Virtustream launches enterprise cloud platform in Australia and New Zealand

Virtustream's enterprise cloud platform is now available in Australia and will be running via Macquarie Telecom's datacentres in Sydney and Canberra.

Virtustream announced on Thursday that its enterprise cloud platform is officially available in Australia and New Zealand.

The cloud company -- which was acquired by EMC in 2015 for $1.2 billion, before the storage giant itself was acquired by Dell for $67 billion in 2016 -- said the expansion is a strategic response to customers that are looking to bring their products and services to the ANZ market.

"A lot of the time, local data sovereignty, local regulation, and compliance are key topics that our customers need to be able to respond to. So having a physical cloud node in the local market, along with the security service that we run the cloud on, means that we can guarantee the customer's application is physically located in the Australian and New Zealand geography," Simon Walsh, COO at Virtustream, said in an interview with ZDNet.

"We can provide certainty that data at rest, data in transit, and data in use will not leave the geography under which they want to be governed."

Walsh said Virtustream's enterprise cloud platform was built specifically for mission-critical applications, and that it promises five nines of uptime for availability (99.999 percent). Other cloud providers such as Microsoft Azure offer 99.95 percent uptime, which equates to around 4.3 hours of downtime per year.

"The public cloud hyperscalers like Azure and AWS are not capable of running mission-critical applications in the cloud," he said. "If you're running a blue light service and you have to provide an ambulance, and your contact software is running on Azure and they have 0.05 percent outage, that's four hours of not being able to provide an ambulance."

Walsh added that enterprises want cloud solutions that operate on a service model.

"What we see is that customers want the economic benefits of multi-tenant cloud solutions, but they need the service model of a services company who can guarantee a service-level agreement, who picks up the phone," Walsh said. "If you've ever had an application fail and you need to pick up the phone and ask someone to do something, you actually need a phone number. A lot of public cloud providers ... they don't issue a phone number for the helpdesk. That's because there isn't one.

"There was an outage in the US recently, and if you went to their website to understand whether they have an outage and whether there was a problem, all their monitoring tools and the website data indicated no fault whatsoever. Customers were experiencing application failure and had no ability to resolve the crisis."

Virtustream offers consumption-based infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) billing, as well as service-level agreements for application performance and application availability, which Walsh said makes the company's value proposition "unique" to other public cloud providers.

"We have IP that we have patented that enables us to run classic Tier-3 applications as if they are cloud-like, and therefore, we can reapportion the underlying IT resources according to the application demand and the application usage, which is not what you purchase when you buy from [other cloud vendors]."

Walsh said the IaaS market opportunity is trending upwards, making it an ideal time for Virtustream to push its reach globally.

In February, the International Data Corporation projected that worldwide investments in the public cloud will reach $122.5 billion in 2017, an increase of 24.4 percent over 2016. According to the IDC, "cloud is growing seven times faster than the rest of IT".

Walsh said the increase in cloud spending is being driven by growing confidence among enterprises that cloud services are reliable and secure.

"Pretty much every company has a cloud-first strategy, [which] means the multi-tenanted shared use of physical infrastructure to run my business systems. But when you actually peel the onion and you look at that proposition, what you'll see is that when they say cloud first, they don't put most of their core business applications in the cloud, because they can't get a service-level agreement, they can't get a performance guarantee, and they can't have a contract against availability.

"What's happened over the last three to five years is that customers have [developed] confidence that the technology, the security, the reliability, and importantly the service model is now mature enough for them to move core business applications."

Virtustream's platforms and services will be delivered via Macquarie Telecom's datacentres in Sydney and Canberra in order to serve the needs of both the enterprise and public sectors in Australia, the company said.

Walsh added that the benefit of Virtustream being a wholly owned entity of Dell Technologies is that it enables the company to utilise Dell EMC resources to expand its reach and capability.

"We have good market coverage because we can use the Dell EMC organisation," he said.

Virtustream recently announced its expansion into Japan, supported by strategic partnerships with regional IT providers such as NTT Communications.