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KT and Cloudscaling Launch Korea’s First Major Private Cloud

KT plans to use the thing as a platform for various data-intensive services for smartphones and tablets

KT, Korea's largest fixed-line operator and its second-largest mobile carrier, which wants to be the number one player in its markets, has launched the country's first large-scale private cloud like Amazon or Google in conjunction with U.S.-based IaaS outfit Cloudscaling.

KT plans to use the thing as a platform for various data-intensive services for smartphones and tablets as well as for internal infrastructure.

KT says it evaluated a number of vendors and picked Cloudscaling when it realized the two companies share a common architectural philosophy based on commodity hardware, open source software and aggressive automation.

Jung-sik Suh, head of KT's Cloud Services Business Unit, said in a statement that "The leaders in cloud technology are Internet companies, not telcos or enterprise IT companies. We wanted a cloud computing partner that understood our vision for cloud services, which is a cost-competitive offering at a high quality of service."

He said, "We sought newer and better technology than the enterprise vendors offered. With their way of thinking, we realized we could implement a cloud strategy and compete with them in short order. From our research and meetings with more than 30 cloud providers, we realized that this way of thinking is totally different for IT people. Not just one or two things are different. All of it is different.

"Our CEO decided that the cloud initiative would be a totally different approach from how we typically launch new initiatives. As a 117-year-old company, we have a great deal of tradition. For this project, we rethought our traditional decision process by setting up a new cloud division so we could move quickly. We broke almost all of the unwritten rules to accomplish this.

"We used commodity hardware to keep the upfront and ongoing capex costs down. The software stack is based heavily on free and/or open source software to lower the license costs. The system was designed for failure. Cloud infrastructure must be highly available, which means hardware and software failure should not interrupt the service. These loosely coupled services should be automatically provisioned, deployed and managed.

"Ultimately, our goal is to engineer infrastructure ‘designed for operation.'"

Cloudscaling CEO Randy Bias said KT means to model its cloud after the "most efficient and lowest-cost public cloud providers," which should see it "leapfrog regional competitors who are building clouds based on enterprise architectures."

The private cloud lets KT skip systems based on the manual management of virtual servers and go directly to automated management. The first phase will consolidate 9,800 servers onto the new cloud infrastructure.

Cloudscaling partners with telcos and service providers to build and launch high-margin revenue-generating cloud computing services such as computing and storage on-demand. The KT cloud involved Intel, Citrix, Nexenta, Cloud.com and SP Korea.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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