Virtustream recently announced xStream 2.0, a highly secure, high performance enterprise-class cloud solution for private, virtual private, public and hybrid clouds. To find out more about this product launch, I spoke with Simon Aspinall, Virtustream's chief marketing officer (CMO).VMblog: Let's start by telling us what separates Virtustream
from other cloud service providers, if you don't mind.
Simon Aspinall: Virtustream is the leading enterprise-class cloud solution
provider, specializing in moving complex enterprise IT environments to the
cloud. Virtustream offers xStream, a highly secure, high performance
enterprise-class cloud solution for private, virtual private, hybrid and public
clouds. xStream 2.0 includes Virtustream
µVM (Micro-VM) technology, a first in its class technology that
allows for consumption based pricing in that customers pay only for the
In addition, Virtustream's µVM
technology enables up to 30% economics benefits beyond virtualization, with
enterprise class SLAs and up to 50% faster response times - across the entire
solution, with a single management tool.
Today customers choose from three
main types of cloud: public, private, virtual private, and have a broad choice
of suppliers to choose from. Our enterprise cloud offer is unique. We provide
customers with a tailored hybrid solution to match their complex enterprise IT
Private Cloud (management) at
their own site (using xStream software or as a managed service from
Virtual Private Cloud, as a
managed service from the Virtustream cloud - and looking forward from a secure
community of other VPC and public clouds
Hybrid solutions combining
private and public clouds to match the customer's business
VMblog: xStream seems unique in that it lets
customers combine private and public clouds into hybrid clouds. Explain why this would be advantageous to companies.
Aspinall: Companies run many applications and many different types of
software with varying demand. Ideal solutions combine onsite IT with a private
cloud and hybrid connection to a public/virtual private cloud for dynamic
demand. Enterprises are beginning to discover the versatility afforded by a
hybrid cloud solution. Many companies have complex legacy applications and/or
they wish to maintain their traditional data center environments while also
"test driving" cloud services. Others want cloud backup and disaster recovery.
Some wish to move large elements of their IT to the cloud. The hybrid approach provides the needed flexibility to these
enterprise customers, enabling them to choose what is right for their business
and, just as important, adopt at their own pace.
VMblog: How does xStream 2.0 and its
Virtustream µVM (Micro-VM) technology enable customers to reduce
costs? And why is consumption based pricing important?
Aspinall: Most enterprises make a move to the cloud in an effort to
benefit from the cloud's promise of scalability, dynamic services and cost
efficiency. But today, most public clouds offer only fixed size virtual
machines. µVMs dynamically combine compute + memory + network + storage in a
small cloud element, which is used to delivery efficiency beyond traditional
virtualization and to guarantee cloud application performance. Using µVMs
enables businesses to consume far fewer resources and more efficiently scale
their business, and to pay only for what they use, not what they may need once.
A typical approach to cloud adoption is for the
business to secure enough cloud resource to meet its peak demand usually in the
form of VMs. This means they pay for unused resources in non-peak times. They
have in essence built in the same inefficiencies that they had in a physical
environment or even a VM
based virtualized environment.
Virtustream offers the first
consumption-based cloud pricing model via its µVM technology. On the xStream
platform, enterprises are only charged for the resources actually used, thus
maximizing their savings.
VMblog: This new version of the
xStream platform is said to offer enhanced security features. Tell us how xStream 2.0
Aspinall: With security issues ranking in
the top three cloud computing concerns, we understand the importance of
providing our customers with the best protection possible. Deep multi-layered
enterprise grade security is built into the xStream platform. Enhancements in
xStream 2.0 offer the latest in multi-layered enterprise grade security and
compliance including federated identity (IDN) sign-on and continuous auditing
capabilities that can meet the highest security certifications such as
NIST 800-53 (Federal), DIACAP, ICD503 (Defense), FISMA (Government),
G-Cloud (U.K. Government), SSAE16 (Audit), ISO27001 (Service), HIPAA
(Healthcare), PCI (e-commerce), SAS70 (Audit), ODCA and other industry standards
VMblog: xStream 2.0 is available
as software, as a stand-alone appliance and as a managed service. What are the
benefits of providing customers with this kind of flexibility?
Aspinall: It comes down to versatility. If
customers decide to operate their cloud solution in-house, then they are in
control of the platform. Some customers prefer software for use on existing
equipment, others want stand-alone appliances. Alternately customers elect to
have the Virtustream cloud host their mission-critical workloads and benefit
from the economies of skill and scale from managed cloud services. Or they can
do both. What makes hybrid cloud solution so attractive is the many options
available and the ability to design a solution that best suits the individual
needs of a business.
VMblog: What advice would you give
companies that are interested in moving legacy applications to the cloud?
Aspinall: Enterprises need to take a look at
their traditional applications and consider the benefits they would reap by
moving them to the cloud. While Enterprise applications are extremely powerful
and can drive entire organizations, they are also multifaceted and complex,
often requiring dedicated hardware and complex provisioning and maintenance.
Cloud technology for the enterprise enables the migration of mission-critical,
legacy applications, like SAP/Microsoft/Oracle, to the cloud without rewriting
the software. This gives legacy software the economic and scale advantages of
the cloud - but with guaranteed application performance and simplified
operations. This is why a cloud solution can be the ideal scenario for the
complex enterprise compute topography that is inherent to these enterprise
applications, such as SAP.
VMblog: With so many cloud platforms
available on the market today, how do you see the future of cloud computing unfolding?
Aspinall: We're now seeing cloud solutions
tailored to types of customer: enterprise, SMB and even by vertical sector. As
the cloud continues to evolve, we are seeing an increasing interest in hybrid
clouds to combine the benefits of private and public cloud. I think the next
evolution beyond hybrid clouds will be communities of clouds within sectors, or
geographies. Groups of similar businesses, for example a number of Universities
may wish to share compute resources between a number of campuses using the
trusted and secure networks like internet2 in the U.S. or JANET in the U.K. as
some early examples.
Thanks again to Simon Aspinall, CMO of Virtustream, for taking time to speak with VMblog and answer a few questions.