Infiniserv launches Linux-based UK cloud

The cloud services are based on the open-source KVM hypervisor, use a range of UK datacentres and offer customers the ability to connect via dedicated fibre from their business premises to the cloud

Infiniserv has launched a cloud for UK businesses based around the open-source KVM hypervisor.

The company, a subsidiary of fibre and datacentre operator C4L, launched three cloud services on Wednesday based on KVM. Infiniserv's managing director, Matt Hawkins, told ZDNet UK that the service will compete with Amazon Web Services by offering greater flexibility for its rentable IT kit; guaranteed bandwidth via C4L's substantial fibre network; and prices that are the same as, if not better, than Amazon's.

"We've developed everything on top of KVM. That provides everything VMware does apart from fault tolerance," he said. "It's given us more ability in the control panel because it's open source so we can adapt it how we want."

The company has built a control panel and cloud management layer on top of the hypervisor and QEMU, he said. The company plans to sell this software — currently unnamed — to other datacentre operators in the future, so they can create clouds of their own. Joyent does the same thing with its SmartDatacenter software.

Infiniserv pricing

Hawkins said he decided to base the public cloud services — a simple server called the Virtual Private Server; a virtualised full IT stack called the Virtual Data Centre; and a cloud called Elastic Cloud Computing — on the hypervisor partly because of VMware's contentious licensing change for vSphere5, which charges according to server memory as well as number of sockets.

We've developed everything on top of KVM. That provides everything VMware does apart from fault tolerance.

– Matt Hawkins, Infiniserv

"For some customers [the VMware licensing] works out better for them, but then for others you add £500 a month extra per server," he said.

Infiniserv pricing is levied on a per-server basis and works out to £10 per gigabyte of server memory a month, £0.10 per gigabyte of storage and £15 per dedicated processing core. A six-month contract gets a 10-percent discount, a yearly contract gets 20 percent, Hawkins said.

Initially, the services are hosted at a C4L datacentre in Bournemouth and a colocation facility in London, but the company has plans to expand to Amsterdam within a month and New York within three months, with a centre in Singapore under consideration.

Range of hardware

For businesses, a potential reason to opt for Infiniserv over Amazon is that it offers a greater choice in the range of IT hardware that can be rented, Hawkins said.

"With Amazon you're fixed to certain size instances. We're setting up 96GB [of RAM] on the server," Hawkins said, so customers can go "up to 24 cores and 96GB memory and down to one core and however little memory they want".

Storage can expand to 96TB per server, he said.

If a company already takes space in any one of C4L's 40 datacentres across the UK, then it will not have to pay bandwidth costs to transfer data into and out of the Infiniserv cloud, he said, as C4L operates a large fibre network across the UK and can provide dedicated connections to the Infiniserv cloud straight from a business's office.

The simple server and virtual datacentre services are available from today, with the rentable compute cloud to follow in a few months. At the moment all storage is HDD, but Hawkins said that SSD storage would be available within a month.

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