Catalyst Cloud creates partner hub, responds to Azure and AWS announcements

Catalyst Cloud creates partner hub, responds to Azure and AWS announcements

Catalyst Cloud outlines its unique selling points as both Microsoft and AWS ramp up in New Zealand

Igor Portugal (Catalyst Cloud)

Igor Portugal (Catalyst Cloud)

Credit: Catalyst Cloud

Catalyst Cloud has launched a free solutions hub to help partners and customers promote their cloud solutions to New Zealand businesses. 

Accessed within the Catalyst Cloud website alongside its own services, each solution has a dedicated web page outlining what it is and its benefits, with a link directly to the solution provider’s website.

Chief growth officer Igor Portugal said the portal curated an "outstanding" group of solutions providers and partners to make it easy for businesses to find local cloud solutions.

“We see our customers and partners’ success as being very much linked to our own," Portugal said. "Giving our customers and partners’ solutions equal footing with ours on the Catalyst Cloud website is a meaningful way we can actively help our customers and partners be successful."

Launching with more than twenty solutions, Catalyst Cloud expected the number of solution listings to grow rapidly. 

ICT security, compliance and risk company Thinking was one of the first partners to join on hub. Founder and cyber security engineer, John King, said he was excited to be part of this new initiative, and appreciated the opportunity to help promote Thinking's bespoke cloud security solutions.

Catalyst Cloud, which is powered by OpenStack and offers Kubernetes container orchestration and Ceph and Swift storage, has been delivering cloud computing services since 2014 and became an independent company within the Catalyst IT group in 2017.

New Zealand's cloud landscape has been changing rapidly, with both Microsoft and Amazon providing new options for local cloud instances and hybrid architectures.

However, Portugal said Catalyst's offering remained powerful and different.

While AWS Outposts, which was launched in New Zealand last week, competed with Catalyst’s private cloud offering, Catalyst Cloud’s managed private cloud brought a full public cloud service catalogue to customers’ premises (including object storage and CNCF certified Kubernetes). 

"These private cloud regions are self-sufficient and will continue to operate if connectivity to the public cloud is interrupted," Portugal added.

Catalyst Cloud provided two private cloud options to customers, the preferred one bringing the same hardware and software used for its public cloud to customers’ datacentres. 

The second option enabled customers to leverage their existing investment in compatible hardware to bring the ‘cloud way of working’ to their datacentres.

Portugal said AWS Outposts didn't really address the needs of most New Zealand cloud users.

The lack of S3 object storage on launch, for instance, was a substantial gap that restricted the system's use cases, he said.

Many of the services that attract people to AWS, like Lambda, SQS, DynamoDB, were also not available yet.

Outposts are connected to the nearest AWS region to provide the same management and control plane services on premises for a consistent operational experience across on-premises and cloud environments.

The reliance Outposts had on a public cloud region, with the nearest being in Sydney, and on public network connectivity was a major downside and not just in terms of network latency, Portugal said.

"Enterprises investing in private cloud computing often have disaster recovery or business continuity as business drivers," he said. "Not being able to launch new compute instances or restore a database backup in your private cloud when a public cloud region is inaccessible is a key limitation."

Portugal said Catalyst Cloud welcomed the arrival of a Microsoft Azure cloud region in New Zealand, recognising the importance of keeping data onshore. 

"Their recent announcement vindicates Catalyst Cloud’s investment early in 2016 to provide three cloud data centre regions in Aotearoa, back when the Productivity Commission still doubted NZ’s cloud business viability," he said.

"We invested in providing three data centre regions because we knew New Zealand needed its own cloud native infrastructure."

However, as an overseas-based company, Microsoft still faced challenges such as the USA’s Cloud Act. 

"This can be used to force USA headquartered companies to hand over data to the American government, against their wishes, no matter where it is held," Portugal said.

According to the Law Enforcement Request Report provided by Microsoft, in 2019 there were 30 Cloud Act requests for the data of 50 New Zealand based users or accounts.

Catalyst Cloud’s client data was fully protected by New Zealand data and privacy laws.

More local options will also help New Zealand companies benefit from the global trend for multi-cloud, Portugal said. 

Many Catalyst Cloud clients were already pursuing multi-cloud strategies, choosing Catalyst Cloud alongside other public cloud providers to provide businesses and government agencies with local, multi-region public cloud and fully-featured, independent, private cloud services. 

Catalyst Cloud's datacentres were also only powered by renewable generation companies, something much harder to achieve in Australia and elsewhere.

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