CFD2 Prep: Accelerite

Accelerite Logo

This is part of my Cloud Field Day 2 series.

Accelerite makes software to “simplify and secure enterprise infrastructure” which is suitably broad that it could mean just about anything.

They sell a bunch of products including CloudPlatform, which is based on Apache CloudStack, and this appears to be the core of what Accelerite do: Apache CloudStack, only you don’t have to install and manage it yourself. This is a well-worn path for companies based on open-source technologies: add all the enterprise-y bits that are boring and hard (like nice UIs and helpdesk, RBAC, auditing, etc.) that non-enterprises don’t value enough to pay for.

The challenge is how you base a company on core IP that isn’t under your control in a sustainable fashion. If the core moves in a different direction to the one your customers like, you end up with your own fork that you have to maintain, and you lose a lot of the cost advantages of basing yourself on open-source code you don’t pay to develop. There’s also the moral issues of using other people’s hard work without contributing much back in return, which many open-source projects suffer from.

On the other end, there’s the risk that if you’re too controlling, competitors abandon the underlying projects because it’s against their own commercial interests and you have no market any more, or all the endless bickering with the committees to advance things slows down new features and bugfixes until someone else builds what your customers actually want and you go out of business.

Fun, innit?

Rovius

Accelerite also have a thing called Rovius, which is “enterprise hybrid cloud” apparently. This sounds like CloudPlatform, only as a service managed by Accelerite, so think CloudPlatform only you don’t have to do any of the work yourself, you just pay someone else to manage all the infrastructure. It’s a lot like an outsource deal to the system-integrators (Your Mess For Less!) only with gear that looks more like public cloud from the outside, it just happens to live in your datacentre/colo.

This approach emphasises the operational expense (OpEx) angle over the “private cloud” angle of CloudPlatform, so it’ll appeal to those who want public cloud but don’t trust the public nature of it. Depending on how the contracts are drawn up, it might well be cheaper, too, because you’re making a longer term commitment than paying spot prices for AMIs you leave on all the time.

You’d want to do a careful model of both the functions available, the fit with your business (particularly the developers), and the overall costs you’re likely to incur. Making a decision to put in one of these things is far from simple.

Rovius appears to be a similar product to what Platform9 offer (who I’ve covered multiple times before) including the support for Kubernetes and containers, and I’m curious about the hybrid part of the offering. What exactly do they mean by hybrid and how does it work? The physical network side of things is often glossed over when talking about these cloudy systems, but it’s one of the more important aspects, particularly when you’re talking about multiple physical locations.

Accelerite also sell a bunch of endpoint security software and IoT things, so it’ll be interesting to see what they focus on for CFD2.

Demerits

Accelerite gets docked points for using “on-premise”[sic] everywhere on their website including the video voiceover for Rovio. Boo!

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: CFD2 Prep: Accelerite - Tech Field Day

  2. Aye Aye captain. Thanks for pointing out ‘on-premise’. We will have it fixed. Love your post. It gives us the input we need to address how we introduce Rovius. We have some work to do on communication and website copy. Building great products and keeping customers happy is not enough, to grow we need to articulate what our products do better and the enterprise problems we want to solve using them.

    Now that you got to spend sometime with us, hope you understand Rovius better than before. Rovius, addresses the enterprise need for an easy to use, manage and scale hybrid cloud using a proven technology stack in use by over 200 customers to run clouds that span tens of zones and thousands of hosts.

  3. A much better understanding now, yes. Thanks for hosting us, Rajesh!

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