While cloud is often a secondary focus for service providers, Routed believes that the cloud is important and complex enough to warrant the expertise of specialists. Founded in 2016 in response to the growing demand for data center hosting solutions following the rapid growth of fast, reliable connectivity services in South Africa, the Routed cloud platform is vendor neutral and offers scalable, full or hybrid cloud hosting. Routed engages directly or within a channel to deliver cloud and infrastructure solutions to enterprise customers, wholesale partners, resellers and affiliates. In addition to managed services providers who are migrating their customers’ workloads from on-premises into the cloud or selling cloud disaster recovery or cloud backup solutions, Routed also works with web developers who want to host customers’ websites in the cloud.
As a VMware Cloud Provider Program member, Routed concentrates on businesses that have VMware solutions, and who expect a similar level of performance, security and availability from the cloud.
The Challenge Routed has experienced growing demand for more creative interconnected solutions, which is being driven by the benefits of hybrid cloud as well as disaster recovery and backup needs. At the same time, the rise in security breaches, ransomware attacks and hacks creates more security-conscious customers. Routed wanted to provide a multi-tenant solution that addressed customers’ security requirements and delivered the confidence they need to move to the cloud, while also ensuring the segregation and self-service orchestration to enable customers to deploy networks, VLANs, VXLANs in NSX on their own.
“The idea behind cloud and the efficiencies which come from being able to utilize infrastructure in a multi-tenant way, is that you’re not leaving resources idle,” explains Andrew Cruise, Managing Director. “It’s incredibly important to have a platform that can support multi-tenant infrastructure so that you can get the most out of your cloud investments and optimize your ability to deploy new services to customers.”
The Solution In South Africa there is still a level of skepticism around the cloud, which can create a long runway to winning business. Before customers are willing to move onto a platform, Routed needs to build trust and demonstrate that solutions are proven to address business challenges. Routed wants to eliminate the barriers or hurdles preventing customers from moving to the cloud, so once trust and confidence is established, Routed needs to ensure that the solution would be easy for customers to use.
Routed selected vCloud Director as its Cloud Management Platform, enabling the deployment of isolated and secure environments for tenants. Because VMware is a trusted industry leader, Routed is also able to provide the confidence needed to drive adoption of its secure, open access solutions.
“I was familiar with VMware vCloud Director and how easily it supports a multitenant environment, but we still evaluated all of our options to ensure we had the right solution for our business and our customers,” notes Cruise. “After reviewing alternatives, we always came back to vCloud Director. It’s easy to deploy and implement, unlike other solutions, which require significant customization and have too many dependencies. vCloud Director is truly the premier multi-tenant cloud management platform.”
With vCloud Director, Routed avoided the need to train staff in additional technical skills, which saved time and money while supporting fast time to market. At the same time, simple self-service capabilities ease customer adoption, while also minimizing the need for support from Routed engineers.
Business Results and Benefits As a cloud service provider focused so much on security and segregation, the primary use case, and the primary benefit for Routed, is to be able to present logically segregated environments to customers with the ability to perform easy self-service orchestration.
“Today we estimate that we can run 30 to 50 virtual machines on each of our physical servers,” says Cruise. “That was unheard of in the days before virtualization, so multi-tenancy enables us to utilize infrastructure better, and therefore lower costs for Routed and our customers.”
With vCloud Director, end users can manage their own environments and scale up and down as needed. The ability to present customers with a self-service management interface via vCloud Director also eases the sales cycle. At the same time, the faster provisioning enabled by vCloud Director speeds time to market, and that enables Routed to accelerate service monetization.
In addition, vCloud Director enables infrastructure management from a virtual perspective rather than from a physical perspective, doing things in an orchestrated way rather than in a manual way, which creates significant OpEx benefits.
“Because it only takes a few clicks to provision the customer on the platform, there’s very little that we have to do manually in order to make things work,” says Cruise. “Traditionally, networking using VLANs and switches and routers has been quite manual, quite intensive and prone to human error. With the NSX layer on top of vCloud Director, VXLANs are encapsulated when you provision an environment, so the customer can do whatever they want and there really isn’t any manual input that’s required from our side in order for a customer to deploy their own networks and route their own networks. vCloud Director makes things very easy for us and very easy for the customer as well.”
Looking Ahead In addition to the growing number of customers using the environment for disaster recovery, the ability to leverage vCloud Director for Routed’s multi-tenant cloud creates new growth opportunities. Services can be deployed and monetized quickly, and customers benefit from the ability to proactively monitor, orchestrate and automate cloud resources in a cost-effective and secure multi-tenant environment.
“There are very few multi-tenant cloud products out there that are designed specifically for service providers because our needs are so unique,” concludes Cruise. “vCloud Director is a fantastic multi-tenant cloud management platform, and because it uses VMware on the bottom layer our customers find that very comforting and reassuring.”