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‘Plug-n-Play’ Cloud Computing Launches in South Africa

01 July 2011

A ‘plug-n-play’ cloud computing solution designed to specifically address the needs of the South African midmarket company has been launched by EOH group company, THINK iT.

Like others on the market, Cloud in a Box takes its inspiration from the off-the-shelf, plug-n-play sector of the ITC. Unlike these, however, it promises users a holistic solution incorporating storage, network management and monitoring, compliance and virtualisation at a fraction of the cost.

THINK iT Chief Technology Officer, Louis Botha, explained that South African CIOs want to embrace cloud computing, but – like their counterparts around the world – have reservations. These include uncertainty about:

The ability of the cloud to both keep up with their data requirements, given that data growth of between 30 - 60% a year is today’s norm, and to protect that data during data handling and from malicious or unintentional deletion
Network stability and failure
Loss of governance and compliance

Source: ENISA - An SME perspective on Cloud Computing

Additionally, CIOs of South African companies often fail to justify investment in cloud computing because of the cost and scale of current solutions.

“Make no mistake,” he said, “the cloud offerings currently available are exceptionally good, but they are designed with the large enterprise in mind and are therefore just too big – and, as a result, too expensive – for those companies with a 500 to 2 000 seat requirement.

“That’s where Cloud in a Box comes in. Available in five different sizes, it provides all the hardware and technology in a pre-validated design format and with a 24/7 service level agreement to lay to rest the CIO’s concerns about scalability, flexibility, reliability, compliance and cost. It is therefore ideal for those companies that just don’t have the physical size to reap solid returns from investing in an enterprise cloud solution,” he said.

While not exactly plug-n-play, Cloud in a Box can be fully-functional three to five days after the order is provisioned.

It can also be:

hosted on or off site
optimised for storage or capacity, or both
configured to address the needs of companies seeking a technology refresh, those adopting desktop virtualisation and those seeking to ensure business continuity
a private cloud, a public cloud or a hybrid.

Cloud in a Box is compatible with the most commonly used platforms and operating systems, including SAP and Oracle.