South Africa User group and is looking forward to organising some future meetings of this community

 

 

 

ShapeBlue expands service into Southern Africa

London, 29th May 2014

ShapeBlue, the leading independent global CloudStack integrator, today announces the launch of a dedicated cloud practice based in South Africa, aimed at meeting growing demand in the region.

This is part of an ongoing global expansion program for the company that has already seen them extend their European and US operations into SE Asia and Latin America.

The practice will focus initially on the South African market, where cloud adoption is anticipated to accelerate sharply during the rest of 2014 and beyond.

Giles Sirett, CEO of ShapeBlue commented: “We are seeing a sharp increase in demand for our services relating to Apache CloudStack and Citrix CloudPlatform, driven by service providers building in-country public clouds and ongoing enterprise adoption of private & hybrid cloud compute models. South Africa is an exciting opportunity for us to bring our services to emerging opportunities across sub Saharan Africa.”

Dan Crowe, Managing Consultant for the new practice added: “South Africa is catching up with more mature cloud markets rapidly, and we believe what we’ve learnt about building clouds over the past three years, and using our CSForge rapid deployment framework, we can help accelerate time to value for South African businesses evolving cloud adoption strategies” Sirett continued: “Today, CloudStack technologies are under represented in southern Africa, but with Apache CloudStack and Citrix CloudPlatform proving the most stable and proven cloud management system we expect usage across the continent to increase exponentially.”

The new practice in South Africa will be based in Cape Town and will give ShapeBlue both consulting and sales functions in the region. Crowe concludes: “We are also delighted to announce details of a launch event to be held jointly in Johannesburg and Cape Town respectively on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th July where we, along with Citrix and Trend Micro will discuss adoption trends and cloud computing models in a South African context. We look forward to meeting with many interested parties there.

Event details:  Click Here

About ShapeBlue

ShapeBlue are the leading global independent CloudStack integrator, with offices in London, Rio de Janeiro, Bangalore, Mountain View, CA and Cape Town.

We operate global Consulting, Implementation, Support and Software Engineering teams with a focus on Apache CloudStack and Citrix CloudPlatform ecosystem technologies at the heart of our operations.

CloudStack Collab Conference, Denver,CO – April 9, 2014.

ShapeBlue, the leading independent global CloudStack integrator, today announced general availability of its new CSForge product, giving organisations rapid, low risk, deployment of IaaS cloud infrastructures. The framework can be used as a basis for public cloud or enterprise private cloud and is deployed onto the customers own hardware infrastructure.

CSForge is made up of components including Apache CloudStack and the Xen hypervisor with automated deployment components and test & capacity planning tools. . CSForge has a standard, flat, price for environments up to 24 hypervisor hosts and also includes a technical education programme, implementation support and up to 12 months pilot support.

Giles Sirett, ShapeBlue CEO, explained: “ShapeBlue has been building IaaS clouds now for over two years and recently and, with smaller deployments, we’ve seen an 80% commonality in the requirements. Although the use-cases may be different, there is usually a standard set of building blocks that most people want from their IaaS platform.

We have therefore decided to package these components into a pre-configured, pre-planned product that will allow our customers to benefit from an open, flexible IaaS environment without the need for an extensive design & integration process. This is giving our customers rapid time to value. Baked into CSForge is all of the best-practice that we have learned & developed over the last 2 years, building IaaS environments for 100’s of customers”

CSForge uses pure open-source technologies at its core: Apache CloudStack and Xen hypervisor. ShapeBlue have developed a set of proprietary deployment, test and capacity planning tools to enable the rapid, low risk deployment.

Sirett continued: “our customers want the flexibility and avoidance of lock-in that only open-source platforms can bring. They recognise the benefits of open-source, but want the peace of mind usually associated with vendor technology. CSForge bridges that gap. We already have seen great demand for our CloudStack Infrastructure Support which gives enterprise-grade support to these environments , CSForge is the next evolution.

It is important for our customers to understand that we have gone to great lengths to ensure that all of the core operating components of our solution remain open source and we have no plans to change that. We provide a wrapper to reduce cost and risk, but the final operational environment remains 100% open source with no propriety parts.”

 

For further information on CSForge or ShapeBlue see shapeblue.com

For press enquiries, please contact Steve Roles steve.roles@shapeblue.com

 

Apache CloudStack matures with first commercial support offering

CloudStack Collab Conference, Amsterdam – Nov. 20, 2013. ShapeBlue, the leading independent global CloudStack integrator, today announced that it will be the first to offer commercial support of Apache CloudStack.

ShapeBlue will offer professional, 24x7x365, enterprise grade support for IaaS infrastructures built on Apache CloudStack. The service will offer SLAs and is provided by an organisation that is a centre of excellence in the design and deployment of CloudStack infrastructures.

 

Giles Sirett, ShapeBlue CEO, explained: “for 12 months we’ve had increasing demand for formalised CloudStack support services. We support many customers but to date have not offered an SLA-based model. As Apache CloudStack adoption increases we see demand for a service that offers expert support – our customers want the benefits of open source, but also professional, responsive support as with a traditional vendor product.”

“We can provide this because of the deep knowledge and expertise we have from building some of the world’s largest CloudStack infrastructures, and also our capabilities with associated network, storage and compute technologies. We’ve developed a global support capability in order to offer the high service levels our customers demand. We have piloted the service with a number of customers and received overwhelmingly positive feedback.”

Regarding ShapeBlue’s involvement with the Apache CloudStack project, Sirett commented:

“We will be greatly increasing our contribution to the Apache project, with the creation of a dedicated CloudStack Software Engineering Team. Key to us is contributing all of our work back into the project. At this stage, we have no plans to offer a commercial distribution as we feel that this undermines the true value of open source software like CloudStack. Other open source projects suffer from fragmentation by participant vendors and we do not wish this to happen with Apache CloudStack”.

The core support service will offer heterogeneous support for cloud infrastructures, guaranteed response times of 1 hour for high priority incidents, 24x7x365 coverage and a product patching service. Furthermore, a unique “Instant Guru” service will allow customers to discuss architecture questions and design changes using web-chat, outside of the formalised support structure.

Sirett concluded: “That demand has been created for this service demonstrates the momentum that Apache CloudStack is gaining. We work hard to make sure that we offer the highest levels of support, delivered by the best people. We are excited to be first in the market with this service.”

Dan Crowe, VP Cloud Networking at ShapeBlue announces the new service at the CloudStack Collaboration Conference

 

ShapeBlue will be running one of their successful Apache CloudStack 2 day Bootcamp training courses immediately before the CloudStack Collaboration conference this year.

The 2 day, fast based, bootcamp course will be run on 22/23 June in Santa Clara, California and gives attendees a deep dive in designing , managing & implementing CloudStack based clouds.

For further details, pricing & booking, click here

 CloudStack Collab 2013

cloudstack collab

The CloudStack Collab conference will be running June 24/25 also in Santa Clara.

The Apache CloudStack developer community is growing rapidly, and CloudStack is being used to build both private and public clouds at scale. Presentations on best practices for deploying Apache CloudStack will again be a popular feature, and other presentations will feature tools that help manage IaaS clouds. All in all, this is the place to learn about the development and deployment of CloudStack systems

ShapeBlue are proud sponsors of CloudStack Collab and look forward to seeing many friends, partners & colleagues at the conference

 

London, 14 January 2013

ShapeBlue, the cloud integrator and consultancy focusing on Apache CloudStack and Citrix Cloud technologies, today announced a programme of expansion into a number of new global markets.

This programme will see ShapeBlue develop consulting and integration practices in markets that are expected to see rapid cloud adoption over the next 24 months.

The first of these practices was also announced today by the company located in Bangalore, India.

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 cloud. We already regularly deploy teams into other regions, so building capability in rapidly developing markets is a logical next step for us.

We expect Enterprise adoption of private cloud throughout 2013 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 India will be based at the Bangalore World Trade Center and will give ShapeBlue both Consulting and sales functions in the region from early February onwards.

ShapeBlue will be hosting an event “Cloud trends for 2013 – an IT executive briefing” in Bangalore on 7th February. This educational event will include speakers from ShapeBlue, Citrix and SunGard Availability Services. The event will give an executive briefing on the drivers, developments and innovations that are expected to influence the adoption of cloud over the next 12 months.

About ShapeBlue

ShapeBlue are the globally leading 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.

 

Contacts:

Giles Sirett, CEO ShapeBlue

Giles.sirett@shapeblue.com

 

Shanker Balan, Managing Consultant, ShapeBlue India

Shanker.balan@shapeblue.com Phone: +91 98860 60539

ShapeBlue, 22nd floor, Unit No. N 2201, WTC Bangalore, Brigade Gateway, Bangalore – 560055

www.shapeblue.com

Press:

For all press enquiries contact info@shapeblue.com

Logo and imagery are available

Press invites & photo opportunities for the “Cloud trends for 2013 – an IT executive briefing” on 7 February are available

Giles Sirett, CEO of ShapeBlue is available for interview in Bangalore 5-10 February