These are interesting times in the cloud service provider business. While it’s true that the commoditization of infrastructure has more and more enterprise customers shifting workloads into the cloud, those same market forces are driving prices down across the service provider landscape. Combine declining prices with a capital-intensive delivery model, and you have a recipe for challenging cash flows across the industry.
The 800 lb. gorilla in that room, of course, is Amazon Web Services. AWS’ tolerance for tight margins in the context of its core business, its significant head start, and its sheer scale has made it the team to beat in this space.
Our longtime partner Sungard Availability Services is no exception. Not one to shrink from either a challenge or a bold strategic move though (they did, after all, invent disaster recovery…). Sungard AS is taking a new approach. As they say in the funny papers…if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
In case you missed it, Sungard AS yesterday announced a newly launched Managed Recovery Service on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. They are using Actifio as a key component to enable this service.
Their new AWS Recovery Solution enables enterprise recovery capabilities for Sungard AS clients without the expense of purchasing and operating dedicated disaster recovery infrastructure. It protects data from within AWS, corporate data centers, remote offices or even other public or service provider clouds. The new Sungard AS solution can deliver backup, vaulting and recovery services into the AWS U.S. East and West regions and enables clients to have continuous access to core applications and functions in the event of an outage.
In addition to Sungard AS’ best practices and proven processes for recovery, their AWS Recovery Solution is based on Actifio’s unique set of technologies and services, including its core Virtual Data Pipeline™, Actifio Sky™, Actifio Resiliency Director™, the Actifio Foresight™ (RESTful) API, and proprietary orchestration integration with the Amazon Web Services platform. The impact of Actifio’s patented technology and capabilities for AWS is to allow service providers to drastically reduce the time to market for new data services, and to enable them to build new services without a large CapEx outlay.
The move lets Sungard AS operate where it is strongest… dealing with complex, heterogeneous and mission-critical enterprise environments at scale. Those customers look very different from the “born-in the-cloud” folks that have been Amazon’s bread and butter. And while the people that run those large, complex IT shops want the economics of the public cloud, they need the specific feature set and reliability that only comes from enterprise-class technology and services. Now Sungard AS delivers that combination in a dramatically faster and less capital-intensive way than would ever be possible without AWS.
We think the combination of Sungard AS, Actifio and AWS is a winner…not just for our three companies, but also for any enterprise customer looking to take fuller advantage of public cloud infrastructure. This new offering represents a deepening of the existing partnership between Actifio and two of our most valued MSP partners, and we look forward to helping more of our partners find common ground by carving up the value chain in ways that let each of us do what we do best.