In some ways, now is a good time to be a cloud provider in Europe. Assuming they haven’t been scared off the cloud entirely by the continuing NSA surveillance scandal, many customers are going local in hopes that their data won’t be improperly accessed.
At least that’s what Lunacloud, a London-based infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) shop that’s just branched out into platform-as-a-service (PaaS, offering Cloud Mongo), hopes. The company, which is one of the Launchpad finalists at our Structure:Europe conference this year, aims to ease potential customers’ minds by offering infrastructure across all the major European states.
“There is no European cloud provider that can provide services across Europe in [all the] different countries,” Lunacloud CTO Hugo Tavares told me. “We will have infrastructure in most European countries … Now we have infrastructure in Portugal and France, and we’re planning to open in Germany and Russia next.” And in each country, Lunacloud offers local support in local languages – not a small issue in highly fragmented Europe.
Lunacloud, which started offering its services in June 2012, even plans to grow beyond Europe and already has partners in South Africa and South America, so country-specific payment methods are a priority, too. But, although its localization plans are partly a data protection matter – “We don’t operate in the U.S. so there is no Patriot Act with us” – they are also intended to cut down on latency. “If you operate in Sweden why should you have [have to use] cloud servers in Lisbon?” Tavares asked.
Of course, location is important but it’s not everything. Regarding the all-important price comparison with Amazon, Lunacloud claims to be “quite cheaper.” Tavares also pointed to Lunacloud’s choice of offerings as a differentiating factor – because the outfit bases its services on Parallels, it can offer both pure hypervisor-based virtual machines (VMs) and more popular container-based virtualization, which gives customers more granular access to hardware capabilities, from the same physical infrastructure.
Configurability is also a big deal for Lunacloud, which claims to offer 307,200 possible server configurations (mixing variables such as RAM, CPU, disk resources and so on, as well as Linux and Windows options), as is provisioning – it says it will make a server available in under 15 seconds.
Will all that be enough to clinch Lunacloud Launchpad gold? You’ll have to wait and see: the 10 finalists will be competing live at our Structure:Europe conference, which is running from 18-19 September in London. Tickets are on sale now.