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Cloud-in-a-Box: SoftBank Opts for Easy and Fast Time to Market from 8x8 Zerigo Software on VCE Vblock Systems

by Gina Luk | 2月 19, 2013

Whether to build or buy is the classic dilemma faced by service providers and enterprises looking to deliver a new set of IT resources.  In reality, the question is often about how much to build and how much to buy to achieve the desired combination of functionality and integration.  Many buyers end up pulling together a mix of commercial and open source software and premier branded or low-cost no-name hardware products. 

SoftBank Telecom has chosen what can be considered an easier and faster way to bring to market its business cloud services by buying a turnkey, cloud-in-a-box solution consisting of 8x8's Zerigo cloud platform software running on VCE's Vblock converged cloud infrastructure systems.  These appliance-like systems feature optimized, scalable, and integrated compute, storage and networking technologies from Cisco and EMC (which formed VCE) as well as VMware.  When SoftBank was evaluating platforms to serve as the foundation for the cloud services that it will initially roll out in Japan and later around the globe, the fact that 8x8's software was certified to run on Vblock was compelling.  Why not benefit from the combined expertise and learnings that 8x8 and VCE have already in building cloud solutions?

Service provider 8x8 acquired Zerigo in June 2011 for its software that enables 8x8 to sell services to end users through portals and to provide the orchestration management for easy creation and provisioning of virtual servers.  8x8 purchased a VCE Vblock system to run its cloud services.  Its experience running its software on Vblock systems first led 8x8 to a software licensing deal in January 2013 with data center, cloud and managed service provider CoSentry based in the US midwest.  It has now led to this deal with SoftBank that will include adding virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) capability to the Zerigo software so that SoftBank can offer VDI cloud services to its customers.  Both CoSentry and SoftBank were interested in using Vblock systems to provide the scalable and optimized foundation for hosting cloud servicers for their customers.

Other companies looking to launch or expand business cloud services would benefit from following this example and relying on commercial or open source cloud software running on converged systems from companies like VCE, IBM, HP and Dell.  Only large cloud service providers like Amazon as well as a few smaller providers that have already invested significant time and effort into building and integrating their own cloud infrastructure systems may be the only ones doing so in several years.

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