02.13.2013
By Terry Flanagan

Capital Market Firms Look to Private Clouds

CenturyLink, a telecommunications company, has launched a private cloud service
through its Savvis subsidiary to enable businesses to better manage the application lifecycle.

Called AppGrid, the service is provided by the Savvisdirect online channel, which itself was launched in December, and is based on the CA AppLogic cloud platform from software provider CA Technologies.

Capital markets firms are offloading cumbersome and expensive in-house software development platforms to managed services available through the cloud.

“AppGrid offers dedicated resources from the portal to the hardware,” said Michael Goodenough, global director of field engineering at Savvisdirect. “The service is rapidly available with out-of-the-box features that simplify migration of data into the grid with no additional costs. Literarily after the onboarding, the customer is able to connect his laptop to an IP [internet protocol] with secure VPN [virtual private network] and transmit.”

The AppGrid graphical application design editor allows businesses to design, build, test and launch production environments leveraging web servers, databases and networking appliances using a dedicated private cloud environment.

Private cloud environments currently can be deployed through CenturyLink data centers in North America.

Liati Groupm the New York merchant banking firm, switched from an in-house server solution to Savvisdirect AppGrid as a beta customer after Hurricane Sandy hit the U.S. east coast in late October which resulted in the company enduring a five-week power outage.

“Access to our business information and applications is critical to our business every single day,” said Bobby Mensah, chief technology officer at the Liati Group, in a statement. “AppGrid saved us because we were able to get back up and operational within just 48 hours.”

CA AppLogic enables managed service providers to offer a range of services, including software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS).

“We offer more than just a platform-as-a-service with Savvisdirect AppGrid,” said Goodenough at Savvisdirect. “The term PaaS connotes out-of-the-box deployment of a single-tier architecture with operating systems and applications ready, or the ability to deploy the same exact stack as a two- and three-tier architectures. With AppGrid, you have many out-of-the-box multi-tiered architectures that can be deployed with a simple drag and drop. It’s more than just a PaaS solution.”

The term PaaS also implies the ability to replicate an entire application family throughout the lifecycle of “development to production”.

The service provider differentiates itself based on how it offers scale, horizontally and vertically within the PaaS.

“With AppGrid, we give scale to carve up at the grid, physical hardware, virtual machine and network layers, as well as for the application,” said Goodenough. “We also offer simplified means of data transport, malleable security and availability zones. You have quick access to customer relationship management tools and APIs [application programming interfaces] for application/platform promotion to SaaS or IaaS.”

Savvisdirect combines the global infrastructure of CenturyLink, which recently announced that it is delivering 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) technology across its nationwide network, with CenturyLink’s cloud services through Savvis, a provider of cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions.

The savvisdirect web portal provides access to a range of cloud-based services including SaaS applications, on-demand virtual servers, storage services and application development platforms.

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