Local providers key to taking the public cloud mainstream in Australia

Combination of local data centre boom and domestic cloud service providers will resolve the major inhibitors to public cloud adoption, says VMware

The current rash of locally owned and operated data centres under construction may be just what the doctor ordered to address ongoing concerns over the health of public clouds.

Speaking to Computerworld Australia VMware Asia Pacific senior business development manager, vCloud, Dan McLean, said the combination of local cloud service partners leveraging newly available domestic data centre services, such as those provided by Polaris, TransAct, iiNet and Global Switch, would address a key issue around the public cloud - control over data.

“That market will continue to accelerate dramatically over this year with services stood up to target and address enterprise customer concerns,” he said. “Local data centres in conjunction with services providers will take a service to customers which lets them choose where their data is located and stored, and which can show the customer the platform on which their data is stored, processed and will compute.”

McLean also pointed to the challenge this posed to Microsoft, which said recently that it could not offer customers a choice of where their local data resides.

“That’s a fundamental blocker to adoption of the [public] cloud for Australian companies,” he said. “Having data centres located in the Asia Pacific opens up a kettle of fish with the Google-China claims. Customers are naturally concerned about where their data resides and what sort of control they have legally and physically over it.”

VMware partners, such as MelbourneIT, Telstra and Optus, were beginning to offer new services domestically to address this concern, McLean said.

“There needs to be a fostering of these local cloud services that enterprises, software developers and service providers can all be a part of… so customers can have a choice over where their data is located,” he said.

The new services would also help address the issue of public cloud reliability whose frailty was exposed last week when Optus’s link between Australia and the US was seriously affected for several hours by a DDoS attack.

“The choice and control over security comes up time and time again as being the critical factors in moving to the public cloud,” he said. “That gets addressed in a large degree by domestic suppliers [of public cloud services].”

The comments come at a time when demand for local data centres is booming with a slew of announcements from providers being announced in the last six months.

Earlier in April Global Switch applied to the NSW Department of Planning for a $200 million data centre in Sydney.

iiNet also launched its new energy efficient data centre at its Osborne Park facility in Western Australia.

In February TransACT opened a new 1000 square meter data centre launched by ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope.

In December Australian Data Centres said it would open up a 3000 square metre Tier 3 facility in Mitchell, Canberra, by the third quarter of 2010.

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