While some managed service providers position themselves as alternatives to Amazon's fast-growing Amazon Web Services (AWS), Datapipe is taking a different approach, embracing and extending AWS for enterprise customers interested in tapping into the cloud.
"It's a pretty unique thing in the marketplace and validates the interest in the cloud today in the enterprise," Ed Laczynski, vice president of cloud strategy and architecture at Datapipe, told InternetNews.com.
"There are going to be customers that want the raw power of AWS and Amazon's been an innovator in offering a kind of raw utility," Laczynski added. But he said AWS lacks the management, support and simplified fee structure that Datapipe now offers.
"As companies move to the cloud, they need to know there's someone they can call when the infrastructure behaves erratically," he said. "These are the same challenges IT has in the data center. There's no magic bullet, no system is perfect."
The new Datapipe Managed Cloud, launched today, is an all-inclusive suite of managed services that includes architecture and design, around-the-clock, technician-based monitoring and management, patching and OS maintenance, and change management.
Datapipe said it also offers a simple billing model that's designed to ease the transition to cloud computing applications as companies scale those apps up or down depending on their needs. Another aspect of the service is a suite of Cloud Accelerators that Datapipe said can be used for enhanced cloud infrastructure design. The modules include a Server Access Manager for LDAP, an Email Relay, Global Load Balancer for multi-site DNS based load balancing, and a Web Application Accelerator for dynamic content caching.
"Amazon has become the poster child for cloud services, but it doesn't offer the kind of SLAs (Service Level Agreements) that enterprises are used to, so this is an area where managed service providers like Datapipe can bring the value to those customers," Forrester analyst Vanessa Alvarez told InternetNews.com. "Companies like AT&T and Verizon are competing directly with Amazon, so this is a smart move by Datapipe to be a service broker in between Amazon and the enterprise, particularly for mid-market customers."
While Amazon starts with a simple, pay-as-you-go billing model, Alvarez said Datapipe is bringing more clarity to enterprise shops.
"When you look at what Amazon charges, the costs can quickly spiral out control if you don't really manage the way you use it," she said. "So managed service providers like Datapipe add value by managing that potential price spiral so there are fewer surprises."
Laczynski said Datapipe's goal with pricing is to help companies adopt the cloud services they need with buy-in from management including the CFO. "We offer a fixed monthly cost and a simple scaling plan that boils down to server usage, bandwidth and storage costs," he said.
"We don't meter managed services like some other do and we don't have incident levels charges and different levels like gold and platinum support to get someone on the phone. We offer an all inclusive service. "
Rather than compete with AWS as some of Datapipe's competitors have chosen to do, Laczynski said "we decided to work with them and help our customers take advantage of what AWS offers."
For its part, Amazon said it's happy to be working with Datapipe.
"We are pleased to be working with Datapipe to help more enterprises leverage the cloud with managed services," Terry Wise, director of business development at Amazon Web Services LLC, said in a statement. "Datapipe's managed services, along with the scalability, elasticity and pay as you go pricing of Amazon Web Services, are helping customers satisfy business demands for launching applications and IT infrastructure in the cloud."