A new managed hosting offering targeted at midsized businesses lets customers quickly provision and reconfigure servers, storage, and network capacity through a secure Web portal.
RagingWire, which spent the last eight years offering co-location to enterprise-class customers from a 200,000-square-foot datacenter in Sacramento, Calif., has announced a new business unit called StrataScale for smaller customers that prefer to offload the burden of managing their own IT resources.
[ Learn more about what cloud computing really means and the new breed of utility computing and platform-as-a-service offerings. ]
"Customers told us they wanted more services. They wanted us to take over these layers of infrastructure," says Douglas Adams, vice president of sales and marketing.
RagingWire says its high-end enterprise customers are still looking for pure co-location services, in which the customer rents space and brings in its own equipment. By contrast, the new StrataScale service, known as IronScale, offers dedicated, bare-metal servers along with storage, security, and network resources. StrataScale has so far resisted using the ubiquitous "cloud computing" buzz phrase to describe its services, although its offer of flexible computing resources outside the customer datacenter would seem to fit that industry segment.
"Analysts are pushing us to use [the word 'cloud'], says Yatish Mishra, CTO and founder of RagingWire. "We're a platform that enables cloud. I'm not sure we're a direct cloud player."
With IronScale, customers rent by the month or year, and can design their own server environments through an easy-to-use interface, company officials say. (Compare server products.)
"The concept is it's completely automated," Mishra says. "You log in through a secure portal and you define what you want. You say I want a Linux box, I want 200GB of storage. I want a firewall, and you say 'go.' In three minutes the whole environment is built. We break down all the components in the physical world. We break down the server, the storage, the network, the firewall, security, VPN, and you can assemble them any way you want."
Once you've assembled a server, a cloning feature allows it to be replicated at will, significantly reducing management time, the company says. At the back end, StrataScale provides IBM x86 servers, storage-area network (SAN) storage, and Cisco network and security equipment out of the same Sacramento datacenter owned by parent company RagingWire. Archive and backup is provided out of a second datacenter in Nevada. Load balancing and backup is completely automated.