Aussie cloud boom all about local

Summary:Although much of the focus on cloud in Australia has been on big providers such as Amazon or Telstra, VMware sees promise for the Australian economy in the army of small providers that will be able to provide services over cloud.

Although much of the focus on cloud in Australia has been on big providers such as Amazon or Telstra, VMware sees promise for the Australian economy in the army of small providers that will be able to provide services over cloud.

VMWare's Service Provider Program allows its partner providers to only pay for what products they use, and how intensely they are using them.

There are now 5600 members of the program worldwide, according to VMware, with 174 per cent bookings growth in the program in this year to date. In Australia and New Zealand, VMware has recruited over 300 partners to the program in the last 12 months.

VMWare Australia and New Zealand managing director Duncan Bennet puts the program's growth down to its pricing model, which had meant that "literally one- and two-man organisations" could become cloud providers.

Young Australians just out of university could start up a service, based on an infrastructure provider such as Zettagrid, using VMWare's software, and only pay a small amount until the customers started coming in.

"What somebody can do is get access to all of our software, start themselves up for $300 dollars a month," he said. This would provide a management platform and a couple virtual machines, which would probably allow a small company to get its first client, according to Bennet. "And that's probably about it."

After that, the company would need to purchase more "points" to enable increased usage of the products. This model gave local business the ability to play in the cloud, he said.

"We're really trying to enable local business, local partners to take advantage of some of the initiatives that cloud computing can provide to our economy and to our local technology business," he said.

"Nothing would give me more pleasure to see the new Google coming out of Australia."

And there is a thirst for local in the small business sector, according to Zettagrid general manager Nicki Pereira, who said that from his experience, small businesses aren't even satisfied if they know their provider is Australia.

"Not just Australian, but local to my city and local to my town," he said. "People still want to be able to see or know where data is in the general vicinity. Being local is going to be a big trend."

Amazon wasn't cheaper, according to Pereira, once all the charges, such as charging for data in and data out, had been taken into account. Users also encountered latency issues with that provider, and Amazon didn't provide the flexibility that small businesses craved, he said.

A lot of the businesses using Zettagrid's infrastructure were already virtualised using VMware. Zettagrid's partners just moved the virtualised environment into the Zettagrid cloud. The businesses often wanted to stay with what they knew, he said, which he said wasn't possible with Amazon.

There was nothing stopping university graduates from creating a Bathurst cloud, Bennet said, or any region or industry creating its own cloud.

"It's good for VMware, but I actually think it will be good for the country, as well, to be able to play in this generational change for IT," he said. "The last time I checked, Bathurst doesn't get a lot of benefit out of Amazon."

And the NBN was only going to make this more likely, he said.

"The faster you can move that data around, the more cloud adoption there's going to be."

Topics: Cloud

About

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for t... Full Bio

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