DiData lands Aussie customer for new cloud


news Global IT services outfit Dimension Data has announced a new range of global cloud services, simultaneously revealing it has signed up the Australian Centre for Advanced Computing and Communications to use the platform.

The new Dimension Data Cloud Services, according to a statement by the company issued late last week, will enable customers to be more agile, lower their IT infrastructure management expenses and minimise the complexity of cloud migration. Dimension Data’s Managed Cloud Platform (MCP) is the global delivery platform for all its cloud services, and Dimension Data Cloud Control is a cloud management system that automates provisioning, orchestration, administration and billing. The two services are now going to be utilised by ac3 (Australian Centre for Advanced Computing and Communications) under a new contract between the two companies.

ac3 provides IT infrastructure management services to clients including the NSW Government. It offers a wide variety of managed services including operating systems management, database administration, network and security management and storage management.

“Dimension Data was the clear choice for managing our clients’ cloud computing environments. We were impressed by the inherent security features as well as the automation of cloud resource provisioning,” said Philip McCrea, CEO of ac3, in DiData’s statement. “This initiative enables us to offer our clients a valuable additional level of service by providing them with infrastructure to run their business applications instead of them having to procure their own equipment. Combining Dimension Data’s platform with ac3’s experience gained from co-location and managed services, gives us the ability to deliver cloud computing solutions to our clients with improved service level agreements.”

DiData said its new cloud suite is designed to address the many requirements of an organisation’s path to the cloud, whether at the beginning of its usage of cloud and virtualisation, or well on its way to leveraging the benefits of self-service, hybrid cloud models. The primary claimed advantage of using Dimension Data’s Cloud Services is that all services are delivered on the same platform making it easier and more cost-effective to expand from one cloud model to another when the demands of the business change.

Dimension Data’s MCP will be a key part of ac3’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering along with storage, data management and perimeter security services. The pre-configured infrastructure, according to the company, provides ac3 access to an orchestration layer for the deployment of cloud infrastructure that will allow ac3 manage its clients’ migration to the cloud more effectively.

In its media release, DiData said its cloud services would range across a number of areas, from advisory and consulting services to cloud systems integration, to public, private and hosted private compute-as-a-service offerings, to managed hosting and managed services, to applications services.

“Our clients realise the transformational potential of cloud computing, whether it’s moving into new markets, launching new products, or improving IT efficiency,“ said Steve Nola, CEO of Dimension Data’s Cloud Solutions Business Unit and former leader of the group’s Australian division. “They’re also aware that migrating to the cloud is complex, with significant implications to their business across operations and IT. Our Cloud Services are designed to help clients reduce cost, move faster and manage risk effectively.”

Not since CSC Australia issued a media release claiming it was offering “on-premise private cloud” has an Australian IT services organisation issued a media release so full of complete and utter waffle about cloud computing as DiData did last week. The company ought to be ashamed about the lack of technical detail which it included in its statement about its new cloud offerings.

DiData is a great company. Out of all the systems integrators and IT services companies in Australia, it’s one of my favourites. And I regularly hear good things about them from end customers (chief information officers and the like). However, the media release which the company issued this week announcing its new suite of global cloud services said absolutely nothing about what the company will actually be providing and simply appeared to cram in as many mentions of the word “cloud” as was humanly possible. For the record, it was 71 times in one media release.

I’d like to see the following basic questions about DiData’s “cloud” offered before I put any credence to the company’s claims that it can aid organisations in helping customers to be more agile, lower infrastructure expenses and reduce cloud migration complexity and risk:

  • What technologies does DiData’s cloud use (storage, processing, networking, virtualisation, management and so on)?
  • Where is it located (South Africa? Australia? The moon?)?
  • How much does it cost to use it?
  • How is the multi-tenanted cloud environment set up — what sorts of customers will be using this section?
  • What is the guaranteed uptime/availability?
  • Which virtual environments are supported (Windows, Linux, Solaris, etc)?
  • How possible is it to migrate workloads in and out of DiData’s infrastructure from and to the infrastructure of other providers?
  • What applications are supported on a ‘as-a-service’ model?

That’s just a start. I’ve got plenty more questions where those came from. If someone from DiData wants to get in touch (perhaps in the comments below this article) to provide some illumination on the situation, that’d be great.

Image credit: BasicGov, Creative Commons. Opinion/analysis by Renai LeMay.