The Vision of the Sugar Open Cloud (A Roadmap Discussion, If You Will…)

Consider this a bit of an explanatory corollary – or a bit of context – in regards to my last post below. The post drew quite a bit of buzz online and off (thanks to all those who chimed in) mainly for the fact that it is a very forward thinking post – but written as if I were explaining aspects of the Sugar Open Cloud as they exist today.

Apologies for getting some people excited, and for some people (like the guy who runs our Open Cloud Environment) sorry about the near heart attack 😉

So, just what is the Sugar Open Cloud really?  And where does it stand today?

The Sugar Open Cloud is the evolution of the Sugar On-Demand infrastructure, coupled with some tools and the growing ubiquity of open standards in the cloud computing world.  Right now – the Sugar Open Cloud comprises the three commercial Sugar editions: Express, Professional and Enterprise as well as:

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-A multi-instance architecture for automated instance provisioning, configuration, and maintenance;

-Integration services: supporting Web services for exchanging and consuming application and data services from the Web;

Open-source standards: adhering to standards that the company claims will ensure portability, low cost, and no vendor lock-in;

Security and fault-tolerance: employing data centers to ensure security, redundancy, and high availability;

Distributed global monitoring: utilizing 24-by-7 monitoring both within and outside the Sugar Open Cloud to ensure continual delivery of high-speed performance.

Essentially what this means is that users get a very highly available, highly functional application set – with a ton of tools to integrate and expand the core platform. Also, with some work, users on Sugar’s Open Cloud could move to other cloud environments, or their own datacenters or servers. While not a push-button feature, the Open Cloud allows this by nature. (This is the beauty of web-applications like Sugar and their platform independence.)

OK, what’s next? Phase II of the Open Cloud vision is also currently underway and will be available to users soon. This phase comprises two new datacenters – one in Munich Germany and one in the Asia-Pac region – which will create a solid, global cloud network. This way, SugarCRM users leveraging the Sugar Open Cloud will always have great CRM application performance. Stay tuned for more specific news on this front.

Finally, the Sugar Open Cloud will have the kinds of tools that allow people to leverage the great value inherent in receiving a download key along with their Sugar Open Cloud instance. Again, this is not something we can offer today – but the ability to have “hot backups” etc. is an attractive value proposition and one we are looking into (sorry to get everyone excited in my last post). Much the same as a hybrid deployment approach; these are goals that we are working towards inside the Open Cloud.

To be sure, this could be a ways down the road…but the great thing is that with the Sugar Open Cloud we have the core components to offer this in place already. I don’t see the multi-tenant SaaS offerings as being able to become this nimble, for this price point, any time soon if at all.