Japanese cloud hosting provider Internet Initiative Japan and IT network carrier ACCESS announced last week they have formed Stratosphere, a joint-venture company whose goal is to create a cloud storage delivery network-based infrastructure platform.
The move comes a few months after IIJ opened its seventh data center in Tokyo which hosts its new cloud computing service, IIJ GIO.
Stratosphere will first research and develop a suite of software to implement the SDN concept, which is a new technology concept that enables network virtualization and automatic operation in a cloud computing environment.
Another SDN-based cloud provider, Nirvanix, recently began offering direct connections to its cloud storage network in Equinix data centers.
Stratosphere was founded to capitalize on the advanced software development capabilities of ACCESS in the network and mobile technology fields, including SDN, and on IIJ’s cloud and network operating technology expertise.
Restrictions in physical networking and complexities in network configuration management makes it increasingly difficult for providers to scale service provision and expand infrastructure.
This is particularly the case for those operators who provide multi-tenant cloud services with virtualized computing resources deployed on physical computers in multiple data centers in widely separated regions.
The SDN concept resolves these issues with software that controls the configuration of virtual networks which connect multiple virtualized computing resources.
Ultimately, Stratosphere is working to develop software that allows for an arbitrary number of virtual machines to be deployed to any location with arbitrary network topologies to generate cloud environments that are more flexible than those that are currently offered today.
Stratosphere will develop a suite of software for integrated control of the entire cloud environment, from virtual networks built on SDN to IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.
It then proposes to sell these software products via IIJ and ACCESS’s sales channels to data center operators, communications operators, large EC operators, and other similar clients.
This spring, Stratosphere will release its first product, a beta version of SDN IaaS that can automatically configure a virtual network through a controller that uses OpenFlow protocol.
In the fall, the company said it plans to release “commercial products with advanced functionalities and performance optimizations which reflect market demand,” as well as “a PaaS that interfaces with the SDN IaaS will be developed in parallel.”
Stratosphere expects to have a full line-up of platform products that control each component of the cloud environment within this year.
Talk Back: Are you currently offering SDN-based cloud computing services? Do you feel that SDN technology is the direction in which the cloud computing industry is headed? Let us know in the comments.