Google Channel Standout SADA Systems Introduces Four Innovative Flat-Rate Cloud Packages

The always-innovative solution provider is looking to deliver fixed rates and timetables to accelerate four common types of enterprise cloud transformation initiatives.


Google channel standout SADA Systems is looking to turbocharge sales of Google Cloud Platform with a groundbreaking offer of flat rates and fixed timelines for four common types of cloud transformation projects.

SADA's Flat-Rate Packaged Offers allow customers to opt for predictable and value-oriented approaches that lower the business risks for common migrations, easing concerns that often discourage enterprise adoption of public cloud, SADA CTO Miles Ward told CRN.

The packages deliver consistency for virtual machine migrations, database migrations, and adoption of Google's new Anthos Kubernetes service for hybrid cloud deployments.

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Ward, formerly Google Cloud's director for solutions and founder of Google Cloud’s Solutions Architecture practice, spearheaded the design of the Flat-Rate offers at SADA, partly motivated by encouragement from his former colleagues at the hyper-scale cloud provider.

[Related: SADA Systems Sells Microsoft Practice To Core BTS]

"The reality for most public cloud projects is they're just really hard to estimate," he told CRN. And the challenge of predicting expenses and delivery dates stalls many cloud transformation initiatives.

But customers are increasingly doing consistent things, like moving VMs or databases to the cloud, or trying new application development components, he said, which allows an experienced solution provider to standardize its offers.

SADA has a wealth of data to plumb for patterns, including the more than 3,000 engagements the Los Angeles-based company has handled in the past across every category of Google's broad cloud platform.

Insight gained from analysis of those past projects allowed the company to replace standard time-and-materials contracts with the fixed packages that provide an easier on-ramp to Google Cloud Platform, he said.

Currently, solution providers "put a bunch of smart people on the ball and see how quickly you can move," Ward said. "Instead, I'll just tell you how much it costs, and we can get started."

The VM Migration Flat-Rate package leverages Google's Velostrata technology to migrate existing Amazon Web Services or VMware hosts to Google Compute Engine, with secure connectivity between target and destination environments.

The Database Migration Flat-Rate involves a runbook and execution plan powered by tooling from Alooma or Striim.

An Anthos First Step package allows customers to experiment with the Kubernetes services for 90 days. It includes portable or rack-mounted hardware purpose built for Anthos, along with VMware vCenter and F5 Big-IP software.

The Anthos Flat-Rate package takes implementation of a Kubernetes-based hybrid cloud to the next phase, implementing production-ready infrastructure for an annual term.

All four packages have been presented to Google's technical, sales and go-to-market leadership, where they have been well-received, Ward said.

"We've gotten great feedback, so now we're making the concept that we're doing this a little more public," he told CRN.

In his five years at Google, Ward had encouraged colleagues on the partner management side to suggest a fixed-cost approach to partners. When he joined SADA as CTO, those same people came back and advised him to try there what he had advocated for internally, Ward said.

There have been a few previous attempts inside and outside Google to do something similar, he said, but no one has ever put together a suite of packages that delivers the same level of predictability.

"Over time, you're going to see more and more offerings of that type," Ward told CRN. "You're going to see Google pushing partners to do the same."

The Anthos packages are particularly important, as Google is making a large bet on the hybrid service, which is currently only a small sliver of what it will eventually become, he said.

The hybrid cloud solution now consists of the GKE managed Kubernetes Services, Anthos Traffic Director utility for load balancing, Anthos Migrate and the Istio service mesh.

"Those four pieces represent the tip of the tip of the spear of what Google wants to do with the Anthos platform," Ward said.

There's a "whole set of customers that say they love cloud, wish they could be in cloud yesterday, but have some giant blocker that makes it impossible to adopt," he said.

Those blockers can be regulatory, legal, jurisdictional or contract-based issues; concerns about physical latency; or reticence in going with a single provider.

"Companies that are blocked by those issues see Anthos as a way to get around those problems and behave like a modern private cloud," he said.

But a lot of the skills around implementing Anthos have nothing to do with containers.

Solution providers bringing Anthos to market certainly need Kubernetes expertise to help customers understand how the container orchestration technology can modernize their applications and speed development projects.

But standing up Anthos has more to do with expertise in traditional infrastructure and networking, with competence required in VMware and F5 "and all this old-school infrastructure tech that has nothing to do with Kubernetes," he said.