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Savvis Launches 'Private Data Center'

Instead of generating a single virtual server in the cloud, Savvis is proposing that customers generate sets of them for ongoing use.

St. Louis-based service provider, Savvis, has announced it will provide a Web portal through which an IT manager can build a private data center that runs in Savvis' Internet-connected cloud facilities.

Instead of generating a single virtual server in the cloud, Savvis is proposing that customers generate sets of them for ongoing use or "create an entire data center" via Savvis-provided virtual machine configuration management. Customers could run such a data center through push button, remote controls provided by Savvis, according to Bryan Doerr, the company's CTO.

In general, the phrase, "private cloud" has meant cloud-like resources inside the enterprise. Savvis is proposing that the "private cloud" be located off premises but include greater measures of security and quality of service than temporary workloads sent to the shared facilities, like Amazon's EC2.

A Savvis cloud-based private data center would come with pre-set quality of service levels; users would pay for the quality of service that they want. Savvis would provide that level of service through its ability to load balance or add more physical resources as needed at its data center. Savvis calls its private data center initiative Project Spirit, for Charles Lindbergh's plane, the Spirit of St. Louis.

Amazon, for that matter, said Aug. 26 its customers will be able to employ its facilities as a "Virtual Private Cloud" by invoking a virtual private network and other facilities in connection with their workloads.

The Savvis portal will seek to match data center levels of security by applying new tools and techniques made available through VMware's vSafe API. Doerr appeared on stage Tuesday at VMworld in San Francisco with VMware CEO Paul Maritz. Doerr talked about how Project Spirit would extend data center services that could be offered via new virtualization management capabilities from VMware's vSphere 4.

Savvis has 28 data centers around the globe on which to host virtualized, private data centers, Doerr said during a VMworld press briefing. "We want the move to the cloud to be very simple," he said on stage. The portal will give IT managers the option of choosing one of three quality-of-service levels; they will then be presented with components to configure for those service levels, including firewalls and storage.

Savvis is partnering with both VMware and Cisco to "take out costs and achieve a next generation of control over virtual resources," Doerr said in an interview prior to VMworld. The virtual private data center will operate over a network fabric that has also been virtualized with Cisco's Nexus 1000v virtualized software switch, with Nexus 5000 and 7000 hardware switches forming the network backbone.

Savvis "has evolved into an industry leader in cloud services for the enterprise," said Prem Jain, senior VP, Server Access and Virtualization Group, Cisco, in the announcement.

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