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The Daily Cloud: VMware and BlueLock build vCloud a la carte

VMware hosting partner BlueLock opens CloudSuite, creating a takeout menu for cloud computing and banking on paying customers continuing to browse when the free beta ends.

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BlueLock lays out the cloud options
VMware vCloud hosting partner and public cloud provider BlueLock took the opportunity at VMware Partner Exchange 2010 to pitch CloudSuite, a set of build-and-buy options for enterprises interested in cloud. Pick a cloud server entrée and three side orders of management or support, for instance.

"Every time we're engaged with a client, they ask for one little twist," said Brian Wollf, vice president of sales and marketing at BlueLock.

He said BlueLock figured if it could lay out enough prepackaged options for mixing and matching customer's VMware environments into BlueLock's cloud, they'd have a better shot at getting customers up and running fast. He said the basic premise was self-service.

"You go to the website now and the bottom left box is 'I don't wanted to talk to anybody' and fifteen minutes later you've got a server," he said. However, that only works for the gearheads and the lone developer.

"You've got a business unit leader who doesn't have the savvy to manage it himself and IT is saying 'get in line'," said Wolff, and that person invariably needs a plan and support before they open the purse strings. Wolff said that CloudSuite was a way to offer more and more variety in as streamlined a fashion as possible, which is more or less the point of cloud.

He also called the vCloud Express factor key. He said users' first question was invariably, "Can I push my [VMware] image to you?"

Wolf said that anecdotally, business was through the roof. BlueLock's vCloud installation is now in its third beta, the previous ones filled up fast and interest remains high. He admitted that giving away vCloud for the beta is a factor, but remained optimistic that customers would stay on.

"We'll see what happens when I send them a bill," he said.

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