Why Virtustream mixes public and private cloud applications

Cloud SaaS

by Amy-jo Crowley| 24 February 2014

Rodney Rogers, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Virtustream, discusses discusses the cloud provider’s MicroVM’s software and what kinds of businesses are suited to the cloud.


How has Virtustream developed since it was founded in 2009?

I feel like we've grown in dog years. Back then, we were in the midst of the credit card crisis in the US. So we raised capital at a time that was quite extraordinary in terms of having the ability of raising capital. We did this by looking at what Amazon was doing with the Cloud. We really respected its platform in terms of the economics and the elasticity leveraging distributed hypervisor architectures to effectively scale out past the 64 server limitation of VMware. We also looked at the security associated with the private cloud model at the time, took it and married it with the elasticity and the economics of the true multi-tenant public architecture.

How do you think the cloud has developed these past few years?

In the early 90s, the first disruption I saw was the advent of Client Server. Then the Internet came along in 1999 and it changed everything. It was all about access and in 2005 and 2006, the concept of the cloud started to leverage much of what it inlayed as a foundation in distributed computing and what the web essentially gave you in terms of access and presentation. And so it really is the third sea change I've seen in my career. And it really leverages everything and introduces a vast degree of new technology. .

Can you explain why your MicroVM technology is advantageous to companies?

Well it's not a small virtual machine; it's really more of a logical, container work. Virtual machines are bound by X and Y axis. We go in and size customer landscapes, interrogate the utilisation of their servers, and basically determine how much compute resonate area memory embedded storage IOP (Input/Output Operations Per Second) and intra cloud network bandwidth commits. For example, if you're buying by a virtual machine, you're really buying by an allocation method. We've essentially eliminated that. We break the elements down of what a virtual machine would deliver and we basically pull them and use them to run applications. For example, say you bought a glass of water from Amazon, you pay for the whole glass of water. In our situation, if you drank half of it, you'd pay for half of it, if you drank two of them, you'd pay for two of them. So we do it through an abstraction layer...

But the biggest advantage for us we is that we can control IOPs through our entire architecture by isolating and managing it as an individual attribute. That allows us to guarantee throughput and that allows us to guarantee latency at the application level.

How would you differentiate the software from IBM and Verizon among other cloud providers?

We tend to be the innovator. We can take your SAP application and your Oracle application and run it in production on our cloud and guarantee you an average of 540 milliseconds a response time, something that nobody else in the world can do...We looked at all of our competitors and offer five times of uptime availability. So we've taken a very application centric approach to building this and that is sort of what sets us apart. Also, my partner and I came from the systems integrator side of the world, whereas everybody in the cloud came from a network side or a managed hosting side.

There has been a bit of a debate on the storage of data in the cloud. Some say it's less secure in the cloud and safer on-premise. What do you think?

It really is all about the individual environment. Many of those people who will fear monger around that are more vulnerable to threat inside their own walls of their data centre. With a cloud provider you can't fail at this. There's just so much that you have to do as a service provider to institutionalise security. For each individual entity to be able to do that it's tough.

Are there certain types of businesses that are better suited to using the cloud?

I'm a believer that everybody belongs there. It really depends on the organisation. There's a lot of things that go into it, how much commitment they've made with the technology and hardware assets, what the refresh cycle is, it's a complex thing. High transaction type of environments where you're utilising very memory intensive high IO, I would say leverage the cloud in those scenarios because it's difficult to keep up with that capital purchasing. It takes a bit to leverage the latest security protocol.


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