Asian enterprises want 'packaged clouds'

Enterprises looking to go to cloud quickly are not keen on piecemeal components. Instead, they want cloud offerings that come packaged, says virtualization vendor.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

Enterprises looking to go to the cloud quickly do not want piecemeal cloud components, according to Parallels, a virtualization vendor that is betting its strategy on customer demand for "packaged clouds".

Jan-Jaap Jager, Parallels' Asia-Pacific general manager, said in an interview Thursday that enterprises in the region are interested in moving to the cloud, but want the transition to be "plug and play".

To address this, the vendor is hoping its "automation" packages will trump the competition. It is tying up with resellers using Parallels middleware to enable them to bundle "complete" clouds, he said.

On competitor VMware's platform-as-a-service (PaaS) efforts, such as vSphere 4, he said these pieces of technology are "enablers" for clouds and do not compete directly with Parallels' offerings.

Need for standards still a barrier
According to Jager, the existence of multiple "standards" in the cloud scene is forcing vendors to pick sides. This is affecting the confidence of users in some countries, he said.

Companies in Japan, for example, are hesitant about the cloud, compared to counterparts in other parts of Asia and the West, because the cloud is not "perfect" yet, he noted. The industry's numerous players today continue to grapple with multiple standards, preventing the industry from reaching this "perfection", he explained.

Standardization across the industry will help its players come out with better and wider services, he said, noting that Parallels sponsors the APS (application packaging standard) model, which aims to enable applications and services providers to integrate their cloud offerings.

However, the APS itself appears to be one of several cloud "standards". Red Hat's Deltacloud project, for example, was launched earlier this month to create an API that will let developers write applications for deployment across different clouds.

The Open Cloud Standards Incubator (OCSI) group was also created this year by industry bigwigs IBM, Microsoft Citrix and Hewlett-Packard, also aiming to facilitate interoperability in the cloud.

Jager, however, said the proliferation of various "standards" would not confuse customers because companies do not pick vendors by which standards they support. He added that standards exist to help cloud services providers offer more applications through interoperability, which in turn attracts customers that want vendors able to offer a wider selection of applications.

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