6fusion: Multiple Data Centers, One Virtual Cloud for MSPs?
I have a confession. I’ve struggled to write this blog entry for about six months. The folks at 6fusion have briefed me several times about their strategy for linking multiple third-party data centers into a federated cloud for MSPs, VARs and ISVs. Here’s a bit about the strategy and its implications for MSPs.
It took a few months but perhaps I’m finally getting my arms around 6fusion’s strategy. Instead of betting the house on a single cloud (say, Amazon Web Services), MSPs can tap into 6fusion’s federated cloud — which leverages multiple third-party data centers.
Let’s start with a simple analogy. Imagine you own a big manufacturing plant. Instead of purchasing power from a single local electric utility, your manufacturing plant can tap into an electric grid that serves up power from multiple utilities. You really don’t care to know the individual power utilities by name. You just know that you can scale your electric service up (or down) based on your consumption needs. And you also know you’ve got built-in redundancy and low-cost guarantees because the smart grid fetches electric service from the most appropriate utility at any given moment.
Now let’s apply that power grid analogy to an emerging data center “grid” of sorts, where 6fusion focuses its efforts. According to the company:
“Our technology federates independent data centers operating heterogeneous hardware systems and makes the collective available compute power available for consumption by service provider, ISV and IT Depts using our patent-pending algorithm for cloud metering and billing.”
Next up, 6fusion is working on a so-called application profiler. According to a blog entry from 6fusion Managing Director John Cowan, the profiler:
“meters live client applications running in their own offices or data centers, recording resource usage as though the applications were all running within 6fusion’s federated cloud infrastructure. The report output paints a clear cost picture, application by application, giving the customer an unprecedented set of data to guide and support their decision to migrate any or all applications to the cloud. We’ve provided an example of the output report here. It’s early stages yet for this, so the info is pretty raw. We’ll ‘gloss it up’ when it goes into production later in the year.”
But does 6fusion work as advertised? I can’t say for sure since MSPmentor has’t tested the service. But each time I speak with Cowan, I do learn something new about the past, present and future of utility/cloud computing. Cowan has also been active at a range of managed services events. I’d be curious to know if MSPs, in turn, are profiting from 6fusion’s federated cloud service.