Tier 3: Private cloud offering in the works

I chatted with cloud provider Tier 3 this week, to hear about its new program to help resellers white label its services (details about that below).

Even more interesting to me though are Tier 3’s plans around private cloud. The company isn’t ready to share details but was pretty clear it’s getting into the private game.

When asked about how Tier 3 can compete with public cloud providers that offer compatible private clouds, Jared Wray, founder and CTO of Tier 3 had this to say: “Today, we’re a public cloud provider. We believe there’s a huge future around private cloud.” He said the company will have more information to offer in the near future.

Assuming Tier 3 does start offering a private cloud product, it will be entering a crowded market. Many of the traditional enterprise vendors like IBM, HP, and Dell have private offerings. Those are based on OpenStack, backed by a growing community. Then there’s CloudStack, being deployed by more and more enterprises, and others like Eucalyptus, with its strong ties to Amazon Web Services, and Cloudscaling.

But many of those offerings are lacking, Wray said. “A lot of gaps need to be filled for those private clouds to take off,” he said. “Most are still focusing on the basics, getting compute, storage and networking up and running.”

That suggests to me that Tier 3 is going to try to bring to private cloud the same sort of features that it thinks sets its public cloud apart from the competition. Tier 3 tries to be a one stop shop of sorts, offering IaaS and PaaS services, as well as automation and orchestration tools, all under one roof. The idea is to offer customers everything that a high-touch managed services provider would, but via software rather than consulting hours.

That appeals to enterprises that are graduating from the commodity clouds but don’t want the managed services clouds, Wray said. Rather than human effort, which comes with the cost of consulting services, they want to use software to automate and manage their clouds, and that’s what Tier 3 offers, he said.

We'll have to wait a bit longer to see what Tier 3 plans in the private cloud space. In the meantime, businesses may be able to access the company’s public clouds from more sources. Tier 3’s announcement today is that system integrators and others resellers that want to offer services like infrastructure as a service, can do so based on Tier 3’s platform.

Resellers will be able to customize the user portal so it looks like their own, turn on or off features, and bill customers directly.

The benefit to the resellers is that they don’t have to build cloud services themselves, a complicated prospect. End users – Tier 3 targets mid-size businesses to enterprises – can sign up for IaaS or platform as a service offerings from a provider they already have a relationship with.

The first company to take Tier 3 up on the offer is Peer 1, a company that provides colocation services. It started offering services based on Tier 3’s technology in April.

Read more of Nancy Gohring's "To the Cloud" blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @ngohring. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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