What is a "trusted cloud?"

I recently had an opportunity to speak with executives of Hosted Solutions about their newest offering, the Stratus Trusted Cloud. Although I'm not sure that this offering is going to change how IT decision makers think about the concept of cloud computing in general, it is a step.

I recently had an opportunity to speak with executives of Hosted Solutions about their newest offering, the Stratus Trusted Cloud. Although I'm not sure that this offering is going to change how IT decision makers think about the concept of cloud computing in general, it is a step.

Here's what Hosted Solutions says about Stratus Trusted Cloud

Stratus Trusted CloudTM from Hosted Solutions is the market's most robust, enterprise-class cloud solution - dramatically improving the efficiency and availability of IT resources and applications in your organization. Stratus Trusted Cloud allows you to move faster and control costs without compromising availability or security.

Hosted Solutions has partnered with market leaders VMware, Sun, EMC, Cisco, F5 and Juniper to deliver Stratus Trusted Cloud. Our enterprise—class solution is built on the industry's most robust, scalable, fully redundant architecture. The result is unmatched performance and availability with 99.99% SLAs. With Hosted Solutions' massively scalable, multi-tenant infrastructure you can access a secure, enterprise-class cloud environment that features built-in high availability and automated resource balancing.

Stratus Trusted Cloud allows you to respond to market dynamics faster and more efficiently than ever before. We deliver resources, applications, even servers, when and where they're needed. Instead of buying costly, cumbersome individual servers, you'll have access to our state-of-the-art infrastructure for processing, storage, networking, and security, which allows you to deploy infrastructure capacity on demand.

Move your enterprise applications to a high availability, massively scalable cloud today and start realizing the benefits:

  • Reduce the Cost and Complexity of IT
  • Accelerate Time to Market to Drive Revenue
  • Improve Efficiency and Allow Company to Focus on the Core Business
  • Protect the Data and IT Environments That Run Your Business

Snapshot analysis

At this point in time, the phrase of "cloud computing" is still too heavily overloaded with different meanings to be definitive.  What is clear is that some are referring to software as a service (SaaS), other are referring to a platform being offered as a service (PaaS) and still others are offering basic infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Hosted Solutions' offering appears to fit in the last category. As such, Stratus Trusted Cloud is a way for organizations to move encapsulated workloads in the form of VMware-based virtual machines from their own IT infrastructure into Hosted Solutions' datacenter.

The messages that Hosted Solutions is flogging are manageability, security and reliability. They also would point out that their offering has been SAS 70 certified and allows a complete type II audit when and if necessary.  They are hoping that this final feature will bring comfort to IT decision makers in regulated industries.

My brief review of the product leads me to believe that the offering certainly could satisfy the requirements of some organizations in the targeted markets and as such, is worth learning about. I'm not at all convinced, however, that this offering, taken all by itself, is enough to convince the industry as a whole that this form of hosted service is right for them.

I'm also concerned that their product name is going to violate the trademarks held by Stratus Technologies and will not stand for long.  I guess we'll just have to see what the maker of Fault Tolerant systems and high availability software will do in response to this announcement.

Unasked for shoot-from-the-hip advice

Hosted Solutions, it seems to me that you face the challenge of getting the word out about yourself, your offerings and answering the question "why should I care about this?" It would be good for you to develop a number of customer profiles clearly presenting the customer's pain, what that pain cost them and how your service took that pain away.  Why don't you create some amusing, short youtube-calaber videos on the topic?

I bet that you are also likely to get a polite call from legal counsel of Stratus Technologies as soon as they become familiar with your product offering.  It would be wise for you to prepare your answer.