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Dimension Data Launches Public Cloud Infrastructure Service

Dimension Data on Thursday is launching a public cloud offering that it says will compete with Amazon Web Services and Rackspace Hosting, among others.

The $5.8 billion global systems integrator and technology services provider is also launching private cloud implementation services, hybrid cloud offerings and a managed hosting service.

Johannesburg, South Africa-based Dimension Data, a subsidiary of NTT Group, had been signaling for some time that it planned to extend its cloud offerings, and it took a major step forward last summer with its acquisition of OpSource, which provides cloud hosting, automation and management services.

With operations in Santa Clara, Calif., Virginia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and India, OpSource already had a formidable cloud offering. At the time of the acquisition, Dimension Data said that OpSource would be the cornerstone of its new Cloud Business Unit. Now Dimension Data is extending that globally through its datacenters in Asia, Australia and Africa as well as regions complementary with OpSource. Dimension Data said it plans to have its global footprint rolled out by the end of the next quarter.

OpSource currently has 400 cloud clients, most of them in North America. "Our clients are in various stages of cloud adoption," said Jere Brown, CEO of Dimension Data Americas, in an interview. "OpSource has let us accelerate that journey and we will be leading that."

Brown said the company has aspirations of becoming a major provider of cloud services. While there is no shortage of providers of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), officials at Dimension Data said they are primed to compete with Amazon and Rackspace. "We will have one of the largest public cloud footprints in the industry," said Keao Caindec, CMO of Dimension Data's Cloud Business Unit.

The company's cloud portfolio is based on systems provided by Dell, EMC, Cisco and VMware. It is not based on VMware's vCloud platform, said Dimension Data Americas COO Wes Johnston, but rather on its virtualization technology and Dimension Data's own custom-developed cloud management and orchestration platform it calls CloudControl.  

In addition to its public cloud service, Dimension Data is now deploying private clouds for customers in their own datacenters, where the company will provide infrastructure, implementation, cloud orchestration and automation, all managed by the company.

For those that don't want private clouds in their own datacenters, Dimension Data's new hosted private cloud service will be run in the company's facilities. Third-party service providers can also use Dimension Data's offering to provide their own branded, managed cloud services.

The cloud portfolio also includes managed hosting, consisting of dedicated infrastructure and application management services linked to Dimension Data's public and private clouds. Through the managed hosting offering, Dimension Data will manage apps, databases, networks and virtual and physical servers.

A managed services option will include a variety of services including patch management, configuration of hardware and backup. And Dimension Data said through its Managed Cloud Platform, it will offer cloud-based backup and disaster recovery and the hosting of applications.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 02/23/2012 at 1:14 PM


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