Clearpath views cloud as just part of the solution

The integrator -- which boasts longstanding practices in Cisco, EMC and VMware, among others -- believes seamless integration is the best approach to managing hybrid environments.

For Clearpath Solutions Group, cloud infrastructure and applications are just another piece of the comprehensive IT and data center environments that it builds for its customers. Its goal: to ensure that capacity that just happens to be hosted in a public cloud is "beautifully integrated" with legacy systems.

"We are not shying away from doing things that some integrators are resistant to," said Nathan Reynolds, executive vice president for the company, based in Herndon, Va.

The reason I'm chatting with Clearpath's team is because the company recently became a partner of HotLink, which develops technology for managing hetergenous data centers and IT infrastructure. The focus is on helping companies manange hybrid cloud projects -- it extends VMware vCenter management capabilities to environments including Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix, Xen Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Amazon EC2.

For Clearpath, which sells Amazon Web Services to augment its clients' on-premises infrastructure, HotLink handles certain integration and management tasks that previously require far more "engineering manpower," Reynolds said. The solution provider plugs the technology into virtually every environment it is managing, regardless of whether or not the cloud is involved. 

Clearpath supports approximately 400 businesses along the Eastern seaboard of the United States. As it started developing a cloud story, the integrator discovered that at least half of its customers -- which include the United Negro College Fund and Peninsula Medical Center -- were already using some sort of public service -- whether or not the IT team realized it. Rather than ceding that potential business, Clearpath focused on how it could help those companies gain more visibility into their cloud infrastructure and that meant become and Amazon partner.

"Our clients wanted someone who could deploy it and make it work with what they already have," he said. 

Clearpath's strategic partners are Cisco, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems and VMware. Its other technology partners (listed alphabetically) include Greenplum, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, NetApp, Nimble Storage, Oracle, Quantum, Riverbed, RSA, Symantec, Veaam and Zerto (a data replication technology company).