Part of my job is to sit in my office and do research, which I enjoy quite a bit. Put in the earbuds, crank up Led Zep, analyze, and write all day. But probably one of the coolest parts of the job is getting to go and talk to customers. Sometimes this is a one-to-many endeavor like I’ll be doing next week in Vegas at VMWare’s Partner Exchange 2013. Other times it is getting to go talk to a customer face-to-face and sometimes it’s at a place that is just plain cool. This happened to me just this week as we got to go to One Summer St. in Boston MA to visit The Markley Group. I got to see a tour of their NOC, an OC-768 cable (with every other possible OC size), and several multi-megawatt generators up on the roof.
Markley has been providing close to 1M square feet of carrier grade data center space for over a decade. What is carrier grade? I’ve seen it defined as Five-nines availability with very short (sub 50 millisecond) failover. In layman’s terms, this means always available and failures are seamless and unnoticeable.
Security in this place is also very serious but believe it or not a bit subtle. Of course no one walks around without an escort but there are cameras everywhere with the latest in biometric facial and hand scanning technologies used to make sure only the authorized can get anywhere in the building. This is obviously some of the investment needed and the foundation for enterprise grade for cloud.
Markley just recently announced the Markley Cloud Service which is initially an IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) offering. From my chat with some of their top architects the design is based on bringing the carrier grade capabilities into the IaaS stack by using technologies for all of the layers that are well known in the tech industry. Their initial offering is based on the NetApp/Cisco Flexpod technology running on VMware. Markley sees this as a great entry point for them into the cloud because their customers have this technology on their data center floors and are directly connected to them. This affords Markley a unique opportunity to provide fast VM migration capability, extending data center resource supply elastically, as well as very low-latency failovers. From the customer's point of view, they already have a lot of trust in Markley for their on premises managed services, carrier, and Internet Exchange services. Being able to leverage IaaS services as well is a logical extension of those services.
And Markley isn’t stopping there – they also have an OpenStack sandbox running. My gut is this is to come up with a tiered set of offerings so that they can provide full enterprise grade for today with the technology giant's products while they come up with alternatives that include technology from OpenStack as well as others. Markley is definitely selling their customer many good nights of sleep with their carrier-entrerprise grade capabilities. It will be interesting to see what they come up with next.
Before I forget to mention it – Markley is having a Data Center Summit for their customers and anyone interested in finding out about their new Markley Cloud Services. Part of the event includes a panel on cloud strategies which I’ll be participating in. Love to meet you and see you there!