Joyent Gathers Steam With Cloud Partnerships, Software Play

A pair of high-profile partnerships have given cloud infrastructure player Joyent a boost, while launching it into the new software market to compliment its cloud computing services offerings.

And last week, Joyent further dug its heels in as a software player, teaming up with 10 GbE data center networking wunderkind Arista Networks to deliver network management capabilities in the cloud.

Joyent launched in 2005 as a hosting provider, but made the transition to supplying cloud computing services to the SMB and the enterprise via its public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service. Currently, Joyent’s cloud offerings include Accelerators, the foundation of virtual appliances to deliver networking, routing, load balancing and storage; Cloud Control, its cloud management software; and Smart Platform, a software development platform.

The Joyent-Arista partnership, which the pair forged at Interop Las Vegas 2010, enables automated management of network infrastructure using Joyent’s cloud computing software, said Adrian Ludwig, senior director of marketing for San Francisco-based Joyent.

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’We can put an agent on the switch and expose that agent to Cloud Control,’ he said, adding users can manipulate and create VLANs and expose them through the GUI.

Essentially, the partnership with Arista, which took home the Best Of Interop award last week for its 7500 series of 10 GbE switches, gives Joyent the ability to offer network provisioning along with improved manageability, scalability and security from the cloud. It allows for centralized, software-based control of all data center resources.

Next: Joyent Will Deliver Customized Security Configurations

At the offset, the collaboration between Arista and Joyent will allow Joyent’s multi-tenant public cloud offering to deliver customized security configurations and network segmentation, including VLANs and dynamic address reconfiguration.

The Arista pairing is the second key partnership for Joyent this year, which in April was tapped to provide private clouds via Dell as part of Dell’s overall cloud strategy. Ludwig said the two partnerships, where Joyent software is being taken on by third-parties, isn’t a sign that Joyent will abandon its cloud infrastructure business, but instead that it will expand its reach to become a stronger cloud software player.

’We want to become the software provider for the hardware folks,’ Ludwig said, adding that Joyent will continue looking for more hardware partnerships. ’We think of ourselves as software, we don’t want to be wedded to hardware offerings.’ The Joyent-Dell partnership leverages Joyent’s software in its Dell Cloud Solution for Web Applications, meaning Dell will sell its cloud computing offerings with Joyent software tied in to companies that want to set up private or internal clouds. The Dell collaboration marked the first time Joyent software was integrated within a third-party solution and essentially created a single software platform to enable public, private and hybrid cloud solutions.

Along with the technology partnerships Joyent has built, the company is also looking to align with the channel. So far, Ludwig said, Joyent has engaged in talks with several potential partners on the channel side, but an official program is still in the works.

And while Amazon and Rackspace were previously considered Joyent’s largest rivals, Joyent is now eyeing the likes of VMware and companies that leverage software offerings to deliver cloud infrastructures, as its new competitors. Ludwig added that Joyent considers the ability to delivery both public and private clouds to be a sweet spot.

’A lot of our value is not in the virtualization, but how we manage the network of appliances; the clients in the data center,’ Ludwig said.