Q&A With Simon Aspinall, President of Virtustream’s Service Provider Business Regarding Virtustream’s Recent Momentum

Cloud Computing Today recently had the privilege of conducting a Q&A with Simon Aspinall, President of the Service Provider Business at Virtustream. The Q&A was initiated in the wake of Virtustream’s recent announcement of its intent to file an IPO within the next 6-12 months, news of its projected $100M revenue for 2014 and The Forrester Wave™: Hosted Private Cloud Solutions, Q4 2014 designation of Virtustream as a leader in hosted private cloud solutions ahead of the likes of HP, Dell, CenturyLink, Rackspace and Verizon.

Cloud Computing Today: How would you describe Virtustream’s recent momentum in both the public cloud and the hosted private cloud space? What are some key successes the company has achieved over the last 12 months?

Simon Aspinall (Virtustream): On November 18, Forrester named Virtustream the leader in their Hosted Private Cloud report, ahead of Rackspace, Dell, VMware, HP and others. Gartner also recently rated Virtustream as the most secure and compliant cloud provider, mentioning the strength of our enterprise application ability. This level of industry recognition and the company’s rapid global expansion and momentum continue to catapult the growing demand for Virtustream’s enterprise cloud services. Virtustream’s xStream cloud management software also delivers private clouds for enterprises, enterprise-class public clouds for service providers (SPs), and combinations in hybrid clouds. Virtustream has added a large number of major enterprise customers, service provider and government customers in the last 12 months – and demand keeps growing. Examples include service providers around the world using Virtustream to power their public clouds, including UOL in Brazil, COLT in Europe, Etisalat Mobily in the middle east and IBM globally (for workloads on SoftLayer). Virtustream also provides our own cloud IaaS service in the US and EU for a diverse set of customers such as Domino Sugar, Heinz and Veyance Technologies, among many others.

In the past 12 months, Virtustream has grown significantly to keep up with this demand, including the acquisition of ViewTrust, a security and compliance company to boost our security portfolio, in February 2014. In May 2014, the company announced a partnership with IBM. Most recently, the company announced several key corporate milestones including adding multiple new data center locations to support global expansion and two conditionally certified United States federal cloud nodes.

Cloud Computing Today: How do you envision Virtustream’s differentiation in the hosted private cloud space? Alternatively, how would you describe the market landscape within the hosted private cloud space at large and Virtustream’s positioning within that space?

Simon Aspinall (Virtustream): In less than five years, Virtustream has established a significant footprint in the enterprise cloud market, taking market share from larger competitors. Virtustream differentiates in the market by providing unrivaled levels of security, compliance and performance for mission-critical enterprise applications (like SAP, Microsoft, Oracle and custom apps). Virtustream is one of the only vendors to receive a five star security rating from Gartner. Most cloud vendors today offer basic shared public cloud (good for devops, backup/dr or new SaaS apps)or dedicated virtual machines. Virtsutream differentiates by offering highly secure, compliant and performance SLAs for the most complex and critical applications. This enables us to offer a unique virtual private cloud, public cloud and private cloud software offer in the market.

Virtustream’s xStream cloud software assists customers to meet mandatory legislative requirements, and to achieve and maintain leading cloud certifications and compliance frameworks in the customer’s own environment and the cloud (when coupled with identified operational and management controls). With its recent acquisition of privately-held ViewTrust Technology, Inc., an advanced security and compliance technology firm specializing in solutions for government customers worldwide, Virtustream is well positioned to enhance its portfolio of products, adding security-related IP to both the hybrid and core policy engine.

Recent industry trends and events have further driven Virtustream’s growth as enterprises look to vendors for enhanced security, compliance and privacy features. The recent Snowden leaks is one example of this, having driven tremendous growth for Virtustream over the past year, as Gartner recently ranked the company highest among all enterprise CSPs for security functionality.

The market has seen Cisco and HP acquire cloud service companies in a play to gain market share in this growing industry, with many other large players looking to do the same to bolster their cloud offerings. The space is heating up as businesses understand that cloud can be applied to their entire IT base and companies providing managed and private/public cloud services are poised for a big year in 2015, with Virtustream playing a key role.

Cloud Computing Today: What are the key challenges you foresee in the upcoming 6-12 months as Virtustream continues to consolidate its recent momentum?

Simon Aspinall (Virtustream): From Virtustream’s perspective we’re growing and partnering rapidly to meet the enormous demand. We’re focused on maintaining the highest levels of service for our customers and we’re continuing our cutting edge innovation throughout the next 12 months and beyond.

There are only a couple of challenges to Virtustream’s growth at the moment, including:

1. The level of knowledge of cloud is still limited in many sectors (as many IT teams are unaware that they can run critical existing applications on the cloud today).
2. In certain IT teams there can be fear of adopting cloud in case it disrupts existing staff and processes. Both of these limitations are disappearing quickly as information is more widely available.

Simon Aspinall Bio

Simon Aspinall is the President of Virtustream’s Service Provider Business. In his role, Simon runs Virtustream’s global business with service providers and manages Virtustream’s business outside the US.Simon has built a significant business worldwide for Virtustream with service providers, governments and enterprises. His activities have helped to drive Virtustream’s expansion of its xStream software business, enterprise-class IAAS services and cloud managed services. As Virtustream enters new markets and geographies outside the US, Simon’s role is to rapidly develop these new sectors and grow Virtustream’s business through both Virtustream’s direct sales team and partners. For the Cloud Service Provider business, it is Simon’s role to maximize Virtustream’s growth and profitability worldwide with leading service providers and channel partners, and also leading and managing Virtustream’s businesses outside the US. Previously Simon has also been responsible for Virtustream’s Strategy and run Virtustream’s vertical markets business. Simon holds a master’s degree in engineering and computer science from Oxford University, and a master’s degree in business administration from INSEAD. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and a commentator on the IT, telecom, and networking sectors.

Sponsored Post: The Misadventures of Cloud Computing: When Reliability Matters

The following post represents a republication of this Virtustream blog post. The post was authored by the Virtustream editorial team.

When Reliability Matters

We love funny cat pictures just as much as the next person- and our family vacation albums are among our most valued possessions- but those are personal priorities. We generally think about business priorities in a different light, with minimal overlap with the likes of Mr. Whiskers. Keeping personal and business priorities largely separate is a natural and understandable inclination. Given that, why should your cloud service provider be any different?

The consumer cloud works exceptionally well for just that – consumers. But when it comes to the enterprise, a cloud solution is about much more than just data storage. It’s about what you are storing and how you are using it. It’s about backup reliability and business continuity. The lack of adequate security or an ERM strategy with continuous threat monitoring results in consequences far greater than data loss for an Enterprise. It can seriously impact customers and have a direct impact on corporate welfare. Simply put, enterprise-class data and information needs an enterprise-class cloud infrastructure to support and protect it.

For more information, check out Virtustream’s LinkedIn page.

Virtustream is the enterprise-class cloud software and service provider trusted by enterprises worldwide to migrate and run their mission-critical applications in the cloud. For enterprises, service providers and government agencies, only Virtustream’s xStream™ cloud management platform (CMP) software and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) meet the security, compliance, performance, efficiency and consumption-based billing requirements of complex production applications in the cloud – whether private, public or hybrid.

Sponsored Post: The Misadventures of Cloud Computing: When Security Matters

The following post represents a republication of this Virtustream blog post. The post was authored by the Virtustream editorial team.

Fathers and sons. Start-ups and enterprises. Will they ever understand each other? As it is in life, when companies grow and mature they become responsible for more sensitive information, operate under higher stakes and restrictions and require more complex services to run their businesses and keep them at peak performance.

While he doesn’t see it, the alpha developer and his enterprise-IT dad, though they are both in the same field technically, have vastly different needs. The advantages a web-scale solution brings to a host of use cases including a video-game start-up are very real, but the cloud is not one size fits all. There is a complexity that comes with the legacy mission critical apps and sensitive data inherent in an enterprise. Albeit not sexy, security, compliance, and reliability are non-negotiable for the Enterprise customer.

For more information, check out Virtustream’s LinkedIn page.

Virtustream is the enterprise-class cloud software and service provider trusted by enterprises worldwide to migrate and run their mission-critical applications in the cloud. For enterprises, service providers and government agencies, only Virtustream’s xStream™ cloud management platform (CMP) software and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) meet the security, compliance, performance, efficiency and consumption-based billing requirements of complex production applications in the cloud – whether private, public or hybrid.

Sponsored Post: The Misadventures of Cloud Computing: When Reliability Matters

The following post represents a republication of this Virtustream blog post. The post was authored by the Virtustream editorial team.

When Reliability Matters

While no cloud service provider can claim 100 percent uptime – not all cloud services are created equal when it comes to performance and reliability.

The issue of reliability becomes exponentially more important for large enterprises that are migrating their mission critical business applications to the cloud. For these organizations, downtime is not an option.

Virtustream is independently recognized for its commitment to assuring our enterprise customers the highest possible levels of reliability and performance. According to a recent report by independent analyst Cloud Spectator, we outperformed 14 of the leading infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud providers worldwide, as defined by the 2013 Gartner IaaS Magic Quadrant.

While reliability is of the utmost importance, recovery is a close second. That’s why we have aggressive recovery point and recovery time objectives to ensure that if something does go wrong, downtime is at an absolute minimum.

Your recovery plan should be more than bemoaning the latest instance of downtime to your Twitter followers. It’s about reliability and service. Because in the enterprise, we know if you wait – more than just ice cream will start to melt down.

For more information, check out Virtustream’s LinkedIn page.

Virtustream is the enterprise-class cloud software and service provider trusted by enterprises worldwide to migrate and run their mission-critical applications in the cloud. For enterprises, service providers and government agencies, only Virtustream’s xStream™ cloud management platform (CMP) software and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) meet the security, compliance, performance, efficiency and consumption-based billing requirements of complex production applications in the cloud – whether private, public or hybrid.

Virtustream Releases xStream 3.0 With OpenStack Support And Enhanced Security

On Tuesday, Virtustream announced the release of xStream 3.0, the cloud management platform that allows cloud service providers to create public clouds and enterprises to create private clouds. Based on Virtustream’s proprietary µVM™ technology, the xStream platform empowers customers to create secure, IaaS environments for mission-critical applications that can tolerate little or no system downtime. Virtustream’s xStream technology is engineered to minimize costs associated with migrating applications to the cloud and streamline the day to day management of the subsequent cloud deployment. Available as both software and an appliance, the xStream platform has evolved in its latest release to target government, cloud service provider and enterprise customers with stringent demands for availability and compliance. xStream 3.0 features enhanced enterprise risk management (ERM) functionality that allows customers to implement ERM solutions not only for an organization’s IT infrastructure, but also for the organization as a whole. In addition, xStream 3.0 delivers support for OpenStack, enhanced data protection functionality, application performance management monitoring tools and predictive analytics that optimize infrastructure management. With this release, Virtustream announces itself as a major player in the market for production-grade cloud deployments that require rich and nuanced ERM and data security functionality. As ERM implementation proliferates in verticals outside of financial services and the government sector, expect cloud technologies such as xStream to enjoy increasing adoption as a result of its suite of tools for compliance, data protection, application monitoring and infrastructure optimization. xStream’s support of both OpenStack and VMware represents yet another feather in its cap whose importance will reveal itself as OpenStack technology continues to assert its imprint on the IaaS space in conjunction with OpenStack’s maturation.

The screenshot below of the xStream management console illustrates the platform’s ability to track resource consumption, storage and costs:

Sponsored Post: The Misadventures of Cloud Computing: When Performance Matters

The following post represents a republication of this Virtustream blog post. The post was authored by the Virtustream editorial team.

When Performance Matters

We know as well as anyone that the cloud solutions market is crowded, and getting more so every day. Nowadays everyone seems to be a cloud provider; everyone has a solution they want to sell you, from legacy hardware providers with “platinum new cloud capabilities” to purists who pressure you to adopt “real” scalable cloud technologies.

But buyer beware: Not all cloud service providers are created equal. Many can generalize solutions or pontificate idealisms, but do they really have the right software and services for your particular enterprise needs? Enterprise cloud users require a much more sophisticated level of performance than a personal user or smaller business. In an enterprise, the data is sensitive, and the stakes are high. It’s vital that a cloud provider that considers themselves “enterprise grade” can guarantee a high level of performance and availability and provides the SLAs to back it up. If its mission critical apps do not consistently run well in the cloud, any other promises just don’t matter.

For more information, check out Virtustream’s LinkedIn page.

Virtustream is the enterprise-class cloud software and service provider trusted by enterprises worldwide to migrate and run their mission-critical applications in the cloud. For enterprises, service providers and government agencies, only Virtustream’s xStream™ cloud management platform (CMP) software and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) meet the security, compliance, performance, efficiency and consumption-based billing requirements of complex production applications in the cloud – whether private, public or hybrid.

Sponsored Post: The Misadventures of Cloud Computing

The following post represents a republication of this Virtustream blog post with a few minor edits to the text in paragraphs one and two. The post was authored by the Virtustream editorial team.

In collaboration with Virtustream, Cloud Computing Today is excited to debut the first illustration in a five-part cartoon series by Tom Fishburne, “The Marketoonist.” With some techie humor and a touch of irreverence, our “Misadventures of Cloud Computing” series sheds light on the day-to-day challenges facing CIOs and IT leadership teams as they navigate the complex enterprise cloud landscape.

Cloud Computing Today will be unveiling a new Virtustream cartoon every Monday for the next five weeks that puts a comical spin on what really matters when selecting an enterprise cloud solution – security, reliability and performance. We hope you check back in regularly for a midday chuckle and we encourage you to share your perspective and experiences on each cartoon’s theme.

Server Huggers. We all know them – the folks that are hesitant to say goodbye to something they can touch and feel, physical servers, for something distant and and intangible. And while it is not actually about “where to put the coffee maker,” cloud reluctance is usually an emotional reaction. Change can be unsettling.
At first blush, it makes sense. Enterprise IT departments manage complex landscapes and moving complicated, mission-critical legacy apps to the cloud is no small feat. And the thought of experiencing any downtime during the transition is a disconcerting one. Often times the stress and complexity of the transition can be misinterpreted as an aversion to the cloud all together.

But transitioning your enterprise to the cloud, even in the most complicated instances, can be a smooth, secure ride if you have the right partners on board to lead you through the journey. And while some IT departments feel like the servers they can see and touch are more safe or dependable than ones they can’t, both security and reliability are fundamental to enterprise-grade cloud service providers who offer continuous enterprise-wide monitoring on a large scale. They have a big stake in ensuring that your data remains safe and you experience zero downtime during and after the move to the cloud.

While it may be counterintuitive at first, moving to the cloud helps enterprise IT gain control of their systems and data, not the other way around. When less time and money is spent managing hardware and day-to-day upkeep, IT can put more resources into pursuing interesting projects that could make a significant impact on the business.

For more information, check out Virtustream’s LinkedIn page.

Virtustream is the enterprise-class cloud software and service provider trusted by enterprises worldwide to migrate and run their mission-critical applications in the cloud. For enterprises, service providers and government agencies, only Virtustream’s xStream™ cloud management platform (CMP) software and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) meet the security, compliance, performance, efficiency and consumption-based billing requirements of complex production applications in the cloud – whether private, public or hybrid.