Canadian provider adds VMware-based public clouds

Just as clouds in the sky vary in shape and size, so do cloud solutions.

Typically, though, organizations want to deal with a hypervisor they’re familiar with. So service providers are learning that while offering one solution has cost efficiencies, they may have to offer more.

Vancouver-based Peer 1 Hosting, which has offered public cloud hosted solutions based on the Xen and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors for over a year through its Zunicore division, is one of those providers broadening its line.

On Tuesday it announced a VMware-based solution called Mission Critical Cloud, which is aimed at enterprises familiar with VMware technology and are willing to pay more for a heftier offering.

How much more? Fifty per cent more than an equivalent bundle of services using a Xen hypervisor, says Robert Miggins, the company’s senior vice-president business development.

However, he said, that includes VMware licences. The services aren’t quite comparable, he adds, because Mission Critical Cloud has an infrastructure in the company’s Toronto data centre that offers replication and data recovery to a mirror data centre in Vancouver.

Mission Critical Cloud is also initially being offered in Britain and Germany, where Peer 1 also has dual data centres in each country. MCC will be offered in the U.S. soon.

The ability to have backup and recovery within the country where the data resides is important to Peer 1’s multinational customers, Miggins said.

While Zunicor is sufficient for some enterprises “because we like to offer folks choices and we know it really fits a different party of the market we were that much more convinced we also wanted to have a VMware-based public cloud solution for our larger customers,” he added.

MCC is based on technology licensed from VMware cloud provider Tier 3 Inc.

Peer 1 dubbed it mission critical because the infrastructure stack offers high availability with redundant switches, load balancers, firewalls, storage and hypervisor servers, and includes protection from distributed denial of service attacks and intrusion protection.

The service also offers blueprinting, which can clone a customer’s entire environment. Think of setting up three Web virtual servers, five virtual applications servers and specified security for a project, says Miggins, then replicating that later when it’s needed for another project.

MCC offers service level agreements for certain services (five-9s for servers and control portals, four-9s for storage and 100 per cent for the network). Customers can order up to 16 virtual 2GHz CPU cores, and up to 128 GB of memory. There’s an hourly charge per virtual CPU.

Target customers in addition to enterprises include systems integrators and Web designers whose customers need cloud solutions.
Peer 1 has 20 data centres across North America and Europe.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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