In my new role working in the Cloud Service Provider Business Unit at VMware, I get the opportunity to meet with a number of service providers. Recently I had the pleasure of spending time with iland Cloud (www.iland.com). iland are a leader in Infrastructure as a Service and they have built a pretty nice offering. In this article I want to give an inside view of the iland Cloud and what capabilities they have.
Lets start by taking a look at what capabilities they provide.
iland focus on three core use cases. This allows iland to be laser focused on their customer needs, by providing services focused on only a small number of use cases, they can dive down into these capabilities. This ultimately provides a higher level of service capability, due to not being focused on multiple service offerings and spreading themselves too thinly.
Disaster Recovery is a big driver for Enterprise cloud adaoption, and especially the SMB market. The lower cost entry point is the appealing part for the SMB market to leverage these cloud DR services, vs the high capex model of traditional DR built out in secondary data centers.
I would recommend you read about the detailed capabilities of these offerings from iland. (www.iland.com)
iland Cloud – How it works
For me the iland Cloud secret source is the integrated portal they have built. A few years back, a lot of cloud providers (who are no longer in the game) just used to leverage different portals from different vendors. It was confusing, difficult to learn, and frankly annoying jumping from a consumer portal, into vCloud Director, then over into another portal for DR. The term Single Pane of Glass just doesn’t apply. This is where iland Cloud have clearly listened to the customer base, and marketplace. They have implemented a true single pane of glass portal. Its easy on the eye, fast, and most importantly intuitive. So how have they done this?
iland Cloud have built their own application servers, providing a standard API for each product from the different vendors. On top of these application servers, they placed the portal. What’s really great about this, is the ability to publish external APIs for all the services. These application servers then leverage the APIs from the different vendor products. The diagram below gives an overview of how this was achieved:
This design makes for a reliable and easily integrated solution. The best feature of the iland Cloud is the external APIs available to the end consumer. If you consume a service from iland Cloud you can leverage their own APIs for every capability they offer. This provides a great way to built custom data center services and integrate with your on-prem environment through an orchestration appliance. It is definitely a big differentiation from a lot of the other cloud providers in the market place.
Logging in to the iland Cloud Portal
The dashboard shows you your Virtual Data Centers and how they are being consumed.
The first item that draws your attention when you login is the network bandwidth. The iland Cloud have done a great job at providing the information you need quickly in a visual orientation.
You get a great insight into where your money is going:
Moving over to the Networking tab, its as you would expect.
Security (and compliance) in the iland Cloud
One of my favorite parts of the iland Cloud portal is the security tab. I have rarely seen this kind of integration in a cloud portal. You have a number of areas you can drill down into from this tab. By clicking on a particular area you can see exactly what is happening with your virtual machines running in the iland Cloud. You can see in the screenshots below the drill down areas:
Drill down for more information:
You also have the option to download reports to investigate and report on the specific type of security and compliance issues you may find.
Summary of the iland Cloud
In summary, I have found the iland Cloud to be a fast, responsive and reliable public cloud offering. As part of the VMware vCloud Air Network they have the benefit of providing a service to enterprise customers for existing applications without the need to convert virtual machines, or to re-architect applications for a non native cloud environment. This provides a greater flexibility when looking at cloud providers. Troublesome migrations are the number one factor in failed cloud projects, and conversion during migration is the biggest headache of all (anyone remember the P2V days??).