Upstart cloud services provider NextCloud is taking a unique approach to the traditional notion that the cloud makes IT broader and more global: It is giving cloud a local spin.
“We set about building the concept of the regional cloud,” said Jonathan Reeves, chairman of NextCloud, who co-founded the company with CTO Gary Lamp less than a year ago. “We’re creating the kind of low-latency, high-bandwidth environment and services that really allow enterprises to move their mission-critical operations into the cloud.
The first region to be addressed by NextCloud is Sacramento, the company’s home base. As part of that effort, NextCloud has struck an agreement with data center operator and co-location provider Herakles to offer its services out of Herakles’ Sacramento facility. The decision, which represents the first of NextCloud’s regional partnerships, was based on proximity to fiber as well as business and government prospects in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Areas, Reeves said.
“From there we can serve a good deal of the California and northwest region,” he said. “Herakles is a well-established, top-tier data center that has been operating for more than 10 years without an outage.”
NextCloud plans to expand from there, he said, forging similar partnerships with data center operators in other parts of the country and targeting mid-sized enterprise customers. “Most of what we’re seeing is medium-sized enterprises—customers that maybe have 15 to 30 servers,” Reeves said. “We’re dealing with the upper tier of the small business segment.”
That category of customers needs the kind of local support that other providers don’t offer, Reeves said.
“A lot of cloud providers essentially leave the issue of migration to the cloud up to the enterprises,” he said. “Our view is that most businesses know they should be doing something with the cloud but don’t know how to get there from here. If you’re an IT manager, you want to have a consultative relationship.”
Among the services offered by NextCloud are its NextRack virtual private data center, NextStore storage-as-a-service platform, NextCloud PC virtual desktop-as-a-service and NextCloud DR, a disaster recovery service provided from the cloud.
NextCloud’s notion of geographic proximity also addresses latency issues, Reeves said. “Part of what we’re offering is relationships with service providers for dedicated high-speed bandwidth—we use lots of metro Ethernet technology,” he said. “With that kind of connectivity, you can move workloads from your own data center onto the cloud.”