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Telstra pulls wraps off cloud portal

Telstra has today unveiled a brand new cloud services portal as part of its $800 million investment into cloud computing.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor on

Telstra has today unveiled a brand new cloud services portal as part of its $800 million investment into cloud computing.

The portal is intended to serve firms of all sizes, but Telstra expects small- to medium-sized businesses to show interest for production environments, and enterprise interest for development or short-term project use.

The portal provides pay-as-you-go access to virtual servers, but also offers access to the servers on a subscription basis, providing five plans priced from $200 to $4000 per month for set amounts of computing power. There are no joining, set-up or plan-changing fees.

The Telstra plans.
(Credit: Telstra)

Telstra said that its research has shown that although the pay-as-you-go model is the typical model for cloud services provided online, its research shows that customers also enjoy having the certainty of a set cost.

Users can sign up to the service via the online portal. If they only want to have a normal internet connection between the Telstra datacentre and their office, it will take a day for the servers to come online. If they want their premise to be connected to the Telstra datacentre via the Telstra IP network, it will take a week, according to Telstra product portfolio manager Nicholas Gaul. If extra servers are added afterwards, this would also require anywhere from a few hours to a day, he said. Other alterations, however, like changing machines from one CPU to four CPUS, can be managed instantaneously via the portal.

Currently, about 80 to 90 per cent of customers using the cloud service have asked for the private network, but Gaul expects this to change as more small- to medium-sized businesses came on-board.

Gaul said that Telstra is working on automation of the network components, which would enable real-time provision of the servers. He expects this to be completed within this financial year.

Upload of data to the servers can occur over the internet, or for a sum of $250 and a fee per gigabyte, Telstra can send a storage device to the company to have it sent back. Exporting the data would cost the same as importing, Telstra said.

Firms are able to order Windows or Linux-based servers online themselves for quick deployment of virtual environment, with Telstra expecting such environments to be used for testing, development and short-term projects.

Any data hosted in the servers will reside in Telstra's two Australian datacentres in Sydney and Melbourne. As demand increases, the company will conside expanding the service to other datacentres, according to Gaul.

Payment is managed via a Telstra bill, although the ability to pay via credit card is coming shortly, he added.

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