Tier 3 Sets Up 'Federated Cloud' Service

Cloud vendor Tier 3 on Tuesday said it's offering its cloud software platform, called Tier 3 Federated Cloud, to service providers for the first time.

Tier 3's first partner is CFN Services, a Herndon, Va. service provider that plans to use Tier 3 to launch a public cloud for global financial and enterprise markets in North America, Europe and the Asia/Pacific region.

Tier 3 said that as more service providers join the Tier 3 Federated Cloud, it will be able to deliver worldwide, enterprise cloud services, especially for midsize service providers. However, in interviews with CRN, some service providers expressed reluctance to move away from their close relationships with established cloud providers, citing security concerns.

"It seems like the [federated] cloud is composed of several different nodes with several different providers. You really don’t have a handle on your data," said John Stewart, president and CEO of Charlotte, N.C.-based Saber Solutions, a cloud application developer and cloud solution provider whose solution is delivered on Force.com platform provided by Salesforce.com.

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“I would feel more comfortable going with a large, publicly owned company that is has a large, public cloud infrastructure. You need to make sure that the infrastructure is not going to be compromised.”

Crisantos Hajibrahim, head of business development for Los Angeles-based Google reseller ViWo, also expressed doubts about federated clouds, but acknowledged there may be room for them in certain circumstances.

"How can you compete with the Google value proposition? But this [federated cloud] might be the right attraction if you want to use your own private cloud."

Tier 3’s President and CEO Adam Wray said data is locked down under Tier’s 3’s managed of the federation.

"We bring an enterprise-grade cloud platform and an orchestration tool set," Wray said in an interview. “We are going to manage the node, with Level 3 support. The service provider will manage their clients. Behind the scenes, the technology is provided by Tier 3, and we will be able to give consistent security and quality of service."