Get to know our newest hosting partner

(Today, we turn our spotlight on Cloud Provider BV, a new Standing Cloud partner and customer. This upstart European hosting provider recently launched a cloud-based app storefront built on our Marketplace platform. This deep dive comes to us courtesy of analyst Agatha Poon of 451 Research, where this write-up originally appeared.)

Dutch IaaS specialist Cloud Provider BV has been an independent player in the cloud hosting market since spinning off from Web hosting company XXL Webhosting in 2008. Providing cloud servers using the pay-as-you-go model, the company is hoping to capitalize on the growing demand for flexible service delivery (and consumption) in the business market. The availability of Amazon-like IaaS offerings is working in its favor as Cloud Provider continues to build up its customer base locally. The next step is to grow beyond its home turf, especially markets in South Europe and South America, where it is looking to create a federated cloud by connecting the dots of local and regional partners.

Technology

The company's cloud servers have been generally available since 2008 when it first operated as an independent entity. It delivers KVM-based VM instances running on CentOS, Red Hat Linux, Debian, Fedora or Ubuntu, with Dell and SuperMicro for servers and Dell's EqualLogic for storage. Accordingly, the data is stored on multiple EqualLogic SANs configured with a RAID 10 setup and a number of spare disks. Under an agreement with EqualLogic, the company will replace any failed disks during the four-hour window. For scalability and performance, it uses technologies like InfiniBand and SSD caching.

Using a cloud portal, customers can provision and resize cloud resources in real time, restore backups, configure firewalls and view historical data of server load and network traffic. Depending on individual business requirements, customers are able to select the number of virtual CPUs and memory (up to 8 CPU cores and 8GB of RAM) required to run the show. Although cloud server instances are not sharable, server resources are provided by a group of hardware as opposed to dedicated hardware. At present, the company's cloud platform is hosted in the 6,000-square-meter datacenter in Amsterdam from euNetworks, where XXL Webhosting provides corporate email and Web hosting services as well.

Business Case

As far as the pricing model is concerned, Cloud Provider is using the pay-per-hour model for various cloud resources. The cloud server is priced at a rate of €0.01841 per hour for a basic configuration of 1 CPU, 256MB of RAM with 5GB of storage and one IP address or €13.26 per month at the low end and rises to €0.50694 per hour or €365 per month for a configuration of 8 CPUs, 16GB of RAM with 500GB of storage and 10 IP addresses.

Beyond its core cloud server products, the company recently announced its partnership with cloud marketplace enabler Standing Cloud to deploy an app marketplace running on top of its cloud platform. Under the partnership, Cloud Provider's customers are able to get access to a service catalog of more than 100 open source applications out of the Standing Cloud Marketplace, which is fully integrated with the IaaS provider's Cloud Portal and delivered under Cloud Provider's brand. This allows a customer to deploy cloud servers and business applications through a single pane of glass.

Geographically speaking, the company primarily focuses on supporting local businesses in the small and medium business market. Its customer base is cross-vertical today, although the company is gaining traction among companies in the media and e-commerce segment. Cloud Provider touts more than 500 customers and resellers, with an average deal size of €100-150 per month. Use cases have been expanded to include production workloads, in addition to development and testing and application staging.