Atlanta outlines virtualisation offering

Ties together VMware, Cisco and Compellent for cloud computing

Last week it was Colt announcing its cloud service, a little further down the scale, Atlanta has also announced its own virtualisation strategy, tying together products from a range of vendors.

Atlanta has produced a report, Virtualisation Without Walls, to provide guidance for companies new to virtualisation as to how they could exploit the technology.

It has based the service on products from VMware, Cisco and Compellent. The offering looks very much like the VBlock technology put together by the Acadia grouping with the replacement of EMC by Compellent. Atlanta's technical director Mike Kelson explained the decision. "Compellent is a better solution than EMC's. The whole idea of the virtualisation without walls concept is that companies can scale in or scale out as needed, without too many complications - or no frigging in the rigging as Compellent says," he explained. "Fundamentally, it allows us to scale without having to redesign. It has cloud enabled tech - we can move a virtual machine within cloud."

The combined service is not going to be a cheap option, particularly for Atlanta's target market of small and mid-sized businesses but Simon Kelson, Atlanta's managing director said that the cost wasn't the only factor. "We appreciate that VMware is the most expensive but it's the best in terms of support. If something goes wrong, someone on the phone will be there to fix it within ten minutes. We found that Microsoft support wasn't as good "

He added that there were some hidden costs with VMware alternatives. "We investigated Hyper-V but there were some technological issues that we didn't like - the Microsoft suite will need a variety of products that need to be integrated together to produce the same thing with one product from VMware."

One of the key aspects of the Atlanta offering is security, a move designed to appeal to those companies who express concerns. "We've been designed our infrastructure an architecture that involves security rings with the most secure being ring 0. Depending on the ring, it's how the access to a particular device is secured," said Mike Kelson.

The virtualisation service is aimed at bringing the technology to a wider audience. " I think the platform we have has got a good customer base . The question is 'what does Joe Bloggs require from his PC?' How can we virtualise that - and deliver that to a desktop?"

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