Armed with new CEO, Joyent rolls out a private cloud

Joyent hires Cisco exec as CEO, jumps into the hybrid cloud market

Last week was a big one for IaaS cloud provider Joyent - not only did the company pivot to offer a private cloud management software (previously it only offered public cloud services) but it also has cherry-picked a Cisco cloud executive to be the company’s new CEO.

Joyent, a rather small niche provider of services - according to an assessment by research firm Gartner - is looking to stay relevant in a market dominated by mega-vendors like Amazon, Google and Microsoft. In an effort to differentiate itself, the company now offers a private cloud compliment to its established public cloud, giving customers an opportunity to create an all-Joyent hybrid cloud.

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The company last week released Smart Data Center 7, a cloud management platform that for the first time customers can use to spin up a private cloud. Company CTO Bryan Cantrill says in designing the software for cloud management, Joyent wanted to make it easy and speedy to install and spin up; have native ability to add resources quickly; and be able to scale up to massive sizes.

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“This offering really reflects the wisdom of operating our public cloud,” Cantrill says. Other vendors who sell private cloud management platforms, such as VMware or OpenStack-based cloud vendors, have not run a public cloud for years. Cantrill says he’s learned important lessons by doing that for Joyent that have been applied in its private cloud platform. “These are architectural decisions you can only get the hard way,” he says, and that’s by running software at a massive scale.  

Joyent is hoping the hybrid cloud message will resonate with its existing public cloud customers, as well as any new customers who may be looking to hosted next-generation web 2.0, big data and mobile applications on a private cloud platform, and have the ability to migrate that into a public cloud of the same platform. Joyent is also the premiere cloud provider for the Node.js community. Pricing for the platform will be available in the coming weeks, but it’s based on a per-server subscription or perpetual license.

To help the company’s new hybrid cloud push, Joyent has hired a new CEO, poaching him from Cisco. Scott Hammond formerly headed up business strategy and development for Cisco’s cloud efforts. Before that, his startups newScale had been acquired by Cisco in 2011.

Joyent, which is now more than 10 years old, is considered a technologically skilled vendor, but hasn’t quite jumped into the category of one of the mega-vendors of this market according to research firm Gartner.

 If there’s one thing that Joyent has, it’s solid technology. Gartner says that Joyent is “exceptionally innovative” and has been purpose-built to be a cloud computing provider. The company was one of the first public cloud companies to fully embrace the idea of containers in IaaS. Last year the company rolled out a new platform offering named Manta, which effectively combines compute and storage capabilities, an ideal architecture for running massive batch workloads with low latency and high input/output. Read more about that offering here.

After its founder and former CTO Jason Hoffman left the company, Joyent is pivoting into the private and hybrid cloud market, and investing in a new leadership team to take them there.

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Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.