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Not the whole country, that would be nuts. But at least one city in China -- Foshan, near Guangzhou, the provincial capital of Guangdong -- has selected CDC Global Services to build a cloud computing center to service all businesses in the area. Apparently, Foshan is one of the top-10 cities in China, with the highest GDP per capita.
CDC will design, implement and operate the government-funded cloud computing center. Based on the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) layer that the government has started to build, CDC has been engaged to design and implement the Platform as a Service (PaaS) layer. This PaaS layer will support a set of open standards, upon which Software as a Service (SaaS)-ready products from different suppliers will be selected and implemented to meet the needs of the user community that the center is designed to serve. This is expected to include the provision of ERP services to the large number of businesses in the electrical appliances, ceramics products, textiles, garments and food processing industries.
Upon completing the PaaS layer implementation and the first phase rollout of the SaaS services, CDC Global Services has the option, under this agreement, to form a joint venture with the center to operate it and to provide cloud-based services to government agencies and the business communities in the region. Good deal.
Nimsoft to offer metered billing for cloud providers
CA subsidiary Nimsoft will launch a new e-billing feature to its Nimsoft on Demand and Nimsoft Monitoring Solution products. The feature will reportedly let Nimsoft users, many of whom are hosting and managed services providers, offer metered, pay-as-you-go billing to their services arms.
A virtualized private server (VPS) host that is using Nimsoft to monitor performance on its host servers usually charges a flat monthly fee for access to the platform. The new Nimsoft metered billing will let that host bill customers by the hour or by the capacity used; Nimsoft's usage monitoring would supply the records needed. Nimsoft president Gary Reed said in an interview that he was certain of the appetite for cloud computing services, but that customers wanted the flexibility to pay only for what they needed, and the lack of that feature was a barrier.
The hosting and service provider markets are very hot for cloud computing right now. NIST puts consumption-only billing as one of the underpinnings of what defines a cloud computing environment. Nimsoft, with its large base of hosters and service providers, clearly hopes it can sell the idea that its own customers can make the leap from MSP to cloud provider without having to re-invent their current hosting environments.
Savvis' cloud revenue continues to grow
Cloud computing hoster Savvis has reported mixed financial results for the second quarter, though its revenue from the cloud, aka "managed services," grew by $3.7 million over the past three months. Savvis earned $73.9 million from the cloud in the latest quarter, compared to $70.2 million in the first quarter and $67.3 million for quarter two last year. Overall, the company experienced a net loss of $13.2 million in Q2, double its loss for this time last year.
Rackspace, meanwhile, reported earlier this year that Q1 revenue in its cloud category was $19.3 million, nearly double its showing for the same period in 2009. The hosting company has also seen an uptick in its general "managed hosting" set, which includes cloud. For the three months ending March 31, 2010, Rackspace earned $160 million in that area, up from $134 million in the first quarter of 2009.
Of course, Savvis calculates "cloud" differently than Rackspace, including all of its managed hosting services; Rackspace counts only new Rackspace Cloud users and puts other managed services in with its traditional revenue. Expect Rackspace's Q2 statement by Aug. 9.