Knowing the benefits of OpenStack cloud technology, but recognizing that few businesses have the in-house skills or knowledge to access these benefits, Datalounges used the SUSE OpenStack Cloud 6 platform to build a managed cloud services environment for companies of all sizes. With enterprise-class support on offer from Datalounges, even small businesses can now take advantage of OpenStack technologies to create powerful, flexible and cost-efficient virtual infrastructures.
For a growing number of companies, running IT infrastructure in-house is a costly distraction from core business activities. Even where companies can afford to maintain the necessary in-house skills, deploying fixed internal infrastructure promotes inflexibility and absorbs capital that could be better invested elsewhere. In both cases, buying cloud infrastructure as a service can provide a good alternative—but management challenges often remain.
Kai Kankaala—Board advisor, Sales—at Datalounges, explains: "Global cloud providers offer virtual capacity only—typically giving little or no support to businesses. Datalounges was established to address this gap in the market, and in particular to make the benefits of the OpenStack platform easily accessible to companies of all sizes. The OpenStack technology is superb, but the learning curve is very steep and deployment is tricky for the uninitiated."
Datalounges also recognized that exposing the OpenStack APIs would make it easy for companies to host their own cloud services on the Datalounges platform—an enormous opportunity for creating new revenue streams.
Datalounges selected SUSE OpenStack Cloud as its strategic platform for delivering enterprise cloud services, adding on full consultation and support services backed by rigorous service-level agreements (SLAs).
"SUSE OpenStack Cloud has been our cloud services platform from day one," says Kankaala. "We also tested pure OpenStack and the Red Hat variant. The SUSE option was superior in terms of pricing, the enterprise-level support and built-in automation features. We want to be the best OpenStack cloud computing service provider in Finland. That’s why we partnered with SUSE."
The emphasis on providing complete, fully supported infrastructures rather than just individual servers has helped Datalounges grow rapidly. The company’s private cloud landscape runs on 64 dedicated HP blades, and customers can choose anything between a fully managed and a self-managed solution, depending on their technical maturity. Datalounges uses SUSE Manager to provide end-to-end cover for the fully managed environments, and is developing its own tool—based on OpenStack Ceilometer—for managing and automating virtual infrastructure. In response to customer preferences, Datalounges offers fixed monthly pricing for a given set of resources.
"Our customers are all looking for a flexible and cost-effective provider of computing power, and most often they don’t want the overhead of managing their own environments," says Kankaala. "The combination of our experienced support and the robust SUSE OpenStack Cloud platform translates into extremely high reliability and performance. With the SUSE platform, we benefit from built-in high availability features and fast deployment, so we can get new customers up and running very rapidly."
Companies can connect their in-house infrastructure to the Datalounges cloud infrastructure, enabling them to ramp up their capacity at short notice—for example, to address seasonal spikes in demand on a transactional website.
"SUSE OpenStack Cloud gives our customers the power to do anything they want," says Kankaala. "We are seeing rapid growth in customers building their own revenue-generating services on our platform: they focus on their business opportunity, and we provide the robust cloud service that underpins it."
Using SUSE OpenStack Cloud, Datalounges has successfully brought the power and flexibility of OpenStack technologies within the reach of all businesses. The offering enables companies to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy cloud infrastructure and build new services—all backed by excellent support and robust SLAs.
"With the latest release, OpenStack has really come of age," says Kankaala. "We are getting the message out to businesses that it’s mature, reliable, highly sophisticated and fully ready for production landscapes. Of course, it is not a simple solution—but with our expertise and the enhancements in the SUSE product, we can bring all of the advantages to our customers without any of the complexity."
Compared to classic approaches to building out infrastructure, SUSE OpenStack Cloud gives Datalounges the ability to work at lightning speed.
"With a few clicks of a mouse, we can build dozens of servers for a customer in a matter of minutes," says Kankaala. "This supports our fast growth, and ensures that we can help our customers get business value from OpenStack incredibly quickly."