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Cloud Provider Unveils New Security Options, Launches New Data Center

Cloud infrastructure and hosting provider GoGrid has unveiled GoGrid 3.0, a new version of its infrastructure as a service offering that features additional security options and new pricing models. The company has also opened a second data center. New security features in GoGrid 3.0 include support for hardware firewalls (essential for PCI compliance)--Fortinet and Cisco ASA 5510--in addition to the software firewall capability GoGrid already offered. GoGrid's systems administrators are on hand to help organizations setup, maintain and manage the firewalls.

GoGrid, which until now had one data center in San Francisco, has opened a second data center in Ashburn, Va. Both data centers are SAS70 Type II certified and Cisco-powered networks. Virtual servers with GoGrid base images are available for immediate deployment at the east coast data center; additional features will be launched in subsequent releases. Customers can use the GoGrid portal or an API to provision virtual servers in real time in either location. GoGrid has built-in load balancing capabilities that can automatically distribute load among Web servers and application servers at both data centers, allowing customers to auto-scale capacity at either site. The second site also fortifies GoGrid's disaster recovery capabilities.

The new data center is a particularly appealing for Gomez, the Web performance division of Compuware and a GoGrid customer. Gomez has been using GoGrid since last fall, first in its professional services division, where Gomez consultants run performance tests for clients. Since early spring, Gomez has been using GoGrid for its SaaS-based Reality Load, a load balancing testing solution that lets customers log into a Gomez portal and schedule load and performance tests. "Our tool relies heavily on the cloud," says Colin Mason, Reality Load product manager at Gomez. "Without cloud vendors like GoGrid, we couldn't do what we do. The load testing we do requires a lot of hardware but our needs are very elastic. One day we could have five load tests that need a dozen machines, but then later that evening we might need 400 machines, and tomorrow only 20. Using cloud technologies, we get the elasticity we need and pay as we go."

The new east coast data center provides Gomez with additional computing resources to drive load testing. "Over the years, it has gotten more important to figure out not only the performance of site, but also the performance from different geographic regions," Mason says. "For customers to really understand scalability of their site, they need to run tests from different locations. That gives them more certainty as to what the actually scalability will be for their Web sites."

GoGrid 3.0 also now includes dedicated servers, which customers can deploy much in the same way as cloud servers in the GoGrid portal. The servers can be used for running any applications that customers don't want in multi-tenant environment, such databases which require PCI compliance. Also new are pre-paid price plans for dedicated servers, which start at $200 per month.