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Data Dimension Makes Cloud Adoption Easier

Dimension Data has announced a series of cloud services for both public and private clouds that are intended to make it easier for organizations to adopt cloud computing more quickly. The services perform functions associated with planning, design, deployment and management of private, public and hybrid clouds. The new offerings include the Dimension Data Managed Cloud Platform, which helps deliver the cloud services, and Dimension Data CloudControl, a cloud management system that automates provisioning, orchestration, administration and billing. Services include advisory and consulting services on cloud enablement, integration services across IT systems and clouds, managed hosting, managed services, and value-added services such as disaster recovery.

Last June Dimension Data bought enterprise cloud and managed hosting provider OpSource to become a part of the company's new Cloud Solutions business unit. The acquisition provided the South African-based services and solutions supplier with more than 600 customers employing its cloud automation technology and services.

"This is a positive move," says Jeffrey Kaplan, managing director for THINKstrategies, a Wellesley, Mass., consultancy. "Dimension Data has not only figured out how to align its traditional technology reseller and systems integration services with its new layer of cloud services, but is determined to deliver them in a tightly coupled fashion to meet the evolving needs of its customers worldwide."

The purpose of the services is to take care of some of the complexities involved with companies migrating to the cloud, says Dimension Data. By using cloud computing services, companies can take advantage of features such as the ability to pay for computing services as an operational expense rather than as a capital expense, it says. In addition to the other services the company offers, it can provide computing-as-a-service (CaaS) as a public cloud, private cloud, private cloud hosted in one of its data centers or provider CaaS that is intended to allow service providers to offer a branded cloud service that can be deployed either in a Dimension Data or client data center.

The company believes it can compete with the other vendors already in the cloud computing marketplace by using such factors as a single delivery platform for both public and private clouds, as well as having a single user interface that lets users manage their services across both public and private clouds at the same time. It's private cloud services provide the same level of automation that its public cloud services have, says Dimension Data. In general, because the organization is a large global systems integrator, it has the real cloud technology, cloud management system, operational capability and now global reach for its cloud services, so that it is positioned well against many of its competitors in the cloud marketplace that simply don't have that, it says.

According to the recent InformationWeek Report State of Cloud Computing Survey, new users of platform as a service, software as a service and the cloud computing services provided by virtualization vendors all show continued high or increasing percentages. Among existing cloud users in the survey, 57% already use SaaS, 56% use virtualization tech providers, 42% use platforms and 27% use infrastructure.

The service is available now in either public or private cloud-as-a-service models, each of which has several pricing levels--pay as you go monthly plans or burst options for public CaaS, and small, medium or custom for private CaaS. Public CaaS prices vary but are typically in the realm of 4 cents%ral processing unit/hour, or 2 cents per random access memory/hour. For the private cloud, pricing could range anywhere from $20,000 per month to several hundred thousand dollars per month, Dimension Data says.

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