Chalk, Savvis Target Federal Accounts With Utility Computing - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications

Chalk, Savvis Target Federal Accounts With Utility Computing

E-learning specialist Chalk Media has turned to utility computing resources from Savvis to provide it with scalable infrastructure resources.

Looking to quickly expand its reach in new markets in the United States, Canadian e-learning specialist Chalk Media Corp. has turned to utility computing resources from Savvis to provide it with scalable infrastructure resources to meet requirements that could quickly grow to service hundreds of thousands of users.

Chalk won several corporate accounts in the United States after it established an office in suburban Washington, D.C., in an effort to win contracts with the federal government. The company knew it would need to be able to quickly expand its ability to provide its e-learning services, but didn't want to build its own speculative data center.

"If you get a contract with Microsoft, you might be talking about servicing 10,000 users," says Jody Glidden, executive VP and general manager of products and services for Chalk. "But if you start working with the Department of Defense, it could be a whole different story. One project we are working on right now is expected to service close to half a million users."

Chalk provides customized training and educational programs for customers using video, animation, and streaming video. The company hopes to offer the U.S. government services such as training for new equipment, including tanks and specialized interrogation procedures.

"Chalk's application fits perfectly within our environment," says Michael Tardif, VP and general manager of global hosting solutions for Savvis. "They really didn't know how much capacity they would need or how fast they would grow, but they needed something highly secure and highly scalable. And they didn't want to pay for a bunch of infrastructure until they started getting revenue from their clients."

Just as Chalk's customers enter into a "pay as you go" model for their e-learning programs, Chalk has entered into a "pay as you go" utility computing framework with Savvis, Tardif says.

Under the terms of the agreement, Chalk will deploy its primary application, the "chalkboard" Learning Content Management System, on Savvis' virtualized IT utility service platform, which includes computing, storage, and networking resources.

In addition, Savvis and Chalk will develop joint sales initiatives targeting other e-learning opportunities.

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