Expert opinion

The most mature cloud service providers in Russia. TAdviser research

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34 minutes

According to TAdviser, demand for cloud services in Russia is steadily growing by more than 25% YOY, with IaaS segment enjoying even greater growth rate exceeding 35-40%. Given the still-existing capacity surplus, commercial data centers have to compete on fault-tolerance, security, and manageability.

In our journey to the digital economy, the cloud has already become a prerequisite for a transformed infrastructure. In digital business models, key success factor is agility to changes, which only cloud resources can provide, along with required flexibility and scalability. According to Linxdatacenter, their businesses customers strive to gain all strategic advantages of cloud solutions, such as ceasing to use multivendor systems, including legacy equipment; centralized management of information resources; easy and fast scaling, and efficient development and testing environment.

“The market demonstrates sustained interest in public clouds used to back up failed onsite hardware or private cloud,” notes Andrey Zakharov, director for products and innovations, Linxdatacenter, “Of critical importance here is the leading role of IaaS, since vast majority of customers use these services in pursuit of better fault- and disaster-tolerance. Thus, almost 50% of customers use public clouds to offload main systems in peak periods. In line with this trend, services for connection to Google, Azure, IBM Cloud, AWS and other global cloud providers are also more and more demanded.”

According to Anton Nagov, Head of Business Development Practice of Cloud Technology Department at Softline, many large global vendors now offer software subscriptions, thus developing new IT consumption habits since customers do not purchase 'spare' licenses anymore.

The key cloud migration driver is cost-effectiveness, i.e. a way to save money by adopting a service model. When it comes to cloud service consumption profile, demand for IaaS in Russia continues to grow. The IaaS model allows major companies to scale resources and move from CAPEX to OPEX. When using a cloud, a customer obtains an easy to deploy, manageable, and well-protected service without purchasing expensive computing hardware.

“Moving from CAPEX to OPEX is one but not the only reason for going cloud. Cloud service users also enjoy fast project start (up to 10 minutes after a request, in our case) along with the availability of high-performance computational resources and a backup site, that is enterprise class solutions, which are now available to even small businesses,” tells Maxim Berezin, Business Development Director, CROC Cloud Services.


Selection criteria

When selecting a cloud service provider, Russian customers often compare technical specifications of sites where a cloud is deployed, including the number of available carriers, fast network connections, etc. In general, Softline distinguishes two main cloud service classes.

“The first class includes the cheapest proposals where fault tolerance is sacrificed in favor of cost,” believes Anton Nagov, “They use cheaper equipment not covered by vendor support, they have not-so-skilled people on staff, and their solutions lack functionality and stability. The second class includes providers focusing on service quality and using proven solutions to ensure sustained infrastructure operation. All equipment is covered by service maintenance, and redundancy is provided. A cloud is supported by a team of engineers, who regularly upgrade their skills.” “In addition to underlying infrastructure, skilled staff is necessary for uninterrupted operation,” confirms Andrey Zakharov, “Ideally, business process continuity requires a single window principle. Modern cloud solutions address most of business continuity tasks, such as data and app backup and recovery, corporate IT system management, incident monitoring, and IT risk assessment.”

Mature manageability

Manageability allows customer to promptly adjust scope and volume of cloud service consumption thus maximizing return on investments. One of the key virtual infrastructure benefits is that it can be managed directly by a customer who can scale configuration up or down in a few click, without provider's assistance. Today, cloud management automation is getting more and more demanded both in Russia and globally.

“Most customers really manage their infrastructures themselves, using well-known automation tools available from cloud, including Terraform, which is the most popular utility. There are also companies seeking help in virtual environment deployment. We either advise such customers on VM creation and configuration change or perform full scope of work for them. These are managed services,” adds Maxim Berezin.

In addition to cloud service usability requirements, Russian customers need more and more reliability, fault-tolerance, and security. Large businesses and public bodies need compliance with SLA and guaranteed service continuity. “Being an integral part of our service agreements with customers, SLA protects them by setting both cloud service parameters and provider's penalties for long unavailability,” explains Maxim Berezin, “In the heaviest cases, we reimburse 100% of monthly cost of managed services.”

For a customer, provider's maturity and reliability are primarily confirmed by certificates of compliance with Federal Laws 152-FZ and 242-FZ that govern personal data storage and processing. In addition, information security maturity is confirmed by ISO27001 certificate.

Methodology used to rate Top 10 cloud providers

When preparing the rating, TAdviser evaluated data center manageability, security, and service availability, while considering business priorities. The providers were compared by the extent of automation, service reliability, performance, and security.

SLA options, facility certificates, automated management, performance boosting capabilities, employed technological solutions, etc. were evaluated.

A total score was derived upon evaluation of each parameter based on data furnished by providers themselves.

Company

Total score

CROC Cloud Services

19.6

Selectel

18.7

Softline

16.7

Stack Group

15.4

Linxdatacenter

13.7

Cloud4Y

12.2

IT-Grad

12

Rostelecom (National Cloud Platform)

11.8

DataLine

11.4

Rostelekom (SF Cloud)

11.3


Maturity comparison of cloud service offerings

Company

DataLine

IT-Grad

CROC Cloud Services

Masterhost

Rostelecom SF Cloud

Rostelecom National Cloud Platform

Softline

Stack Group

Cloud4Y

Linxdatacenter

Selectel

SBCloud

Corp Soft24

Oncloud

Availability of API

1

1

1

 

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1**

1**

1**

Compatibility with AWS API

   

1

       

0.7

1

0.5

1

1**

   

Automation tools

Puppet

   

1

1

1

1

1

0.5**

   

1

     

Vagrant

   

1

 

1

1

1

0.5**

           

AWS CLI

   

1

       

0.5**

           

Ansible

 

1

1

     

1

0.5**

   

1

1**

   

Terraform

 

1

1

     

1

0.5**

1*

 

1

 

1**

 

Other tools

     

1

     

1***

 

1

 

1**

   

SLA level

<99.9

                           

99.9<SLA<99.95

 

0.5

0.5

     

0.5

             

99.95<SLA<99.982

0.7

   

0.7

0.7

0.7

 

0.7

0.7

0.7**

 

0.7**

0.7**

 

>99.982

                   

1

   

1**

SLA options

VM kernel performance

1

 

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1**

1**

0.4**

Performance Data Storage System/IOPS

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1**

1**

0.4**

Average network latency

   

1

1

1

1

1

1

 

1

1

 

1**

 

Packet loss rate

   

1

1

   

1

1

1

1

1

 

1**

 

Compliance with Federal Law 152-FZ

Certified

1

1

0.7

   

1

1

1

1

     

1**

1**

Yes, but not certified

     

0.5

0.5

       

0.5

0.5

0.5**

   

Availability of data center certificates

1

1

1

     

1

1

1

1

1

 

1**

 

Own information security service

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1**

1**

1**

Availability of protected channels

1

1

1

 

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1**

1**

1**

Reporting on used resources

Per-month billing

 

0.5

 

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

   

0.5

0.5**

 

0.5**

Per-hour billing

   

0.7

         

0.7

0.7

0.7

 

0.7**

0.7**

Per-second billing

             

1

           

The number of carriers present at a data center

<4

       

0.3

0.3

               

5 - 8

 

0.5

                       

9 - 12

                           

>12

1

 

1

     

1

1

1*

1**

1

1**

1**

1**

Connectivity between data center sites

0.7

0.5

0.7

 

0.3

0.3

0.7

0.5

1****

0.5

1

0.3**

0.7**

0.5**

Support of fast network (>10 Gbps) connection

1

1

1

 

1

1

1

1

1*

1

1

1**

1**

1**

Support of performance changing on the fly

1

1

1

       

1

1

1

1

1**

1**

1**

Total score

11.4

12

19.6

8.7

11.3

11.8

16.7

18.9*

15.4*

14.9*

18.7

13**

15.1**

10.5**


Source: TAdviser, 2018

* - Score was changed to reflect the amended data.

** - Data was provided after the report publishing.

*** - AutoMate, a proprietary in-house solution. Data was provided after the report publishing.

**** - Throughput of channels between Cloud4Y data centers exceeds 80 Gbps. ** - Updated data was provided after the report publishing.

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