What if you want a private cloud, without the challenge of deploying it independently or the uncertainty of fluctuating costs? VARs are increasingly responding to demand for this type of solution. Here's a look at one such offering from SingleHop, which recently unveiled a private cloud platform based on VMware's (NYSE: VMW) vSphere Enterprise Plus.

Founded in 2006, SingleHop provides hosting and other infrastructure-as-a-service (Iaas) solutions. It has placed a strong emphasis on cloud hosting in recent years—a strategy that is apparently (and predictably) paying off. In 2011 Inc. included SingleHop near the top of its list of the 500 fastest-growing companies in the United States, and the company counts customers in 114 countries.

SingleHop, which maintains an extensive partner program, recently enhanced its engagement with the rest of the channel a bit more with the announcement of a private cloud product for enterprises based on vSphere Enterprise Plus. The solution features:

  • Custom design and construction by SingleHop engineers.
  • Autoscaling, automatic failover and live migration of virtual environments.
  • Support for both Linux and Windows workloads.
  • Unlimited numbers of virtual-machine deployments within the private cloud.

VMware's vFabric Suite provides management access for controlling these features.

SingleHop is promoting the cost-efficiency of its solution as a major advantage. According to CEO Andy Pace, "Our VMware Enterprise Private Cloud stands out in the market because it enables users to deploy any number of virtual machines with no fluctuation in costs, as there is no hourly billing or per-user fee."

The same holds true, of course, for in-house private cloud deployments, which organizations can build independently based on VMware products or a variety of other platforms—such as OpenStack in conjunction with KVM or other open source hypervisors.

But solutions from VARs such as SingleHop combine engineering expertise for the cloud that enterprises may not have natively with the levels of flexibility and security that often are key motivators for choosing private cloud platforms over public ones in the first place. Solutions such as this one may be what it takes for many organizations to build private clouds in instances where otherwise they could not justify the cost or technical investment. And that, in turn, will help drive the growth of private cloud computing more generally, serving as a reminder that there's more to the channel than the public cloud.