Fujitsu, the leading Asian giant, today opened up their global cloud platform to North American users after Japan, Australia, Singapore and UK. They are starting up with a free beta trial now which will convert into paid offering after 31st August, 2011. With their large customer base and enterprise credibility, they are focussing on enterprises looking to push their workloads to the public clouds. They tout enterprise class security and high availability, two things that are appealing to the enterprise users. As it is in the case of Amazon EC2, their compute, storage and network services can be provisioned and managed using a self service portal.
Organizations interested in testing out the Fujitsu cloud can sign up here and they will have to pay a subscription if they want to continue using Fujitsu cloud beyond August 31st. The pricing will be competitive to what other service providers offer in the market. They also offer open APIs for third party applications to access the resources. They offer support for Microsoft Windows, RedHat and CentOS Linux distros. The North American service will be delivered from a Silicon Valley datacenter, the state of art datacenter located at Sunnyvale. This service is different from the Windows Azure Appliance based service Fujitsu was planning to offer.
I personally think Fujitsu’s entry into the market is a good thing. I don’t believe that handful of monopoly players can cater to the needs of customers with diverse needs. We need a more federated ecosystem of cloud service providers to avoid any future monopoly. In this sense, Fujitsu’s entry is a good thing. Even though I welcome their entry into the market, I am still not sure how they are going to differentiate themselves in the market. From my conversations with them, I get a feeling that they will position themselves as a secure and green alternative to other public clouds. From my POV, the secure offering claim is more of a marketing posture than anything technologically significant. Regarding their Green claims (where they talk about how they have used the best practices to drastically reduce the carbon footprint), I think it only matters to organizations in areas where there is significant awareness on climate change. I don’t see it as a market differentiator. However, I will reserve my opinions till I play around with their cloud and see their strategy post beta period.