Service providers can “go cloud” to take on Amazon in various ways, but which is best?

Structure 2012 Tony Lucas of Flexiant

The cloud’s instance-based, scaling-friendly nature has affected a lot of sectors, but none more directly than the “traditional” service provider industry. With huge-but-nimble Amazon Web Services established as the go-to infrastructure provider for many startups, what’s a staid old host or telco to do?

That’s a very good question, and one we shall attempt to answer in a few weeks’ time at our Structure:Europe conference in London. There, I’ll moderate a panel with two key

Structure Europe in article square

European players in this space: Flexiant founder Tony Lucas (pictured above at last year’s Structure:Europe) and OnApp CEO Ditlev Bredahl.

I have a sneaking suspicion this will be one of the show’s highlights, mainly because I’ve wanted to get Lucas and Bredahl toe-to-toe on this issue for a long while. The two companies ultimately have the same aim – to help legacy hosting providers find their niche in the cloud world – but they have significantly different ways of going about it.

Flexiant has the more straightforward approach: its cloud orchestration and management software is a product for helping service providers provide a tailored portfolio of services quickly and with minimal effort (a big selling point versus OpenStack). OnApp adds another element, federating spare storage and CDN capacity of its customers and serving it up in interesting ways.

The distinction has all kinds of implications, from scale to differentiation. Which is the right approach? Well, you’ll just have to check out the panel to find out. Structure:Europe is taking place from 18-19 September, and tickets are on sale now.

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