Australian datacentre and cloud providers charge a premium not only because of our population and high-cost bandwidth, but also because they are spending too much on networked storage, according to Coraid, which has appointed an Australian manager on the back of a $50 million investment for worldwide expansion.
Australian providers did have a smaller population than other countries, Coraid worldwide executive vice president Carl Wright acknowledged, but this isn't the major reason that Australian clouds cost more.
"A big chunk of that cost is the bandwidth. Another major cost is rolling out [vendor] clouds on tier-one storage providers," Wright said.
"Combine a [Cisco Unified Computing System] platform with EMC storage or Netapp," he continued. "Most often that stack becomes unaffordable."
In 12 to 24 months, we would have more available and cheaper bandwidth, because of the National Broadband Network's (NBN's) progress, Wright said. This would provide Australia with cheaper bandwidth, leaving storage as the last major cost factor.
Coraid sees itself as a price revolutionary, providing low-cost storage that still has high performance. Wright said that Coraid wants to do for storage what Dell and the x86 architecture did for servers, commoditising the market. Its products are based on ATA-over-Ethernet, which is billed to be easy to implement and have high performance at a lower price.
Coraid's decision to have a stronger presence in Australia, and appoint country manager Jason Martin, who comes from almost a decade's service at VMware, has followed a successful entry into the European market, despite market volatility.
"Even though the companies are in recession, the storage they need is still increasing," he said, adding that it is trying not to give their entire storage budget over to just one storage vendor.
Its products have netted it a contract with Sony Music here in Australia, and it has also caught the notice of various universities in Australia and New Zealand, such as Flinders University, Auckland University and a college at the University of Tasmania. Government agencies and councils have also shown interest. The company says it has over 25 customers in the two countries altogether.