Launch follows beta service trial with several customers, including Curtin University of Technology and Savills
Optus, in partnership with its wholly-owned subsidiary Alphawest, today announced the commercial launch of Optus Cloud Solutions, its new suite of enterprise cloud computing services.
Delivered over the Optus Evolve™ IP Network, Optus Cloud Solutions provide businesses with a scalable and flexible approach to manage their IT resources without the need to maintain their own infrastructure. The first service is a virtual private data centre solution that enables businesses to access virtualised computing and storage capacity on demand via a secure network connection. It is available to Optus Business customers from 1 October, 2010.
"Optus Cloud Solutions have been designed to give customers the flexibility, agility and control to scale their IT services up and down in real time to support business requirements and fluctuations, without having to maintain their own infrastructure. Services are delivered via the Optus Evolve network and our secure data centre facilities, giving businesses the added assurance that their data is in good hands," said Rob Parcell, Acting Managing Director of Optus Business.
Optus Cloud Solutions allow customers to buy compute and memory 'slices' and storage per gigabyte as required. Each 'slice' provides fixed reservation compute capacity of 0.5GHz of CPU and 1 GB RAM. The solution also features a self-service online portal that enables customers to create and manage their network resources in real time, including rapidly deploying virtual machines to support a range of applications such as disaster recovery through to testing and development environments. Customers can also easily integrate their internal virtualised private clouds with the Optus enterprise private cloud.
"Optus' approach to cloud computing provides customers with a well managed evolution toward a virtualised, private data centre environment that complements their existing technology investment. While we're initially focused on infrastructure-based services, we've built a scalable technology platform that will allow us to expand the portfolio as the market matures and look into areas such as software as a service if it's in line with our customers' needs," said Mr Parcell.
According to IDC, cost savings and return on infrastructure assets are the most important benefits to private cloud users, while security and loss of control over data are the top two challenges.
"By adopting a cloud solution, the costs associated with deploying and maintaining hardware and software services could be reduced, which in some cases, could amount to enormous savings," said Linus Lai, Associate Director for Research and Consulting, IDC Australia.
Customers Report Positive Results Following Optus Cloud Trial
The launch of Optus Cloud Solutions follows a pilot program earlier this year, with Curtin University of Technology and Savills trialling the beta service prior to the commercial release.
- Curtin University of Technology
In early 2010, Curtin University of Technology became the first customer to trial the Optus Cloud beta service in support of its journey to adopt a utility model for the delivery of IT services. The solution provided Curtin with on demand access to a fully virtualised private data centre via the Optus Evolve IP network. Using the self-service online portal, Curtin was able to create and provision virtual machines to support a range of applications, with the deployment of new virtual machines taking a matter of hours rather than days. Curtin also integrated its private internal cloud with the Optus Cloud environment.
"The objective of the Optus Cloud pilot was to progress our knowledge and thinking about how cloud computing can benefit Curtin IT and enhance the services we deliver to the university's research, teaching and learning communities," said Peter Nikoletatos, CIO of Curtin University of Technology. "With Optus Cloud, we're able to offer a model for the self provisioning of storage and compute, which reduces IT deployment time and allows us to be more responsive to the needs of the wider Curtin community."
Since the conclusion of the trial, Curtin has worked closely with Optus Business and Alphawest to help define its cloud computing road-map, identifying research and virtualised learning as key areas for future cloud-based services. While its cloud strategy is still evolving, Curtin is currently exploring how it can support the university's research activities by providing researchers with access to computing capacity via cloud computing services.
"Researchers like to have the flexibility to manage their IT requirements based on a switch on, switch off basis. We see a real opportunity to provision bespoke environments for researchers so they can access computing on demand. This model could also be potentially extended to students as we progress along the cloud journey," said Mr Nikoletatos.
Rather than refresh existing disaster recovery (DR) server and storage infrastructure, Savills migrated its disaster recovery site to the Optus enterprise cloud as part of the trial. DR storage and server infrastructure currently represents 20 per cent of Savills production systems capital expenditure. By deploying a virtual private data centre, Savills was able to maintain business continuity and tier 1 application and data recovery without having to procure new infrastructure and spend capex, while significantly reducing data replication time. Savills also moved its development and testing environments to the Optus Cloud to improve deployment time and minimise capex.
Kash Ziaei, National Director, Operations, Savills Australia said: "The Optus trial proved that cloud is a viable solution to support our business - it's cost effective and gives us a degree of flexibility we've never had before. We no longer have to worry about the back-end infrastructure, which means we can respond to business requirements more quickly and deploy services faster. We're very comfortable with moving our disaster recovery site and development testing environment to the Optus enterprise cloud in the future."
While the company is still in the testing phase, Savills has identified a range of ways it can use cloud to support the business in the future. This includes serving applications in the cloud to reduce its data centre footprint, support office relocations and aid business expansion, which will not only reduce costs but enable Savills to deploy IT resources more quickly.
"Further down the track, we see cloud computing as something that can help us reduce our data centre footprint and infrastructure requirements, which will cut both our IT and location costs. Cloud also gives us more budget certainty as we know how much the IT resources will cost us upfront," said Mr Ziaei.
Optus Cloud Solutions Pricing and Availability
Optus Cloud Solutions are delivered exclusively over the Optus Evolve advanced IP Network, and are available to Optus Business customers from 1 October 2010. Service charges will reflect a set price per compute and memory 'slice' and per gigabyte of storage required. Additional charges will be based on the consumption of operating licences, and any additional services required such as internet and firewall protection.
About Optus Cloud Solutions
Optus Cloud Solutions have been built on the VMware, Cisco and EMC technology platform. The first service is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution that enables businesses to access virtualised computing and storage capacity via a secure network connection. The service is delivered via Optus Evolve IP Network while the infrastructure is housed in Optus ISO 27001-certified hosting facilities.
The solution incorporates a number of core components and characteristics, including:
- Optus Evolve IP VPN: providing reliable, flexible, scalable and cost effective connectivity.
- Self-Service Portal: allowing you to easily create, use and manage components of your network, including Virtual machines, users and groups, and catalogues.
- Compute/Memory: allows you to determine your required level of resource allocation via the flexibility of 'slices' (unit increments of CPU and Memory capacity).
- Storage: gives you the ability to choose the class of storage to suit your needs. All classes of storage are protected against individual drive failure in the storage array.
- Service Management and Support: continued support across Service Desk Requirements (available 24 hours 7 days a week), Change Management and Service Management Reporting.
- Service Platform Targets and SLA's: designed to ensure maximum service availability.
For more information, please visit www.optus.com.au/business/cloud.
Kasia Ciszak/James Wright
Optus Corporate Affairs
Tel: (02) 8082 7850