NaviSite Announces NaviCloud Cloud Computing Platform

Hosting company NaviSite is looking to give businesses an alternatives to public cloud offerings such as Amazon's EC2. Leverage new tech-nologies from Cisco, VMware, IBM and Intel, NaviSite is offering an enterprise-level cloud computing platform that is highly scalable and usage-based. It also runs over three of its data centers, giving NaviCloud users built-in disaster recovery.

Hosting company NaviSite is using the latest technologies from Cisco Systems, IBM, Intel and VMware to create a highly scalable and on-demand managed cloud computing platform for enterprises.

NaviSite on Oct. 13 unveiled its NaviCloud Managed Cloud Services offering, which leverages such technologies as Cisco's UCS (Unified Computing System), Intel's Xeon 5500 Series "Nehalem EP" processors and VMware's vSphere 4 virtualization platform.

It also includes IBM's XIV Storage System open disk storage product.

NaviSite officials are talking about their NaviCloud offering at the Oracle OpenWorld show in San Francisco Oct. 12-14.

The NaviCloud platform is designed to give businesses a more enterprise-level cloud option than those offered by the likes of Amazon, with its EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) environment, NaviSite CTO Denis Martin said in an interview.

For example, a key difference, Martin said, is that with an environment like Amazon EC2, users essentially need only a credit card and can jump on and off as desired. However, with NaviCloud, NaviSite is looking for a base commitment from customers of 100GHz and 80GB of RAM, or about 10 Hewlett-Packard 2x dual-socket ProLiant DL380s with 8GB of RAM each, he said.

NaviCloud gives businesses a highly-virtualized enterprise-level cloud environment, Martin said. The products from Cisco and VMware, coupled with the latest generation Intel quad-core Xeons are linked via 40 Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel. Because it runs over multiple data centers-NaviSite brought direct link Fiber Gigabit Ethernet capacity between the data centers-NaviCloud also gives businesses built-in disaster recovery, he said.

NaviSite runs 16 data centers worldwide, but only three-including one in England-will be used initially for the NaviCloud services offering, Martin said. A fourth one may be incorporated into NaviCloud, but the rest of the company's data centers will be used to run its current hosting business.

NaviSite also is working with VMware to create the capability of moving virtual machines between the data centers, Martin said.

Customers can buy compute, memory and storage resources from the clouds pool of offerings and can run them either in a self-managed or fully managed mode. If businesses opt for self-service, they can create and configure virtual machines with a choice of operating systems-including Windows and Linux-and applications.

In a fully managed mode, businesses select monitors that can be applied to VMs and groups of VMs. The monitors feed data into NaviSite's monitoring and management systems. Management of the resources and virtual machines is done through NaviCloud's customer portal.

NaviCloud also can be combined with dedicated infrastructure services, enabling businesses to create hybrid IT environments.

Businesses are billed for the resources they use.

NaviSite is looking to give businesses the enterprise-level, scalable IT infrastructure they're used to without having the high capital and operational costs, Martin said.

"It's the cost model, where we build everything from the ground up," he said. "When you look at the pricing, it's so much cheaper than having to pay for physical machines."