CloudSwitch Details Plans to Bridge Corporate Data Centers, Cloud Resources

2/11/10Follow @wroush

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create a temporary work space on a cloud service such as Amazon’s EC2—an “instance,” in cloud lingo—where users can run virtualized applications just as if they were still running on the company’s home infrastructure, no fiddling around required.

“That is where the core IP of the company resides,” says Rubin. “Behind the scenes, we are managing the resources in the cloud for the customer, but mapping it so that it looks to the enterprise like their applications are still sitting locally. Customers don’t have to change anything.” At the same time, the data processed by the cloud instance is encrypted and separated from all the other data being handled by the same machines. CloudSwitch calls the patent-pending method “Cloud Isolation Technology.” (See the video demo at the end of this article.)

In its beta tests, CloudSwitch has focused on connecting customers to EC2, which is still seen as the leading cloud service. But Rubin says the software is cloud-agnostic, meaning it could just as easily extend a company’s computing environment onto a cloud from Rackspace or another provider. In fact, says McEleney, “The other cloud developers are interested because they see us as on-ramping more customers and helping them to catch up to Amazon. So they’ve been aggressively recruiting us.”

CloudSwitch’s relationship to Amazon is an interesting one: as an on-ramp, to use McEleney’s phrase, it can guide customers Amazon’s way—but it can just as easily send them somewhere else. Meanwhile, Amazon is upgrading its own services in ways that mimic some of the technology CloudSwitch has developed. Its “virtual private cloud” service, for example, is intended to allow customers to use Amazon’s system “as if these assets were running within their existing IT infrastructure,” to quote an August announcement.

Rubin says Amazon’s efforts to make it easier for enterprises to use EC2 still don’t help IT administrators who might want to use other cloud services. “It’s very hard for any cloud provider to do that because their perspective is focused on their service and making people buy from them and … Next Page »

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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