MSP Launches Local, Private Cloud Service

InhouseIT has launched a private cloud service that relies on a local data center to enhance speed and flexibility while maintaining a predictable monthly cost.

The Irvine, Calif.-based managed service provider launched incloudIT because cloud products such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, IBM SoftLayer and Rackspace would not be able to meet its needs, the company determined.

"No one of those solutions was going to give us the complete offering we were looking for," inhouseIT Chief Technology Officer Chris Richner told CRN.

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InhouseIT's existing customers have increasingly turned to the MSP for an alternative to an on-premises infrastructure. Richner said these companies often want to migrate into the cloud, but don't know enough about it.

"Our clients have been asking us for this solution," said Richner, noting that he hasn't run into any other MSPs offering local, private cloud.

The company conducted a soft launch in July for six customers, who Richner said liked incloudIT and found the transition to be easy and transparent.

The solution is intended for firms across all verticals with fewer than 300 employees, Richner said. InhouseIT currently has just over 400 customers and hopes to grow that figure with its latest solution.

Since the infrastructure is operating out of the cloud, inhouseIT can offer it to end users at a fixed price with a subscription-based model while maintaining rich margins.

InhouseIT opted for a local cloud offering because it could allow customers to come online more quickly and offer them faster and more dependable service.

New customers should experience a seamless transition to the cloud, Richner said, with no interruption in operations until a maintenance window is available to bring them over.

Richner said incloudIT offers a high-speed connection to the clients' data center and provides the MSP with full access to, and control of, the orchestration layer.

IncloudIT also allows end users to co-locate a line-of-business application that needs to remain on its current physical server platform but must also run in the same environment as the cloud infrastructure.

Customers of incloudIT can actually see the exact physical location in the data center where their information is being stored and verify that it's not being replicated around the world, Richner said.

InhouseIT does, however, back the information up to a data center outside the geographic area for disaster recovery purposes.

In addition, incloudIT customers won't feel like they're being held hostage, Richner said. Should an end user decide they wish to extract their data from the cloud, Richner said they will very easily be able to do so.

IncloudIT customers are able to verify that everything the MSP says is in the cloud actually resides there, and track cloud performance and metrics using the dashboard, Richner said. Going forward, Richner said inhouseIT is looking to incorporate emerging technologies, such as identity management.

"We're building a brand," he said.