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Thursday, 20 October 2011 20:28

Fujitsu offers two months' free cloud

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Independent software vendors and small and medium enterprises are being offered a two month free trial of Fujitsu's Australian based cloud computing platforms as the company attempts to gee up interest outside the enterprise sector.

It's 18 months since Fujitsu unveiled its cloud computing roadmap, and in the intervening time it's launched infrastructure as a service, software as a service and platform as a service offerings. In February this year Fujitsu was named as the second most trusted provider of enterprise grade cloud services in Australia by analyst Longhaus.

But it is now attempting to seed demand outside of the enterprise and government sectors where it has enjoyed some early success.

In a media release Craig Baty, Fujitsu executive general manager and chief technology officer, said; 'We have introduced this trial offer as an added incentive that will appeal to smaller organisations such as ISVs and SMEs to drive the development and use of Australian applications. It will also allow organisations of all sizes to test the suitability of the cloud locally.'

Quite how much of a cloud trial will be possible in just two months is moot. Organisations may be hard pressed to move more than very small projects across to the cloud and dip a toe in the water in that time frame.

That of course may be enough for Fujitsu.

Shane Muller, managing director of Sydney based cloud services provider Online Business Technologies (which ranked 28th in Longhaus's cloud rankings) questioned the rationale for the free trial offer. Stressing that he had not seen the detail of the Fujitsu offer Mr Muller said; 'Our market message is that you get what you pay for,' and wondered how much value there would be for companies taking up the two month free trial.


However he did acknowledge that there could be significant value to Fujitsu as it could prove a good test of the market demand for cloud services among SMEs, and identify some of the issues that such businesses might face in moving to the cloud. That may well be Fujitsu's intent as buried in the fine print is a note to state that it will retain the intellectual property 'associated with or relating to, test results, statistical information, or other information generated from or created during the undertaking of the free trial.'

Organisations which take up the offer will have access to up to ten virtual machines each with 2 x 1GHz cpu, 3.4 GB of memory and 30 Gbyte of storage (according to the formal terms and conditions - although the website marketing of the programme refers to 50 Gbyte of storage).  Windows OS is not covered in the free trial and a charge would be levied for access to Windows as part of any trial.

Although Fujitsu routinely claims service levels of 99.95 per cent, under the terms and conditions of the free offer no service levels apply - although Fujitsu has committed to providing reasonable levels of support to organisations taking up its offer, and to be fair it wouldn't serve its case for the service to be unreliable.

Fujitsu's free trial offer is available immediately and is valid until 31 January 2012.


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