France-headquartered global cloud service provider OVH is hoping to leverage VMware’s recently announced HCX software defined networking technology to exploit what it sees as a huge market among Australian SMBs wanting to move their in-house IT to the cloud.
VMware announced HCX at VMworld in Barcelona in September, saying it would “deliver any cloud to any cloud secure, seamless interoperability and mobility, enabling large scale application migration and ongoing portability with zero application downtime or refactoring.”
OVH, along with IBM, has become one of the first cloud providers to offer HCX. In the case of OVH this is a result of its acquisition earlier this year of VMware’s vCloud Air business, which created a need for it to migrate VCloud Air customers to OVH services.
Lionel Legros, OVH’s Asia Pacific director, told Computerworld that thanks to HCX OVH would be able to connect customers’ legacy infrastructure to OVH cloud services and move data directly using the internet with no down time
“Before this the hybrid cloud market was only for large companies because they needed to invest in the network to interconnect their data centres,” he said on the sidelines of VMware’s vForum event in Sydney.
“With this technology we can offer hybrid cloud services to SMBs because they do not need to invest in a dedicated network. Just using the internet they can create a hybrid cloud environment.
“It is a huge market for us because there are many SMBs that have a very small on-site data centre with two or three servers. They want to move to the cloud but cannot afford downtime and cannot afford a dedicated network.”
He said OVH would migrate the first vCloud Air customers in Australia to HCX before the end of this year and the service would be generally available by the end of the year.
VMware announced in November 2014 its plans to bring vCloud Air to Australia, saying it had engaged Telstra, Deloitte, Datacom, Rackspace, and Data #3 to roll out the service across Australia. Telstra launched its vCloud Air service in Australia in April 2015.
Legros said most vCloud Air users in Australia were customers of Telstra and could choose whether to stay with Telstra or migrate to OVH.
OVH to build own data centre in Australia
OVH launched its cloud services in Australia in October 2016, using colocation facilities in Equinix’s Sydney data centre and opened its regional headquarters in Melbourne in May 2017. OVH has built and managed its own data centres in other countries and has plans to do so in Australia as well, according to the company.
OVH now has 27 data centres in five countries and says that by 2020 this number will grow to 50 under a US$2.75b investment plan. Legros said Singapore and Australia were the only two countries where OVH used colocation facilities rather than its own data centres.
From its Melbourne headquarters Legros said OVH planned to target Australia, New Zealand, ASEAN, Indonesia. Malaysia and Vietnam.
The company offers three services: public cloud, based on OpenStack; bare metal using Intel servers and private cloud.
It claims to have more than 1.3 million customers in 138 countries. The company is still majority owned by the family of founder Octave Klaba. In 2016 KKR & Towerbrook acquired a minority stake for $US375m.
Legros said that what set OVH apart from competitors was its private cloud service with no minimum commitment and the ability to scale resources up and down on demand.
“You get all the benefits of the public cloud: there is no minimum commitment and it is fully elastic. So you can scale up or down in less than five minutes, and with monthly billing.”