Case Study: Bluelock's Quest for an Efficient, Reliable & Cost-Effective Data Center

By Jon Toor (Profile)
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Friday, June 17th 2011
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Cloud service providers have carved out an important niche in business today, having aligned themselves with the latest technology phenomenon, cloud computing. Initially popular thanks to constrained budgets post-recession, cloud computing has fast become indispensable to companies of all sizes that wish to slash costs and tap into a more agile and scalable infrastructure. Although this market is still in its infancy, its growth is formidable: According to a report published by In-Stat, businesses in the United States will spend more than $13 billion on cloud computing and managed hosting services by 2014, up from $3 billion in 2010. Worldwide, the numbers are even more impressive. Yankee Group estimates cloud services generated worldwide revenue of $9.2 billion in 2010, and that number will grow to $22.3 billion in 2014 (25 percent compound annual growth rate).

Moving Toward Affordable Converged Data Centers to Meet Growing Needs

Clearly, cloud service providers are rising with the cloud technology wave, but success brings its challenges. For IT managers at cloud providers this kind of meteoric rise fosters sleepless nights with visions of bursting data centers and hemorrhaging costs related to infrastructure buildout. Server virtualization helps streamline the use of server resources, but it has also turned data centers into "virtualization islands," with servers, storage and networks all managed separately. Accompanying operational costs, inflexible service models and network inefficiencies are all byproducts of this.

In an effort to mitigate these undesirable byproducts and foster operational flexibility, cloud service providers are adopting converged data center infrastructures which present a single, unified network fabric that conjoins disparate servers, storage and networks. Converged infrastructures promise a number of benefits in the short and long terms: simpler, streamlined networks; lower capital expenses because of higher utilization, less cabling and fewer network connections; and lower operating costs. But here, again, a few roadblocks exist. Implementing entire unified infrastructures can be costly if it entails substantial rip-and-replace of existing gear. A move toward a unified infrastructure will require new hardware of some kind, which raises the obvious concerns:  What will it cost? Will it be disruptive? Will it strain the IT teams with laborious support tasks?

But there are options. One vendor in particular in the unified data center infrastructure market offers an affordable technology — virtual I/O — to consolidate cloud service providers' data center infrastructure while also ensuring increased capacity and performance, and supporting clients' growing workloads.

Bluelock: One Cloud Service Provider's Story

Bluelock is all too familiar with these challenges. An award-winning provider of cloud hosting solutions for the enterprise, Bluelock is one of only three companies certified by VMware to offer its VMware vCloud Datacenter Services, a service that VMware calls an "IT revolution for millions of existing datacenter applications." Bluelock's enterprise clients rely on the company to help them fluidly migrate their VMware-based applications to Virtual Datacenters (VDCs) hosted in the public cloud, which provides the business agility and cost-effectiveness of public clouds without compromising on the portability, compatibility, security and control that enterprise IT managers demand.