SHI International (VAR500 2010 Rank: 49), a $3 billion software reseller that has expanded its solutions footprint in recent years, is investing $20 million in a new data center in a bid to become a major player in the cloud services market.
The Piscataway N.J.-based solution provider power, one of Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard's top partners, is scheduled to open a $20 million cloud services data center in Somerset, N.J. that will be fully operational next July, said Henry Fastert, chief technologist and managing partner for SHI. "We believe cloud services are a new important requirement for our customers," he said.
SHI International plans to begin providing proof of concept cloud services including infrastructure as a service offerings beginning in March at the facility, which will also double as SHI's corporate headquarters, said Fastert. The facility, which was purchased by SHI earlier this year in a transaction overseen by Jones Lang LaSalle, is a former AT&T facility that has been vacant for nine years and is being renovated by SHI.
The new cloud services data center is the first of six data centers across the country that SHI plans to use to deploy "industrial grade" virtual machines for what it is calling its new Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering. Those virtual machines can be used for everything from application development to disaster recovery or software-as-a-service (SaaS) for businesses of all sizes, said Fastert.
SHI also plans to provide what it is calling infrastructure-as-service "burst" functionality that can be scaled up or down at a moment's notice depending on customer requirements.
SHI's primary competitors in the cloud services market are are Rackspace and Savvis, which are providing robust cloud service offerings for businesses, said Fastert. "Our customers are hard-core infrastructure customers," he says.
Rackspace, for its part, is teaming with solution provider partners to fulfill its cloud services vision. Savvis, meanwhile, has a broad range of cloud services for public and private clouds including infrastructure as a service offerings.
NEXT: SHI International Backs Up Cloud Services Assault With Professional Services Unit