Optus to follow SingTel into global cloud alliance

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Optus to follow SingTel into global cloud alliance

Sydney data centre works towards VMware certification.

Optus will join parent SingTel in a global data centre alliance that grants customers access to partner service providers in Japan and the United States.

The Global Connect network, launched by virtualisation vendor VMware last week, targeted multinational enterprises by providing globally consistent infrastructure-as-a-service offerings.

When Optus launched its Elevate cloud last year, it said it would link its Sydney and Singapore data centres for multinational customers, or those for whom data location may not matter.

General manager of cloud services Liam Fraser expected the Global Connect network to open Optus up to a wider market.

“When you think of the economic make-up of the world, Australia is a minnow,” he said.

“Optus’ strategy is very much aligned with SingTel,” he said, without disclosing details of when and how the telco would join the Global Connect alliance.

Last October, Optus Business’ acting general manager Rob Parcell flagged the emergence of more varied cloud service offerings as the as-a-service market matured.

Fraser said one service organisation stored its standard operating environment as an image on Elevate, and used Optus’ cloud service to deploy teams of staff on short notice.

Another customer, Curtin University, burst applications onto the Elevate cloud during busy periods.

Fraser declined to disclose the number of customers who had taken up Optus’ infrastructure-as-a-service offering since launch.

He said the telco had “some very progressed discussions with customers in those [government, banking and finance] environments”, which typically faced the most stringent data residency regulations.

“The maturity of the understanding of where data should live is a problem that hasn’t been solved, but I think the market is going to mature,” Fraser noted.

Fraser said Optus was “fairly asset-rich” in the data centre, but was recruiting in line with “aggressive growth plans”.

When questioned about new competition from the likes of Dell, which planned to introduce an Australian enterprise-grade public cloud service next year, Fraser said the market was “big enough to sustain many providers”.

He expected Optus to stand apart from others as a telco and an end-to-end service provider that offered “one throat to choke” should systems go awry.

Competitor Telstra last year revealed plans to introduce a cloud computing platform, code-named ‘Silver Lining’, in partnership with Accenture.

A VMware spokesman said Telstra was working towards getting certified as a vCloud Datacenter Services provider – a prerequisite for the Global Connect network.

A Telstra spokesman said it would make more announcements regarding Silver Lining “in coming months”.

A spokesman for Melbourne IT, which also used VMware technology in its vCloud express service, said it was “still in negotiations with VMware” about becoming a vCloud Datacenter Services provider.

Liz Tay travelled to the United States to attend VMworld and Dreamforce as a guest of VMware and Salesforce.com.

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