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Joint Public Cloud Venture Mothership1 Sets Out to Beat AWS, DigitalOcean

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Competing with Amazon and DigitalOcean on public cloud isn’t easy if you go at it alone. It seems more cloud providers are recognizing this as they form partnerships to take on the cloud giants.

On Wednesday, CentriLogic and Incubaid announced a joint cloud venture, Mothership1, focused on offering more flexibility and simplicity to developers and small businesses.

“I think there’s a bit opportunity to be a player in the space that is independent from the larger guys. I think that’s been proven by DigitalOcean, who has grown pretty quickly,” Robert Offley, CentriLogic president and CEO and chairman of Mothership1 says. “You’ve got the big guys like Google and Amazon and Microsoft Azure, but we still think there’s some niches and things we can bring to market that is a better value package and more flexibility.”

Offley, who founded CentriLogic in 2007, and Incubaid chairman Kristof De Spiegeleer, CEO of Mothership1, believe their combined 35 years of experience in management, managed and cloud services will help set the cloud company apart.

“It’s a very small world in the hosting industry as we all know, and Kristof and I have worked together in the past, back in the late 90s and early 2000s,” Offley says. “In those days we were actually involved in a lot of different opportunities and worked together on some large, high-scale websites.”

Prior to CentriLogic, Offley was president and CEO at Fusepoint Managed Services (now Savvis/CenturyLink) and former CEO of PSINet Canada. De Spiegeleer founded Incubaid in 2008 as a technology incubator focused in the data center and cloud computing space. Prior to Incubaid, De Spiegeleer was a founder and investor in Racktivity and AmpliData.

Along with competing on price with Amazon (Mothership1 will be cheaper than AWS), Offley says the company will have “a number of unique features in terms of the product,” including comprehensive firewalls and built-in security services.

Mothership1 uses a Cloud Space concept where users can build a remote data center with units of compute, storage, RAM and SSD. Server replication, backup and recovery can be managed across data centers and each Cloud Space is protected by a defence shield that is fully configurable by the customer. The platform supports APIs to offer even more control,  including support for an S3 API to allow developers to migrate to Mothership1 from AWS.

While Mothership1 will offer a similar IaaS offering to AWS, it divides its offerings into different decks, including a Machine Deck which will offer different flavors of Linux and Microsoft; a Desktop Deck which will offer virtual desktops; a Storage Deck which will have an S3-type storage environment; and an Application Deck, which will provide users with a portfolio of private applications.

“[With Mothership1] everything is very quick and everything is done within seconds. We’re going to build more flexibility into the offerings,” Offley says. “With Amazon and DigitalOcean you’re kind of fixed and have to buy bundles. We’re going to give users the flexibility to pick a CPU and scale up, scale down on storage and other items to make it a lot more flexible.”

On day 1, Offley says Mothership1 will be focused on IaaS and the virtual desktop offering, but over time will focus more on application delivery. With this focus, Offley expects to not only target the development market, but also smaller businesses “who want to have access to applications or access infrastructure quickly and cost-effectively.”

With experience in international hybrid hosting, cloud computing, and managed data center solutions, CentriLogic will provide the data centers for Mothership1. It will be available from data centers in the US and Canada at launch, and within 30 days will launch in Europe. After that, Asia is the next planned expansion, with CentriLogic planning to open its Hong Kong facility later this year.

Initial availability zones will be offered in Toronto, North Carolina, and Bracknell in the United Kingdom.

“One of the advantages in working together is that we are already in the regions so we can get to market pretty quickly,” Offley says.

“A lot of people think [public cloud] is highly competitive and it’s all kind of wrapped up with these larger companies, but I just think that the way technology can be deployed that there’s still economies of scale and technical features that can improve the user experience,” Offley says. “That’s what we’re trying to show people. Over time that space can be improved dramatically, especially as you move up into the application space.”

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