Joyent fills cloud need to expand services: Samsung CTO

Samsung's acquisition of US cloud firm Joyent will allow it to fill its cloud need for software and services at a lower cost and more efficiently, says company mobile CTO Injong Rhee, and allow it provide its own Samsung-made platform to enterprise partners.

Samsung's acquisition of Joyent, a US public and private cloud vendor, will fill its existing need for its own cloud services due to its recent expansion in mobile services, and allow it to supply them to partners in the long-run, said the company's CTO.

"We have been focusing on software and services," said Injong Rhee, CTO of Samsung's mobile business, in an interview with ZDNet. "Along that line, we found cloud to be more and more important. We wanted to strengthen our competitiveness that we cannot not do within the device."

The South Korean tech giant announced the acquisition Thursday, led by its Global Innovation Center (GIC) based in California. The strategic partnership is also expected to expand outside of mobile in the future to IoT, smart cars, and smart homes.

The company's reliance and need for cloud was ever growing, Rhee said, so managing its own cloud infrastructure made sense, to lower costs.

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California-based Joyent had famous Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel as one of its earliest backers and is known for pioneering container-native infrastructure. It recently launched Triton Cloud for the public data market to much praise.

Joyent's core technologies and products -- such as container infrastructure Triton, which allows efficient storage management -- made it the best out of candidates. The US firm's management also had a cultural fit with that of Samsung's, Rhee said. Joyent's technology will allow Samsung to make and manage its own platform that can be applied to its existing datacentres.

"Cloud is at the centre of rolling out services. Our competitors have already invested hugely in cloud infrastructures. As we expanded services, using just Amazon and Microsoft was insufficient for our internal need," said the executive.

Another reason was to offer managerial skills and technology to existing enterprise partners who are demanding more private cloud services. "Clients such as mobile carriers with datacenteres need efficient cloud services. Big data analyses done on a regional base is also a big trend. Joyent offers the technology that allows Samsung's cloud infrastructure to supply these needs to our partners."

For its internal needs, Samsung's biggest cloud suppliers are currently Amazon Web Services and Microsoft. The company will continue to maintain constructive partners with them going forward, Rhee stressed. "Our intention is not to compete with them. It is to scale our own cloud service and better optimise it for our need."

The acquisition was led by Samsung's mobile business, but Joyent's infrastructure will be applied to all the South Korean company's businesses division, which will be "not in the distant future".

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The deal will be completed in a couple of weeks though Rhee declined to specify for how much.

As a subsidiary of Samsung, Joyent will be given the freedom and range to continue to win businesses to other global giants, said Rhee, which was also reiterated by Joyent CEO Scott Hammond.

"For us we've been working with Samsung for a while now as a customer, and then, in the process, they got to know our technology," said Hammond. "We are a cloud platform used by enterprise to build next generation applications for web, mobile, and IoT. Looking at Samsung's product and software services, you can see that they are heading towards those market segments that we are interested. This will give us strong alignment with the end market segment."

"Samsung will offer global reach, technological expertise, and increase our credibility that will boost our partnership, existing partners, and reach new clients," he said.

Joyent will also work very closely with Samsung as its strategic partner, offering its platform atop the South Korean tech giant's higher-level services, such as IoT, smart home, mobile, and smart cars.

The company previously purchased LoopPay, which evolved into Samsung Pay, and SmartThings.

Samsung's mobile payment solution Samsung Pay was launched in the US last year and China in March this year, and hit 1 trillion won in transactions in South Korea last month. Most recently, it has launched in Australia and Singapore.

Rhee has previously told ZDNet that Samsung will expand availability to more and more countries, which coincides with the rise in cloud uptake to better manage deployment of the service.