One of Sherweb’s most anticipated product updates of 2020 is here! Performance Cloud powered by VMware is now available for Sherweb partners to use and resell. With significant improvements over Performance Cloud Hyper-V—Sherweb’s first iteration of its cloud server offering—Performance Cloud powered by VMware reflects a better approach to deploying and managing virtual machines by addressing demand for increased cost-to-performance value, an easier user experience and simple packaging and pricing.
Broadly speaking, Performance Cloud powered by VMware is perfect for organizations looking for cost predictability and higher levels of availability than what’s typically offered with most major public clouds. Reliability is assured with a 99.999% financially backed uptime guarantee, and customers get to experience a simplified, self-serve user interface with VMware Cloud Director to easily manage VMs and cloud infrastructure.
Key features for Performance Cloud powered by VMware
- Flat rate plans for a flexible pool of resources
- Increased security with integrated VM backups
- Server virtualization with VMware technology
- VM management and self-service deployment with VMware Cloud Director
- Fast NVMe disks for peak performance
Hear from the experts: Q&A with Mike Slater, Director, Corporate Sales and Erik Beauchamp, Product Director, IaaS
Sherweb’s cloud expertise is one of the primary ways we provide value to our partners. For the full scope of features and benefits of Performance Cloud powered by VMware, here are some key insights from our resident experts.
Why cloud services or servers in general—why has Sherweb made such an investment in Performance Cloud powered by VMware?
Mike: It really answers a larger question about the shape of the industry and the way things are going. Generally speaking, every technology has different evolutionary paths. We could look at it using the entertainment industry as an example—somebody had to think about putting the radio on the internet. It led to great success, as now we have things like Spotify and YouTube Music; value has been added to the fundamental concept.
The IT industry is similar. Originally, it was: ‘Well what’s a really easy thing you don’t necessarily have to have inside your server rack that you can have in the cloud?’ The answer was productivity and email. But now we’re putting other things in the cloud, entire infrastructures for example. That’s the movement of the times. This has obviously been exacerbated by COVID, and that’s why Sherweb has invested so much into this next wave of technology.
With IaaS you can do pretty much anything you want, and Performance Cloud is a great example of IaaS at its best. You have the ability to host applications, develop in the cloud and truly have a full cloud experience with all of the redundancy and cost savings, but not the upkeep and maintenance that’s usually required. It’s the way of the future and the way that things are going to go.
Erik: Back in 2013 when Sherweb made its first investment in Performance Cloud, the goal was to have something really simple for SMBs. Fast forward to today, the question was asked at the executive level: why reinvest now? The answer remains the name: the need for simplicity in a cloud offering is still there. The approach we took with Performance Cloud powered by VMware—with fixed-price offers—is pushing things to the next level.
Because VMware is a major player in the industry in terms of what IT partners are familiar with, moving the Performance Cloud ecosystem to VMware was also a strategic decision.
What makes Performance Cloud a competitive option for cloud servers?
Mike: Number one is that Sherweb built Performance Cloud as a channel-first offering. There’s a lot of products Sherweb offers that weren’t necessarily built with the channel in mind; Hosted Exchange, web hosting, these are things that were adapted to fit a business model.
What makes Performance Cloud interesting is that it was adapted to be channel first. We have an entire partner program built already that takes into account factors like discounting, support, education, technical enablement, how to sell the solution, how to service it and how to make it work in the cloud. We offer a lot of partner resources because that’s the way our business model works.
Microsoft might also be a partner organization, but Amazon 100% is not. Amazon is a direct-to-market IaaS consumption service cloud, which is great, but it’s not set up to work with MSPs and technology providers. The focus isn’t channel or SMBs, it’s a very different market than what we do. So that’s what makes Performance Cloud a great option for people, especially for MSPs.
Another factor is price. Obviously, when it comes to Performance Cloud its very cost-effective especially compared to other incumbents in the area. You’re going to pay a lot less for very similar resources—if not better in certain cases, depending on what you’re buying—than what you would get from AWS or Azure. Your buck will go a lot further, especially for workloads that don’t require complex, third-party applications.
Erik: For Sherweb partners, the resell margin with Performance Cloud can be up to 20%, compared to margins that are trending down for other cloud solutions. On top of this, we offer commitments that stretch margins even further.
What’s so special about VMware?
Mike: When most people think virtualization, they think VMware. For Performance Cloud it just made sense because we can go beyond just HyperV. Performance Cloud is now applicable to almost everybody that needs some kind of cloud service solution. We can now set you up, ship everything over and you can take advantage of all the options of which there are many!
Not only are we distributing the most widely accepted virtualization product, it’s also being backed up by all of Sherweb’s pillars with regards to our partner program and the resources we provide.
Erik: Lots of Sherweb partners are managing on-prem servers using VMware, they’re familiar with it, but with Performance Cloud we’re giving our partners the highest-quality, fastest version of VMware. VM has a lot of flavours. If you’re a small partner managing 40 servers on-prem, you have a certain version of VMware that’s good, but the one we offer, because of our footprint is much better: VMware Cloud Director. It’s super expensive, small partners wouldn’t be able to afford it, but we’re giving them access on top of them already being familiar with the technology stack.
Also, because VMware is such a quickly-evolving platform, Performance Cloud powered by VMware will deliver more regular updates and new features for partners compared with the previous version of Performance Cloud.
Why should customers choose Performance Cloud over competing solutions?
Mike: QuickBooks is a fantastic example. Small scale, SMB solutions that you already have for your existing clients are other examples; there’s really a gazillion things you can run in Performance Cloud. That’s the idea of it being a platform—you’re not buying a car, you’re buying a car factory. You can make whatever you want within reason, as long as it’s a car.
Use cases are almost infinite. As long as you don’t have any specific compliance requirements, the imagination is the limit.
Cost control is another differentiator for Performance Cloud—you know exactly how much you’re going to paying, it won’t vary. Whereas with Azure and AWS, prices fluctuate up and down (mostly up), which you then have to explain to your customers, and then mark up your own prices. Or you absorb the hit as an MSP.
Sherweb’s Performance Cloud also gives customers direct communication with the engineers managing the datacenter and solution, where with other solutions, you’ll often go through a longer chain of tickets. This makes a difference for support.
What makes Performance Cloud a profitable solution for independent software vendors (ISVs) and other cloud providers?
Mike: Independent software vendors (ISVs) are always going to have a fixed cost related to the applications their hosting in the cloud. So why not optimize that cost?
Another point for ISVs and other resellers is access to support from Sherweb directly. You don’t have to go through a support que to get a hold of somebody. Partners can take advantage of Sherweb NOC services to provide the white-glove service you expect.
Sherweb is also working on having its marketplace set up within our partner portal. Partners will be able to build their infrastructure or application using Performance Cloud and apply to have it added to Sherweb’s marketplace with access to other partners that can potentially sell your product to their customers.
Performance Cloud offers a lot of value for partners. We’re going to help you save money, potentially make money and give you a way to build your business.
Erik: If you’re just starting out as an ISV, you can begin with our standard public cloud offers for Performance Cloud. But as you grow and have more specific needs, you can transition to a private cloud and get a more tailored setup. With that said, Performance Cloud is applicable to ISVs of any size.
Is Performance Cloud secure?
Erik: Yes! Sherweb is certified for SOC2 Type II, ISO27001 and PCI. For Performance Cloud powered by VMware however, certification is in process, but will be complete in February 2021.
What kinds of workloads can Performance Cloud run?
Mike: There are no built-in AI plugins for Performance Cloud, so if that’s what you need, Azure would be better suited to your needs. Or if you have very specific requirements—a datacenter in Australia, for example—Performance Cloud might not be a fit for you. But if you have something that’s very product-cost-effective that you want to be able to sell to your channel partners, Performance Cloud is the best way to load up someone’s QuickBooks, someone’s custom ERP, someone’s design software, or to put applications in the cloud in a very safe, cost-effective manner where the MSP feels supported and it won’t cost them an arm and a leg to do so.
Erik: A typical scenario is when we run ERPs that are very demanding in terms of performance and specific latency. Many ISVs offer an ERP through us, and some integrators also suggest running ERPs on our infrastructure because of the benchmarks they’ve seen.
With the shift to work-from-home, typical RDS environments are also common, as well as file servers and accounting systems.
Mike: People also use Performance Cloud for SQL databases, especially for security purposes.
Erik: All typical SMB workloads can run on Performance Cloud powered by VMware.
Where are datacenters for Performance Cloud located?
Erik: Montreal in Canada, and Ashburn in the US. We’re also currently working on another in Quebec City and in Charlotte, North Carolina.
What gives Performance Cloud a higher performance-to-cost ratio versus competitors?
Erik: One of the things that makes a big difference in the performance is storage. With all major public cloud solutions, you can buy really cheap storage that will be really slow, or you can buy high-end storage, but that comes with a high-performance virtual machine with very expensive CPU, RAM and such.
That’s not the case with Performance Cloud powered by VMware. You can have a small VM, and you’ll still benefit from Premium SSD storage based on Pure Storage NVMe disks.
Can Sherweb partners offer other Sherweb services such as NOC Services and/or Managed Cloud using Performance Cloud?
Mike: Of course!
Will existing Performance Cloud (Hyper-V) customers be migrated to Performance Cloud powered by VMware?
Erik: Yes, and we will be communicating a more detailed migration roadmap later in 2021. When it fits our partners’ timing, migration to Performance Cloud powered by VMware from Performance Cloud Hyper-V with be smooth and as automated as possible, with limited cut-over time. Our partners are in good hands, and should be excited about this launch!
Partners can start reselling Performance Cloud powered by VMware now.
What’s Sherweb’s vision for the future of Performance Cloud?
Erik: Our vision within the next five years is to continue pushing forward in this space. With this launch of Performance Cloud powered by VMware, we’re setting the foundation for Sherweb’s future growth in the cloud market.
In the shorter term, we can say that hybrid and multi-cloud solutions—including an extension of VMware on-prem datacenters to cloud severs—as well as Kubernetes containerization are additional capabilities that will be coming to Performance Cloud in the future.
The ability to extend workloads using VMware to create hybrid infrastructure environments is another feature we plan to rollout in the near future.
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