Faction Offers IBM i Hosting In Cloud Marketplace
July 15, 2015 Alex Woodie
Faction, one of the largest owners of cloud data centers that you’ve probably never heard of, is getting into the IBM i hosting business through a partnership with Data Storage Corp. While Faction doesn’t intend on shifting its focus very far from its core business of hosting VMware environments, adding IBM i to the mix will be beneficial.
Faction supplies tens of thousands of virtual machines to its business clients via eight cloud “nodes” running in data centers in the US and the UK It’s one of the top five providers of VMware based clouds, and is listed on NetApp‘s top 20 list of service providers.
“We’re the name you haven’t heard of because we’re behind the scenes,” says Laurel Burton, vice president of marketing for the Denver, Colorado, company. “But with these other partners, there’s quite a bit of mass behind us.”
One of those partners is Data Storage Corp., which is a name that should be familiar to IBM i shops. DSC offers cloud-based backup, disaster recovery, and high availability for IBM i customers. For cloud-based backup, it leverages agentless backup technology from Asigra, while it relies on Vision Solutions‘ iTera HA software for high availability.
DSC is one of the first partners to join the Faction Marketplace, which is billed as “a purchasing platform” to connect, integrate, and sell the various cloud-based solutions offered by Faction’s business partners. As part of the deal, DSC will locate the necessary IBM Power Systems servers into Faction’s data centers, where other Faction partners could tap into DSC’s various IBM i data services.
Only “unique” cloud solutions can be part of the Faction Marketplace. Since the vast majority of Faction’s business is running Windows and Linux workloads on Intel gear on behalf of its customers, the IBM i data services offered by DSC definitely count as unique.
“A lot of these guys have different specialties, and that’s why we built the marketplace,” Burton tells IT Jungle. “We found that partners sometimes need a service that’s outside of their bailiwick and a perfect example of it would be the IBM need. So if that’s the case, all of our partners riding atop the Faction cloud platform can now leverage one another for specialty areas that aren’t necessarily in their wheelhouse.”
Demand for IBM i backup, recovery, and HA services is not expected to be huge, perhaps accounting for $3,000 to $5,000 out of a $100,000 monthly deal, says Faction founder and CEO Luke Norris. But the demand will hit above its weight, considering the other business that an IBM i data service can drag with it.
“In the scope of our overall infrastructure, I believe it’s very small. But as a bolt-on feature of a complete solution, I do hope that it will see a little demand out there,” Norris says. “That additional 5 percent of the IBM i drives the rest of the business being able to be done with those customers. The IBM i space is typically a small but integral piece of the customer’s full solution that they would need from us.”
Norris says he would be interested in hearing about other IBM i services that could potentially be offered within his cloud Marketplace. For more info, see www.factioninc.com.