Internap to enter public cloud market

Starting in the third quarter, Internap will offer a public cloud service based on VMware as well as the KVM hypervisor

Internap on Wednesday announced plans to enter the public cloud market later this year with two offerings: One based on VMware and another using the open source KVM hypervisor.

The company will join a growing list of public cloud service providers, but Internap says it has an edge because of the range of services it will offer.

"We give enterprises every increment between where they are today out to the bleeding edge in the cloud. We think customers will choose us because of that range," said Paul Carmody, senior vice president of product management and business development for Internap.

The new service will become available in the third quarter.

Internap started out providing Internet route optimization services and over time added collocation and hosting services, cloud storage and now a cloud compute service. That range of services will help enterprises progress from internal hosting to the private cloud to the public cloud, Carmody said.

Many enterprises today use VMware internally to do server consolidation, he said. Their next step may be to outsource that function to a hosted private cloud, which Internap already offers.

The enterprise soon will have the option to move that workload to Internap's public cloud, starting with the VMware-based service. "Ultimately as they get more comfortable in the cloud and they want a superior cost profile, we can put them in open source," he said.

In the future, Internap expects to build mechanisms that will make it easier for customers to move workloads among the different services.

Internap also thinks that its service will offer customers better performance than those from competitors because it will be combined with its route optimizer technology.

The company is using OpenStack, the open-source software for building public clouds. A segment of Internap's customers is interested in OpenStack for its promise of allowing customers to more easily move work among different cloud vendors, Carmody said.

Internap finds OpenStack appealing because it gave it a "leg up" on the core functionality needed to build a cloud offering but will also allow the company to differentiate its services over time, he said. For instance, Internap is able to integrate its route optimization technology into OpenStack. Such integration would likely be more limited with a commercial software package.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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Nancy Gohring

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