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Unisys: A Clear Vision for Cloud Computing
What struck me was the coherence and clarity of their cloud computing vision as compared to HP or IBM
By: John Treadway
Jul. 13, 2009 11:45 PM
Following Unisys’ recent announcement regarding their cloud computing strategy (Unisys Moves to Break Through Barriers to Adoption of Cloud Computing) I had the opportunity to speak with Rich Marcello, president of Unisys Systems & Technology, and Sam Gross, VP of Unisys Global IT Outsourcing Solutions. What struck me was the coherence and clarity of their cloud computing vision as compared to HP or IBM.
Unisys’ strategy bridges public, private and hybrid cloud models, and includes well-differentiated infrastructure, platform and software as a service offerings (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS). Further, they wrap this all in a set of comprehensive service offerings that they can deliver globally. It’s a big vision, and if they can pull it off it should make them one of the more interesting providers out there. One of their key differentiators is Unisys Stealth (described below).
The Big Picture
As you see here, Unisys is providing a pretty comprehensive vision.
XaaS – X as a Service
To my knowledge, Unisys is the first to publicly support having a complete set of offerings for XaaS. Amazon is really IaaS, and Google is more of a PaaS play. Salesforce is a combined PaaS/SaaS offering (PaaS for force.com and SaaS for their SFA/CRM applications). Even within these offerings, Unisys has some interesting differentiation.
Unisys claims to have an 800-person services organization that can provide a complete range of assessment, advisory and implementation services to their customers. This is in contrast to what they termed “do-it-yourself” clouds from the other guys.
Unisys Stealth – A Secret Weapon
As has been reported in many quarters, security is the #1 deterrent to more enterprise cloud adoption. While Unisys uses standard enterprise-grade security technologies you’d expect to find in a large IT shop, they also have a unique solution called Unisys Stealth (link goes to a paper describing Stealth that is specifically targeting the Defense industry). Announced last November, Stealth is a network appliance that makes data and even hardware (desktops and servers) invisible to network sniffers and other similar technologies.
Stealth works at the link layer (layer 2) of the TCP/IP stack, which means that every packet on the network is cloaked unless you have the right key.
So now you can run any application in the cloud and only authorized users (controlled by your network administrators) can access the information. Stealth even applies to your storage infrastructure — your SAN becomes invisible and therefore inaccessible to hackers. All of this is accomplished without any changes to your application. You add the appliance to your network, Unisys deploys it in the cloud, and voila – instant cloaking.
Unisys has articulated a comprehensive and cohesive cloud computing vision, while simultaneously addressing security in a new and very powerful way. If they deliver all that they are claiming, Unisys should be well-positioned for success in the great cloud migration.
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