At the recent Cloud Connect event in Santa Clara, a new theme for debate emerged: Open. From the tone of the conversations, it feels that “Cloud” has been talked about enough and the new buzzword for conversations is “Open”. While it is certainly a good point to discuss, I want to reflect on what seems to matter most to our customers: software that works out of the box as advertised, implementation and delivery of the promised features! We want to provide our customers with an Amazon EC2-like infrastructure cloud and believe we are delivering on it!
We have worked with a number of customers over the past few months and as they have purchased and deployed our software, here are the points they mentioned as important to them.
- Easy infrastructure cloud deployment: visit the nimbula.com website, download software, load it and it works! No need to speak with someone in sales or go through a gatekeeper. Some of our customers came out to us when they were ready to place their order and only had a few questions left. They ran the evaluation and bake-off against other platforms on their own, referring to our extensive technical documentation! Who else gives you such an easy and direct access with a complete high quality set of documentation?
- Complete end-to-end automation, right from installation to deployment: Nimbula Director’s API has enabled our customers to automate a great number of things and gain precious time. We decided early on to put more effort in a complete API than a shiny UI. Our customers have valued that choice and it has been great hearing from them: one of them, using their Nimbula Director private cloud for development and testing of new applications claims close to 90% time savings for one test suite alone.
- Solid security model: Nimbula Director delivers a security model that allows for very secure collaboration between tenants. A recent project in the Government space with a very security conscious customer helped us validate our model and demonstrate our claims.
- No hardware shopping list: Nimbula Director works on commodity hardware and you do not need to purchase specific equipment to get a good experience and be able to deploy it. We harden the operating system and hypervisor (shipped as part of our software) to bring out the best possible performance and security on any hardware platform. As a matter of fact, one of our customers shared the hardware they had bought and I could not recognize any of the names: pure commodity white box vendors.
Now back to the debate: Open is clearly important and I believe that means more than just Open Source. Open is also about platforms which have openness to extensibility and manageability. It is about giving a choice to the customer: use our software as long as we provide you with a great product and customer service. If you are unsatisfied or think another platform is better, you should be free to migrate and not be locked into our software. I do not think the debate is about open source or not. It is about value to customers in the long run.
But let’s not dwell on it because while debates are good and generate noise and buzz, there is much work to do. We want to keep our head down and focus on what we do best: innovate and deliver a great software experience that works out of the box. We are focused on strong core guiding principles for our development, our co-founder speaks best of them.
So don’t take my word on our software quality, give it a spin!