iiNet has made its first move into the cloud, announcing a Business Cloud aimed at small to medium business and government customers.
The infrastructure as a service product will see iiNet offer Windows- and Linux-based applications hosting. It will be available next month, starting at $29 per month, CEO of iiNet Business Greg Bader announced yesterday. The monthly fee also includes access to a range of virtual applications that customers can deploy onto their machines.
"We know Optus have solutions, and Telstra have solutions, but if you look at the flexibility on ours, it's truer to the iiNet brand," he said. "You can tailor make and customise your spend per month, rather than just paying a generic $200 or $500 per month."
To deploy the Business Cloud, iiNet has partnered with VMWare, IBM and Juniper, and Bader said that it was targeted at small to medium businesses.
"This gives them the ability to scale up, scale down, move left, move right. It gives you complete flexibility without large capital outlay," he said. "It gets rid of all the worrying about upgrading hardware, being out of date, and just gets in there, fire up all the infrastructure and throw your applications on top."
iiNet will organise the licensing for the Windows operating system, and will host all the data in its datacentres based in Canberra, Melbourne and Perth.
"The data is all stored locally. You've got some data sovereignty issues with international, but mainly it's a perception issue, to be honest. Storing it locally was logical for us. We have datacentre facilities everywhere we need, and where we don't have them we can talk to our friends at NextDC," he said.
Bader added that the company had thought about expanding to other locations but he said it was more worthwhile for iiNet to stay out of the datacentre business.
"We're playing around in Sydney, but, to be honest, owning our own physical real estate is not core for us, and if we can cut a better deal by leasing it, then we will."
According to the chief executive, demand for the product was already high in the corporate and government sector.
"At the moment, I'm beating them off with a stick. The people we are getting approached from most is the larger end of town," he said.
Recent iiNet acquisition TransACT — which has a number of government clients based in the ACT — will also be offering the iiNet Business products "within a short period of time", according to Bader.
Recently, both Telstra and Optus have moved towards software as a service (SaaS) products, such as Office 365 and Google Apps. iiNet at this stage has no plans to go in a similar direction, but the company indicated that it is considering SaaS as a potential product offering in the future.