Canadian organizations that want to buy infrastructure as a service now have another alternative with the launch of an offering from Manitoba Telecom Services.

The provider’s Allstream division has launched its third cloud product with what it calls its Cloud Compute service, giving customers the ability to buy CPU cycles, RAM and storage along with network services.

It’s particularly aimed at enterprises that want to rent compute cycles for pre-production application development, said Michael LaPalme, Allstream’s director of managed IP services.

“For Allstream, traditionally understood as a network services provider, this for us is a continued foray into cloud services space,” he said. It gives customers “the ability to purchase a virtualized server as a service.”

The target market for the cloud computing service is medium and large organizations, he said, delivered over Allstream’s cross-country network.

The new service gives the telco the ability to offer more than network services to customers, he LaPalme said, to being able to do more with the connection.

Plus, it hopes customers will look to a service provider like Allstream to provide cloud data centre services rather than competitors who aren’t network service providers.

The service is an extension of Allstream’s five-year partnership with SunGard Data Systems Inc., a U.S. based technology services company that has data centres in Canada as well as other countries around the world. The Canadian-based servers will appeal to organizations that for regulatory reasons have to ensure sensitive data stays in the country. SunGard also provides the data centre services for Allstream’s managed and hosted cloud offerings, LaPalme said.

In addition to offering CPU cycles and storage, Cloud Compute also includes redundant firewalls, load balancers and backup.

Pricing depends on what the customer wants, but to keep things simple Allstream has broken the offering into three bundles. For an organization with small needs, $1,350 a month buys access to eight virtual processors, 16 GB of RAM and 400 GB of storage. For $4,765 an organization gets access to 32 virtual processors, 64 GB of memory and 1.6 TB of storage. For $16,340 a month a customer gets 128 virtual CPUs, 256 GB of RAM and 6.4 TB of storage.

While IT departments are the initial target, “once we evolve and the messaging becomes a little more mature, our full intent is to be marketing to CFOs to extend the argument that talks about decreased costs (of Iaas).”


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