Melbourne IT has emerged as the first Australian organisation to bring VMware's new cloud offering vCloud Express to market in Australia.
The company's new service takes a VMware environment and allows customers to self-manage and self-provision virtual machines within a cloud environment hosted by Melbourne IT.
The customers sign up for free then pay only for the compute time they use, the company's CTO Glenn Glore told ZDNet.com.au. Because it's self-managed, ramping the service up or down is able to be billed in a much more granular fashion, Gore said. "It comes down to hour by hour billing models," he said.
The company released a private beta of the pay-as-you-go cloud service this morning. It planned to keep the service on private beta — requiring application to take part — for two to three weeks before moving to public beta, which would be open to anyone, Gore said. One to two months would see it move into full production.
Currently, four companies were on the private beta, according to Gore, but he hoped to see that number rise to 20 to 50 before it moved to public beta. The company was aiming the beta at testing and development companies who needed constantly varying amounts of resources, which was difficult under a traditional hosting model, according to Gore.
Companies outside that target market weren't advised to sign up just yet, Gore said. "We don't want customers to put production services on it in the first incidence," he said. He wanted to work out any problems and also see how the billing model worked for customers first. "It's a little bit unpredictable as to what the cost could be for the customer," he said, adding that it had the potential to quickly become more expensive if more CPU hours were used.
Later when the service is in full production, Gore expected that medium to large size companies would take up the service, for example in the health and education sectors. He believed the services would evolve, perhaps involving strong service level agreements or specialist security or compliance requirements. There was a large number of companies who hadn't moved to cloud because there wasn't a service hosted in Australia, he said, a fact which Melbourne IT wanted to capitalise on.
Competitors would be quick to jump into the market, he believed. "It's going to come down to how quickly they can move," he said of their success.
The price for the service is charged per hour and depends on the number of virtual CPUs requested, the amount of memory allocated, the amount of storage used and the amount of network bandwidth used. The page with prices can be found here.