Australian SMB cloud service set to take on resellers

New Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering to give Australians a local option

Macquarie Telecom subsidiary, Ninefold, has launched its SMB-focused infrastructure as a service solution and will be hunting for resellers and partners within the next six months.

Ninefold managing director, Peter James, said his service was aimed and small to medium businesses in need of cloud-based servers. Research into developing a reseller channel for integrators and referrals will take around six months, after which an affiliate program will be developed. However, only a small number of wholesalers will be allowed in if that revenue stream is developed.

Customers will select the operating system, memory, data storage level and processor speed of servers to be hosted at the Macquarie Telecom’s Sydney-based tier 1 datacentre.

Customers then pay 18.2 cents per GB/month and transferring data is 90 cents per GB/month in either direction, but for a limited time uploading content to the server will not cost money. Billing is calculated in five second intervals and the smallest server size is 12.3 cents per hour.

The cheapest offering is a small Ubuntu virtual machine that can be run for $90 a month. This would have a 1.2GHz processor with 1.7GB of RAM – vendor names are not being released.

“We’re offering Australian and that means low latency,” James said. “Tests we’ve done in the last few hours show against the global players we are 750 to 900 per cent quicker.

“It’s not just a matter of nationalism, it’s a matter of latency and knowing where your data is.”

Another issue addressed by Ninefold is the use of local staff to improve communications between the provider and the customers. James said phone, email and twitter systems would be in place to provide faster feedback and support.

“Based on our researcher, [our customers] will be developers, digital agencies, startups and online entrepreneurs,” Ninefold developer advocate, Lachlan Hardy, said. “Because we’re IaaS, it’s likely that some agencies and developers will create products on top of us for everyday users.

“Everybody loves services like Dropbox, but imagine how much better it would be if it was hosted here instead of the US.”