Data center builder/operator Terremark Worldwide June 4 became the first company in that sector to add new Web 2.0-type computing capabilities as an option for its existing colocation services.
The Miami Fla.-based company acquired hosted service provider DataReturn in 2005, which had developed the Infinistructure utility computing platform. Three years later, Terremark has morphed Infinistructure into the Enterprise Cloud.
Enterprise Cloud is a complete managed platform for 24/7 operation of online business applications and infrastructure. It is aimed at mid-sized businesses and technology-focused smaller businesses-anyone with a substantial amount of IT infrastructure or a highly scalable Web site.
Enterprise Cloud is accessed by a web portal that allows users to provision servers from a pre-allocated pool of dedicated computing resources. Servers can be configured and provisioned in a few minutes, grouped and organized according to role, and dynamically extended according to utilization, Simon West, Terremark's chief marketing officer, told eWEEK.
A choice of preconfigured server roles are available across Microsoft Windows, Linux and Sun Solaris operating systems, West said. The plug-and-play bandwidth on demand is available from more than 160 global carriers; the package also provides a full reporting interface that allows insight into resource utilization and application performance, West said.
"Enterprise Cloud clients purchase a dedicated resource pool of processing, memory, storage and networking to run their own applications," West said. "They don't have to worry about any hardware; and all the services for that are taken care of.
"This 'gigahertz and gigabytes' model gives customers 24/7 flexibility over the conventional server-based data center model, allowing for exact allocation of computing resources as needed."
Terremark basically offers a chunk of computing capacity that clients can use at their discretion, Lydia Leong, data center analyst with Gartner, told eWEEK. "They're not going to interfere with that in any way," she said.
Customers will pay Terremark for a certain number of CPU cores (processors), for a specified amount of RAM, plus storage capacity.
For example, a customer could buy 100 cores and 200GB of RAM, and can split that capacity into as many virtual machines as he or she wanted, Leong said, and make those machines larger or smaller on demand.
The virtualization in this kind of system can help customers save a substantial amount of capital over having a dedicated infrastructure, Leong said.
This is not to be confused with grid computing, Leong cautioned, along the lines that Sun Microsystems and Oracle offer.
"Grid is different. In that, you're paying for minutes (of computing power)," Leong said, "and you're on a shared infrastructure in which your grid job is typically not designed to execute at any given instance in time. Grid is great for scientific applications, supercomputing applications, where you need a lot of power but don't need a split-second response time."
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