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The Evolution of IaaS: Custom Cloud Q&A with William Toll, VP Marketing at ProfitBricks

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william_toll_profitbricks.jpgQ&A with William Toll, VP Marketing at ProfitBricks

What is ProfitBricks’ mission and how is it playing out in 2015?

ProfitBricks is the Cloud Computing IaaS provider that offers painless cloud infrastructure for all IT users. With no learning curve and infrastructure that behaves like on-premises physical servers, storage, and networks, it’s helping IT teams migrate to the cloud painlessly.

The momentum for ProfitBricks continues to grow, as Cloud Computing deployments move from early adopter and “cloud natives” to general IT, and managed service providers look for a public cloud that can meet their requirements while not needing to retrain. Our price/performance guarantee, that any workload deployed on ProfitBricks will cost less than the same workload running at the same performance level on the IaaS platforms of major cloud providers, is also welcome relief to cloud providers that have confusing pricing tiers, and poor, inconsistent performance.

How has market demand for public cloud services changed from 2010 (when ProfitBricks was founded) to now?

The founders of ProfitBricks looked at the state of Cloud Computing in 2010 and saw that users had to adapt to the cloud because the cloud was not flexible, had poor performance, and was not easy to use. ProfitBricks hired a large multi-national team of engineers and started building a second- generation cloud platform. The platform launched in 2013 and received numerous awards and recognition from Gartner, Frost & Sullivan, SIIA, and CRN. The ProfitBricks IaaS Cloud Computing platform solved many of the problems of the first generation of clouds from major cloud providers.

But now the market has changed— back in 2010 through 2014, Cloud IaaS was mainly purchased by early adopters, developers, and startups. There have also been some new entrants from traditional IT vendors like Microsoft and newer ones like Google. In general, the market seems to mainly consist of two types of Cloud providers: those that replicate decades of IT business practices and those that only offer the cloud with their professional services.

ProfitBricks offers one thing: IaaS. Cloud servers, cloud storage, and cloud networks that offer complete flexibility and high performance and can be configured using our Data Center Designer and/or our APIs and SDKs.

The DevOps movement has made infrastructure “sexy.” The plethora of tools (Chef, Puppet, Ansible, SaltStack) and the process changes that continuous integration and deployments have brought are driving developers and operations pros to work together like never before.

How does AMD server technology support ProfitBricks’ mission?

Our mission is to build out hardware for thousands of customers. That hardware needs to be scalable and repeatable. Our CEO, Achim Weiss, and his technical team are big fans of AMD and Supermicro. We knew that in order to offer a high-performance, flexible cloud-computing product, it was all about CPU cores. And we decided to launch on Supermicro servers featuring multicore AMD Opteron™ processors, and we’ve been exclusively AMD since launch.

AMD CPU cores are the engines of the cloud. Now that IT teams can access anywhere between 1 CPU core and 1 GB of RAM to 62 CPU cores and 240 GB of RAM on a physical server—and have access to that server within minutes—all sorts of new workloads are possible. Big data and the move to a digital business are driving a massive increase in the number of servers deployed.

ProfitBricks provides the highest price/performance ratio in the public cloud computing space, and s....

What themes are you seeing impact and evolve the datacenter in 2015? What role is ProfitBricks playing in this?

We are seeing on-premises data center managers open up to the cloud and wish to find a cloud provider they can work with. The pressure to move from CAPEX to OPEX is growing, and the C-Suite is now pushing for cloud. It’s no longer just IT that will push for a cloud solution. Business leaders value the agility and the new value that IT can provide when they move to cloud infrastructure. 

Data center managers that have infrastructure in co-location providers are also considering cloud, while they don’t have the overhead of on-premises data centers (power, cooling, fire suppression, physical security) — they too have a growing need to be more agile.

From Big Data to Internet of Things, the need for more IT infrastructure (CPUs, RAM, Storage) and the networks that connect them is growing rapidly, and data center managers are unable to keep up with the requests without turning to the cloud.

Data center managers that have deployed DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) tools are also looking for a cloud they can work with. Many of them are not running “DevOps teams” that code against APIs; they are more like traditional IT teams. They are looking for a cloud provider that offers a tool like the ProfitBricks Data Center Designer that offers a visual way to manage multiple data centers.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

Knowing that businesses and their IT teams and developers will be more productive, creative, and profitable due to the powerful business results that migrating to the cloud can bring.


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