Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Onramp to the cloud?

As I posted back in March, we "have all of the pieces to build out the Cloud 1.0. There are still a lot of questions around access, security, and offerings" that are need to be answered before we can get the cloud to the next level. With most people predicting a hybrid model based on a private-public partnership between companies and their providers, the vendors that can secure and maximize the efficiency of that link the soonest have a tremendous opportunity to capture a niche market that could generate a significant amount of demand, if the predictions hold true.

Afore Solutions may be the first one able to fill that gap. Having witnessed their Advanced Service Edge (ASE) product in action at last year's VMWorld, I was impressed with their ability to extend layer 2 services across extremely long distances for an extremely reasonable price. Since then they have taken that functionality, improved and bolstered it significantly, and are rolling out a virtual, software-only version of it at this year's VMWorld. Designated "CloudLink", this new product provides security, SLA management, and performance optimization for private or public clouds.

This may be a niche area but it is a critical one. Keep an eye on these guys.

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