Peer 1, the hosting provider, has joined the ranks of Rackspace, GoDaddy and other hosting companies that have decided to get into the cloud. On Monday, it launched its Zunicore service, which combines the elements of an Infrastructure-as-a-Service with those many would consider more akin to a Platform-as-a-Service.
For example, instead of a virtual machine, a customer buys a “resource pool” that they can customize to fit their needs, as opposed to buying a small, medium or large virtual machine. The company also offers auto scaling, a feature more common in Platforms-as-a-Service such as VMware’s Cloud Foundry, Microsoft’s Azure or Heroku. However, the service is pay-as-you-go and deployed on demand. It includes a dashboard that functions as a fuel gauge for compute resources that shows IT pros when to spin up additional resources.
The goal is to help businesses that might be put off by the technical expertise required to use Amazon Web Services or Rackspace’s products to the cloud. Unlike the ephemeral storage offered in EC2, the Zunicore cloud offers persistent storage that looks closer to what one might find in S3 for no extra charge. The autoscaling feature allows a business to scale up to a specific resource amount or up to a certain cost, which might come in handy if staying within the budget is more important than completing a job in the fastest available time.
Charging is based on the resource pool and bandwidth consumed at the edge on an incoming basis, as opposed to paying for bandwidth inside the cloud or leaving the network. Storage is also not a separate line item. Outgoing bandwidth costs 12 cents per gigabyte and heavier users can pay lower fees.
Peer 1 will operate Zunicore across three data centers in Fremont, Calif.; Toronto; and Portsmouth, England. The company also offers a service level agreement aimed to luring businesses to the cloud. It appears that Peer 1’s cloud will not compete for hard-core developers that tend to like the ability to scale on Amazon, no matter the drawbacks, but it might appeal to those customers wanting a little more flexibility than a PaaS might offer but don’t want to sweat the uncertainties that might come with a true IaaS.