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Gated community cloud appeals to exclusive IT set

Hosting provider INetU rolled out a gated cloud service for Fortune 2000 customers. Riff-raff need not apply.

The problem with public clouds, for many IT shops, is that you don't know who you're sharing virtual real estate with. It could be a competitor, or a company running a marketing campaign with crazy usage spikes, or who knows what?

A new service from hosting provider INetU called the Gated Community Cloud offers multi-tenancy, pay-as-you-go cloud computing -- but only for the Fortune 2000. Riff-raff need not apply. Pokemon Global, BMW, CVS Pharmacy and USGA are customers, to name a few.

"We don't work with spammers, penny auctions, adult services; the list of who we won't work with is long," said Dev Chanchani, founder and CEO of INetU.

The list of who we won't work with is long.

Dev Chanchani, CEO, INetU

And, surprisingly, the fee to be in this gated community cloud is competitive to big, less discerning public clouds. A cloud server from INetU costs $295 to $720 per month, depending on the size of the machine; hourly billing is more expensive. Turn on a large Windows instance in Amazon Web Services for a month and you're looking at approximately $744, plus bandwidth and I/O charges.

But you have to become a full-fledged customer of INetU before you can use its self-service portal.

"There's no place for you and your credit card to be turned on today," notes Chanchani. Becoming a customer involves little more than a sales call, but Chanchani claims most IT shops he's talked with want more hands-on support when buying the service. Once they're up and running, users are free to fire up servers and shut them down at will.

INetU's cloud is based on VMware, Cisco, Dell and EMC gear, Chanchani said, a combination he calls "enterprise-grade components." This makes his cloud service a little more expensive, but it means he can provide high availability (HA) through vMotion and deeper levels of virtual machine security that he couldn't offer with other products. Features like monitoring, HA to avoid unscheduled downtime and hands-on support are things enterprise IT shops are willing to pay for, Chanchani added.

As the cloud market matures, it's great to see different flavors of public cloud computing emerge and enrich the market. Whatever your needs might be, it looks like there's going to be a service out there for everyone.

Jo Maitland is the Senior Executive Editor of Contact her at

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