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Engine Yard offers new PaaS with no lock-in

xCloud, Engine Yard's new Platform as a Service offering, allows developers to work on Terremark's cloud infrastructure.

The Daily Cloud

Engine Yard opens shop on Terremark
Joining other cloud vendors who sense that customers enjoy the buffet option, Ruby on Rails Platform as a Service provider Engine Yard will now offer developers the choice of using Terremark's Enterprise Cloud instead of Amazon Web Services (AWS). xCloud will offer all sorts of perks that the original AppCloud can't, like shiny, meaningful SLAs and supposedly being able to meet rigid, location-sensitive compliance measures like HIPAA and PCI.

It's unclear exactly how many users will be attracted to xCloud, since the draw of Engine Yard and Ruby on Rails is fast and easy Web app development and testing, not meaty enterprise data applications, but who can say? There's obviously enough interest for Engine Yard to take a run at it.

Users tempted by the thought of compliant, guaranteed availability Ruby development are advised to bring their wallets. Pricing starts at $3,000 per month; the original AppCloud, running on AWS, starts at $0.11 per hour ($79 per month).

David taunts Goliath
Inside/outside hybrid cloud storage software startup Nasuni posted a snarky blog entry on vendor lock-in by referring to Google Storage as one of "several new and exciting providers" while knocking cloud lock-in for data storage. According to Nasuni, Google does this by charging money to get your data in and out of its cloud. Of course, Nasuni just announced its availability on Rackspace, which is more the point of the blog post, and brings the total providers that Nasuni users can enjoy to four, none of which is Google Storage.

Reseller's reseller to resell cloud
Arrow Electronics, a long-time VAR with a healthy business model of selling to other VARs, who then sell to their end users, who apparently enjoy double markups, is entering the cloud market with the promise to repeat the process with cloud services. It looks like the major focus will be on IT services -- outsourced helldesk and monitoring, stuff with nods to data processing and warehousing under the brand "Arrow Fusion."

Industry watchers may scratch their heads at the idea of reselling self-service Web apps and cloud computing, since the whole point is that you do it yourself or write your own application that does it automatically, but Arrow has evidently identified a target market of IT resellers who are as unwilling to drive a keyboard as their own end users are. wishes them Godspeed and healthy margins.

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