Peer 1

Vancouver-based infrastructure services provider Peer 1 Hosting is now offering its CloudOne self-service and metered storage with a boost from EMC Corp.’s Atmos for customers wanting better management of globally dispersed storage and large data centres.

Across Peer 1’s 17 globally situated data centres, reaping the advantage, through the partnership, of centrally managing and scaling across either a single or multiple sites for the customer was “a no-brainer,” said Tim Varma, Peer 1’s vice-president of product development.

“Where we need to deploy a cloud solution, it has a single pane of glass from a management perspective for our customer experience,” said Varma. “We can make it very simple to connect all these together, so scaling it to a single site or to multiple sites.”

EMC Atmos also adds to CloudOne varying levels of localized data protection, as well as multi-tenancy for hosting multiple applications from a single cloud infrastructure.

The Atmos capabilities will be available through all of Peer 1’s data centres and will seamlessly integrate with what’s already in those facilities, said Varma.

“In terms of a customer perspective, they would just show up as ‘Oh, wow, there’s a stack in this other location. Do I want to replicate there? Do I want to add new content there?’” said Varma.

EMC used to offer its own storage-as-a-service, based on Atmos, for a little more than a year before announcing, in July 2010, it would phase out the offering in favour of selling it to service providers instead, such as Peer 1.

John Sloan, lead analyst with London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group Inc., said there was never anything wrong with EMC Atmos as a technology. The Hopkington, Mass.-based vendor simply didn’t want to be in the service provider business, preferring instead to sell hardware and software, said Sloan.

The cloud storage market is a definite growth area given customers are interested in cloud backup and replication to save money on disk and tape, said Sloan. But, customers in the business of offering Web-based services, too, turn to the cloud for content delivery, he added.

According to Info-Tech Research statistics, Peer 1 and Q9 Networks Inc., a Toronto-based hosting provider, are both leading in the infrastructure provider space. The value offered by these providers is the availability of a broad range of services that reflects the fact that cloud has specific value for specific use cases, said Sloan.

“In terms of a service provider in the Canadian space, companies are looking for a range of offerings and maybe some capability of creating hybrids,” said Sloan. “They might have some co-located stuff. They might have some cloud services.”

Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau