Fujitsu Launches Cloud Services in North America

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-12-08 Print this article Print

The Japanese systems maker enters the cloud-building market relatively late. Most of the larger IT hardware and software companies already have stakes in the ground, and there are a large number of startups already at the party.

Fujitsu announced Dec. 8 that it is joining the ever-expanding "cloud builder" club of Tier 1 IT companies.

The Japanese systems maker, which like IBM and Hewlett-Packard already has most of the components of cloud system building abiding in its own warehouses, has begun offering what it calls "end-to-end enterprise cloud services" aimed at midrange businesses, larger enterprises and ISVs in North America.

Fujitsu launched enterprise cloud services in Japan and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) earlier this year.

Fujitsu, which has partnered for years with Sun Microsystems on Solaris deployments but interacts equally well in Windows, Oracle and Linux environments, has long subscribed to the open systems concept.

Thus, most IT managers find they can migrate their existing multiplatform and multivendor mission-critical systems to Fujitsu's enterprise cloud without a great deal of engineering adjustment, Daniel Lawson, Fujitsu senior director of Solution Offerings and Architecture, told eWEEK.

Fujitsu enters the cloud-building market relatively late. Most of the larger IT hardware and software companies already have stakes in the ground, and there are a large number of startups already at the party.

"Fujitsu is offering enough here to be seen as different; this isn't just a 'me-too,'" Lawson told eWEEK. "We're helping customers build their own private cloud systems, either within their own data centers or within ours. We're also working with a number of ISVs to provide the platform of choice, which enables us to go to market with those applications available in the cloud."

Fujitsu's cloud services-which do not have a formal name yet-will support the cloud application programming interface (API) specification recently submitted to the Open Cloud Standards Incubator of the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), in order to promote interoperability, Lawson said.

"ISVs can leverage hosted, pay-as-you-go cloud computing services from Fujitsu to offer their software solutions using a SAAS model," Lawson said. "They can do this while staying focused on their core business and paying only for the infrastructure they really need."

Options a Key Selling Point

Fujitsu is offering a number of options: private cloud infrastructure and services, hosting services, public cloud platform services, maintenance services and full-featured vertical applications-or even a hybrid combination of all of the above.

In compliance with vertical industry standards and regulations, retail transactional applications will be hosted in a PCI-compliant data center and health care applications will be hosted in a HIPAA-compliant environment, Lawson said.

Cloud, or utility, computing serves up computing power, data storage or applications from one data center location over a grid to thousands or millions of users on a subscription basis. This general kind of cloud-for example, services provided online by Amazon EC2, Google Apps and known as a "public" cloud because any business or individual can subscribe.

Private cloud computing is a different take on the mainstream version, in that smaller, cloudlike IT systems within a firewall offer similar services, but to a closed internal network. This network may include corporate or division offices, other companies that are also business partners, raw-material suppliers, resellers, production-chain entities and other organizations intimately connected with a corporate mothership.

Industry observers are expecting big things from cloud computing. Gartner analysts in March 2009 said global cloud services revenue could move beyond $56.3 billion this year-from $46.4 billion in 2008-and grow to $150.1 billion in 2013. IDC is more conservative in its projections, calling for worldwide spending on cloud services to reach $42 billion by 2012.

Fujitsu has upgraded its green data center at its Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters to the Tier III level in preparation for a launch early in 2010. This data center will be among the first to be made available for the new cloud services.

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Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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