GoDaddy just announced the limited release of their new Cloud offering dubbed "Data Center on Demand." Built on Cloud.com's platform, the offering is medium to large businesses, start-ups and even web developers. The Virtual Private Data Center (VPDC) movement has started to gain steam lately and companies such as Cloud.com and 3Tera/CA have solid product offerings which allow MSPs to deliver a broad catalog of services to their clients. While GoDaddy has been in the hosting industry for a long time with shared hosting, virtual dedicated servers and even dedicated servers, this is GoDaddy's first true foray into the Cloud market.
It is important to note that GoDaddy did not choose to enter the market with the traditional IaaS or PaaS offering. They chose to take that up a notch and offer a user friendly VPDC offering which makes application and service deployment much easier to deploy and manage. Offering this level of automation lowers the bar slightly in terms of the technical expertise needed to manage the virtual infrastructure. While the offering will not launch with control panels installed, this feature will be added in at a later time. This offering will round out what is an otherwise complete hosting portfolio that GoDaddy offers to their clients.
In the VPDC, a customer can easily add, scale or remove servers as needed, sometimes as easily as via a drag-and-drop interface. AppLogic from CA is a major player in this area, allowing users to drag-and-drop virtual server appliances, virtual networking appliances and even virtual storage appliances on to a 'grid'. Users can then connect all of these virtual components to each other a la Visio and the platform ensures there are no mistakes while auto-provisioning everything on-the-fly. It is amazing to see how far the Cloud platform has come from the 'ancient' days of individually provisioned and manages IaaS images.
The GoDaddy Data Center On Demand offering differs from most other competitors' cloud offerings in terms of billing. Rather than a strictly utility billing method, GoDaddy has elected to use a recurring fee tier based billing method similar to GoDaddy's other hosting product offerings. It will be interesting to see how customers react to this change in the billing norm for the industry. Prices start at $49.99 per month for a single server instance and go up to $279.99 per month for a 6 server instance. All plans include 100GB of bandwidth per month and include a firewall and load balancer. Additional resources for your Data Center On Demand are available a la carte.
The initial operating systems supported appear to be CentOS, Ubuntu and Fedora. GoDaddy also backs their new Cloud offering with 99.9% uptime. I expect this to be a successful product offering for GoDaddy as they have made a name in simplifying all aspects of getting businesses on to the web from domain names to hosting. Using the Cloud.com offering to build on was an excellent decision that should provide much reliability, scalability and simplicity for new customer seeking to enter the Cloud.