Dynamic Quest, a former solution provider turned managed data center provider, is turning virtualized customer environments into cloud computing opportunities.
Dynamic Quest has been building a cloud business for about four years, focused on helping customers take advantage of their virtualized environments to move part or all of their IT infrastructure, including their storage, to the company's managed data center, said Javier Gomez, president of the Greensboro, N.C.-based company.
"Cloud computing" can be a very fuzzy term to a lot of people, even to Gomez himself, Gomez said. "Cloud computing is a virtual environment," he said. "Most customers don't think about bringing in cloud computing. They know they're on virtualized platforms. And in the end, this is just a virtualized platform. How you use it defines cloud computing."
A typical customer may have just a few servers hidden in a small room, and the first thing Dynamic Quest does is take those servers to its data center, migrate the applications to virtual servers, and return the hardware back to the customer for use as PCs or workstations, Gomez said.
Dynamic Quest works primarily with customers who have adopted Citrix Xen as their virtualization platform, although the company is also certified for VMware as well, Gomez said.
"Our engineers tell customers, we don't care which one they use," he said. "We have people certified for both. But we've gotten better performance with Citrix Xen. A lot of customers also already use Citrix XenApp. Also, Citrix is less expensive. VMware is more feature-rich, but a lot of customers don't use those extra features."
Thanks to virtualization, Dynamic Quest has moved from having about 100 physical servers four years ago to having a total of between 500 and 600 servers today with fewer physical servers than before, Gomez said. During that time, power consumption at the data center has risen only about 10 percent, helping keep air conditioning and UPS costs under control, he said.
As customers move their IT infrastructure to Dynamic Quest's managed data center, they are exposed to more cloud services, including desktop, networking, and software application virtualization as well as cloud-based storage, Gomez said.
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