“The laws of the land, physics, and economics dictate that hybrid cloud will continue to the future of enterprise computing,” stated Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware*. According to him, a hybrid cloud future represents the optimal mix of private and public cloud infrastructure for delivering on the business goals of enterprises. Another key trend is – Software-Defined Everything, where Software-Defined Cloud infrastructure provides huge benefits to modern IT deployments. Being a multicloud expert with a specialization in deploying and managing hybrid cloud infrastructure, and being one of the world’s experts in Software-Defined Private Clouds, UnitedLayer, headquartered in San Francisco, California, with offices in Toronto, Canada, and Bangalore, India, is helping enterprises around the globe optimally navigate through their digital transformation journey. AbhijitPhanse, CEO of UnitedLayer, believes that CIOs want to buy things as ‘as-a-service’ since it provides the assurance of guaranteed performance, enabling the CIOs to focus on their business. Here, Abhijit discusses the engagements of the company in the multicloud universe and how it channelizes the prowess of his team to reap maximum benefit for enterprises.
In conversation with Abhijit Phanse, CEO, UnitedLayer
Software-Defined Everything - Why is this such a big trend in Cloud infrastructure?
Yes, Software-Defined Multicloud Infrastructure – data centers, private clouds, and public clouds – is the future. Businesses across all sectors are transforming rapidly and are powered by IT as a strategic weapon in enabling them to remain competitive and win in the marketplace. Enterprise IT needs to be an agile, configurable, adaptive, and scalable engine to be able to protect enterprises from evolving threats and rapidly take advantage of new opportunities – all of which necessitates a Software-Defined Cloud Infrastructure to power enterprise IT.
Over 95 percent of enterprises have a Hybrid Cloud footprint – have data centers, use private clouds, and public clouds. Public clouds were built as a programmable utility computing model offering enterprises agility and scalability. Now data centers and private clouds are evolving also to become Software-Defined, to enable enterprises to have a comprehensive agile and programmable multicloud footprint. UnitedLayer is a pioneer in helping enterprises develop and implement a Software-Defined multicloud strategy.
What is UnitedLayer’s role in this Software-Defined Cloud evolution?
Over the past two decades, UnitedLayer has been deploying data centers and private cloud solutions for clients across North America, Europe, and other regions. We have developed tremendous expertise in managing the real-world complex hybrid cloud infrastructure. UnitedLayer has developed the Software-Defined Multicloud Data Center Platform and Software-Defined Private Cloud technologies for deploying programmable and scalable solutions.
Our Software-Defined Multicloud Data Center Platform is a technology platform that converts any data center into a modern hybrid cloud and multicloud data center, with on-demand scalability into private and public cloud resources, on-demand connectivity into carriers, and private and public clouds with UnitedConnectTM, comprehensive remote management capabilities, and DevOps automation, to enable complete remote management of your data center colocation cabinets, hardware infrastructure, and hybrid cloud with a single pane of glass.
Our Software-Defined Private Cloud, UnitedPrivateCloud, is a programmable and configurable enterprise-grade private cloud with the software-defined network, compute, and storage solutions. The network layer is configurable as a 10G-100G scalable and secure network incorporating enterprise-grade technologies from Cisco, Juniper, Citrix, F5, Palo Alto, and deployed in a highly available configuration. The compute layer is built with high-performance computing with distributed resource scheduling to guarantee performance and eliminate the ‘noisy neighbor’ problem. The storage layer delivers a scalable all-flash 100k+ IOPS scalable storage solution. The entire technology stack is built with a clustered redundant node architecture to guarantee 99.999 percent availability. UnitedPrivateCloud offers programmability, agility, and scalability akin to public cloud solutions while providing unprecedented security and availability.
Our SaaSMulticloud Management Platform, UnityOneCloud, is a unified management platform for managing data centers, private clouds, and public clouds, including the full suite of hybrid cloud assets in an enterprise IT environment – cabinets, power distribution units, bare-metal servers, networking devices, virtual machines, containers, service mesh, and serverless. UnityOneCloud enables true Software-Defined multicloud deployments across data centers, private clouds, and public clouds.
We believe that Software-Defined Everything is the future. Software-Defined multicloud brings tremendous efficiencies and agility to help modernize IT to give the enterprise a huge competitive advantage.
What is your technology stack?
We deliver Software-Defined private clouds with VMware, Hyper-V, Openstack hypervisors, and specialized solutions for SAP, Oracle, Kubernetes, DaaS, and Silicon Tapeout. Over 95 percent of enterprises use VMware as their data center virtualization technology. UnitedPrivateCloud, a hosted private cloud IaaS solution for enterprises, helps modernize the enterprise data center and extend it with a high-performance, highly available, secure hosted private cloud.
UnitedPrivateCloud for VMware is built with VMware ESX as the virtualization technology and vSAN as the Software-Defined storage solution. We deliver a Virtual Data Center dedicated to each customer, which can get connected to the customer’s on-premises infrastructure and become a seamless extension of their existing data center. With its 99.999 percent availability and high performance, the UnitedPrivateCloud solution is something enterprises can trust to run their production workloads in and as-a-Service model, without the need to spend the capital expense for building their data center, refreshing their hardware, and the operating expense of maintaining their data center and IT infrastructure. UnitedPrivateCloud also comes with built-in business continuity and disaster recovery solutions so customers can, with the click of a button, leverage a highly redundant failover mechanism delivering a sub-one-minute Recovery Point Objective.
UnitedPrivateCloud is deployed across 11 data centers globally serving over 250 clients in North America, Europe, and other regions of the world. UnitedPrivateCloud is connected to the customer’s multicloud footprint - data centers, public clouds like AWS, Azure,& Google, for a seamless multicloud experience.
VMware is a cloud computing software provider that is one of the foremost providers of virtualization services. We would like to know about UnitedLayer’s activities in this niche domain.
VMware is the pioneer in virtualization technology, which has quickly brought tremendous productivity gains to the IT space. Over the past two decades, we have been perfecting the art of building high performance and highly available VMware based private clouds that are very secure and cost-effective.
Today, more than 95 percent of enterprises use VMware as the core hypervisor for managing their data center infrastructure.
UnitedPrivateCloud for VMware provides a hosted IaaS service for customers to leverage the VMware solution as a Service. UnitedPrivateCloud is available in 11 data centers across the globe, and can also be deployed in the customer data center with our Data Center in a box model, where we will set up a customer UnitedPrivateCloud region in the customer’s data center for the exclusive use of the customer, and connect it to all the other UnitedPrivateCloud regions, other data centers the customer may have, and the public clouds.
UnitedLayer is one of the world's experts in building VMware based Software-Defined data centers and private clouds. We partner with our customers to deliver fully managed private clouds in anIaaS model, while enabling our customers to focus on their business.
What is the nature of your VMware powered cloud solutions and services? What differentiating factor does it have compared to other solution providers?
Our solutions are one of the highest performance, highly available, and secure clouds, and are 70 percent more cost-efficient when compared to major private cloud providers and 30-50 percent more cost-efficient compared to major public cloud providers, delivering a significantly reduced TCO. Our solutions come with built-in 24x7x365 enterprise support with a 15-minute response time with expert remediation and resolution. Customers can count on our enterprise support to keep their infrastructure humming to support their business. Our solutions come with built-in hardened security and compliance to all the critical standards like SOC1, SOC2, SSAE18, NIST 800-53, FINRA, PCI, HIPAA, FedRAMP, etc. Customers can leverage our audited infrastructure to build security protocols for deploying their services and solutions.
UnitedPrivateCloud also comes with an online marketplace of single-click deployable services like web application firewalls, content filtering, intrusion detection and prevention, databases, user management, etc., which are pre-configured to work with the customer’s compliance requirements and provide the customer tremendous agility in deploying new services.
This helps to drive business uptime, reduce service outage, and promote proactive security and vulnerability mitigation. Besides, while launching new products and services, we offer catalog-based infrastructure and services with ensured standardization, governance, and optimization of environments on the cloud.
UnitedPrivateCloud comes with a specialized solutions for: SAP, a high performance SAP certified private cloud; Oracle, a Software-Defined private cloud for Oracle Virtual Machines with CPU pinning for Oracle license optimization; Desktop as a Service, for helping enable remote workers become productive with on-demand compute resources securely connected to the enterprise; Silicon Cloud Solutions, providing an on-demand performance private cloud optimized for silicon tapeout which can be burst into during peak silicon tapeout usage; PBaaS, or Private Cloud Build as-a-Service, building a customized next-generation software-defined private cloud for an enterprise customer in six rigorous steps right from requirement gathering, design of the architecture, build-out, testing, hardening, and delivery to production; and Data Center Assessment, which provides an end to end data center assessment of hardware’s End of Life (EOL), End of Support (EOS), and migration planning for legacy data centers to modern data centers, private clouds, and public clouds.
Unitedprivatecloud is deployed across 11 data centers globally serving over 250 clients in north america, europe, and other regions of the world
You said over 95 percent of customers have a Hybrid and Multicloud footprint. Surely that is challenging to manage. How do you help solve this challenge?
Yes, Hybrid and Multicloud footprints are ubiquitous, and managing them is very challenging due to a lack of visibility and common interfaces across hybrid and multicloud infrastructure. Our UnityOneCloud solution is a SaaSMulticloud Management Platform for managing real hybrid cloud environments like data center cabinets, power distribution units, bare-metal servers, networking devices, containers pods, mesh services, and serverless, across data centers, private clouds, and public clouds. The customers get a seamless experience in managing the entire hybrid cloud infrastructure using the integrated monitoring, visualization, management, auditing, and modern DevOps automation capabilities.
In terms of services, we have created an enterprise marketplace where solutions like firewalls, load balancers, security devices, and databases can be acquired and configured with just a single click. This is remarkable in the private cloud space where we configure all the enterprise’s popular applications and services and make them available in an online secure private marketplace. We provide a dedicated virtual data center that allows enterprises to fully manage their private cloud. This comes with our enterprise-class support, which has a 15-minute response time and experts available 365 days round the clock to provide support for any issue. The private cloud is hardened and locked down with rigorous least privilege access implementations and north-south and east-west network segmentation with restricted access. Essentially, the customer gets a private cloud solution that is fundamentally robust from security issues, hacking, and unauthorized usage.
Ensuring continuity of key business processes with minimal system downtime is crucial for organizations to stay relevant in this competitive environment. In this context, kindly please throw some light into your business-critical end-to-end managed services.
From developing a holistic cloud strategy, to implementing and managing robust cloud environments, our UnitedLayer specialists are dedicated to providing managed cloud services delivering top of the line business uptime, reliability, and continuity. Our UnitedConnectTMsolution helps dynamically connect the customer’s on-premises environment with their private cloud or public cloud (AWS, Azure, or GCP) with secure, low-latency connections, while reducing the network costs, increasing bandwidth throughput, and providing a more consistent and reliable network experience.
UnitedLayer’s cloud migration services seamlessly transfer enterprise applications, data, and infrastructure to the cloud. Our experts can help in building a migration strategy, assess application portfolio, review cost structure, and identify the best-fit cloud platform as per the needs.
As far as Database Management is concerned, we enable businesses to reduce data redundancy, improve data integrity, and security. Our database experts have the expertise, precision, and updated know-how in database designing, management, and monitoring. Our global coverage across an array of cloud delivery platforms, operating systems, and database disciplines deliver an unmatched database management service that customers can rely on.
UnitedLayer's Infrastructure Management helps organizations maximize the benefits of a multicloud environment without compromising availability, performance, and security. Our managed infrastructure services cover on-premises data centers, UnitedPrivateCloud, and leading public clouds (AWS, Azure, or GCP). We also provide a Security-as-a-Service solution that enables enterprises to proactively identify, respond, and mitigate any security threats against their IT infrastructure. Our comprehensive security management services cater to on-premises data centers, managed private clouds, and leading public clouds.
To protect the enterprise’s business from disaster, breakdown of information technology, and operator error, our Disaster Recovery solutions deliver customizable active-active and active-passive solutions for business continuity with sub one-minute Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO). This enables enterprises to become resilient to failure mechanisms and be able to continue to serve their customers without any interruption. Moreover, our Disaster Recovery solutions are highly secure and compliant to all the industry-leading compliance standards like HIPAA, PCI, NIST 800-53, etc.
Could you please share one case study you remember that illustrates how UnitedLayer delivers enterprise-grade private cloud solutions to businesses?
There is a plethora of success stories in our portfolio. Software as a Service companies have challenges of deploying high-performance and highly available software for their clients. In one such case study, UnitedLayer deployed a high-performance UnitedPrivateCloud solution for a SaaS company delivering software solutions in the energy market. The cloud infrastructure needed to support low-latency transactions across a trading platform for suppliers and vendors while delivering extremely high availability. UnitedPrivateCloud was deployed on the east coast and the west coast of the United States using an active-active configuration with automatic failover, to deploy a very high-performance and low-latency SaaS solution hosted on UnitedPrivateCloud. The end customer trading transaction latency was measured continuously and used to automatically tune the network, compute, storage layers to deliver the desired transaction latency. This solution led to the very successful growth of the SaaS platform in the energy segment.
Here in another one Retail sectors have to serve customers in various geographies and provide them a great purchasing experience. These solutions need to be secure and compliant to PCI standards to enable credit card and financial transactions on their websites. Many modern retail companies are using Kubernetes as a container platform for deploying their website across different geographies using modern CI/CD processes. These websites need to be hosted in various geographies to serve the local customer base with a very low latency experience while being integrated into a common platform to enable scalable CI/CD deployments across the globe. UnitedPrivateCloud was deployed in North America and Europe for a major retail customer selling drinks worldwide delivering managed Kubernetes as-aService in a highly available, high-performance, and network-optimized implementation. Using UnitedPrivateCloud as its hosted infrastructure, the customer was able to deliver a great purchasing experience to its customers on a global scale.
With more than 18 years of experience in starting, growing, and leading technology businesses, what do you think is your personal contribution that has led the company to achieve its goals?
We purchased UnitedLayer through a private equity group, Accelon Capital, which was started by three professors at the Stanford Business School and me.
Prior to UnitedLayer, I started a company called Scintera which delivers high performance signal processors in the wireless base station and data center infrastructure space. Eight years ago, when we acquired UnitedLayer, we recognized an important trend that IT is going to be the key winning driver for every company, independent of its industry, and made a very strong bet that the enterprise IT universe is going to be Hybrid. It's not going to be just Amazon or Google or VMware. It is going to be an infinite continuum between legacy data centers and
modern DevOps cloud-native services across all flavors of clouds. The challenge is going to be how to make the Hybrid IT environment work together.
With UnitedLayer, we have over 18 years of experience in building and managing some of the most complex enterprise hybrid cloud IT environments and have become one of the world’s experts in Hybrid Cloud management. Today, UnitedLayer leads the industry with its powerful Software-Defined Multicloud Data Center platform, which converts a data center into a modern, hybrid and multicloud data center. UnitedPrivateCloud is one of the world’s experts in Software-Defined Private Clouds - we have the expertise to build and operate specialized clouds for Oracle, SAP, VMware, OpenStack, and make them work as integrated solutions in the complex hybrid and multicloud space. We have built solutions like UnityOneCloud for making the management of hybrid and multicloud easy, i.e. making the hybrid model simple. So, we identified this trend, made investments early on, and have helped hundreds of customers embark on their digital transformation journey into the Hybrid cloud universe. Today, as every leading analyst report and industry survey shows that hybrid cloud is the reality, and hybrid cloud management one of the biggest challenges, we are very well positioned to deliver innovative solutions to solve these challenges.
Recognizing the path of the industry, creating a vision for our company, and building a team to deliver solutions to solve these real-world hybrid cloud challenges for our customers, has been my contribution.
Abhijit Phanse, CEO
Abhijit has about two decades of experience in ideating, nourishing, and leading technology businesses. Abhijit, along with three other professors at the Stanford Business School, founded AccelonCapital, a mid-market private equity investment fund. In subsequent years, Accelon Capital acquired UnitedLayer. Abhijit leads UnitedLayer, along with its businesses UnitedPrivateCloud and UnityOneCloud, which is the leading provider of Software-Defined Multicloud Data Center platforms, Software-Defined Private Clouds, and SaaSMulticloud Management platforms. Previously, Abhijit was the Co-Founder and CEO of Scintera (acquired by NYSE: INPHI and NASDAQ: MXIM). Scintera is the leading provider of high-performance signal processing semiconductors for networking and wireless applications. Before starting Scintera, Abhijit held management positions at National Semiconductor, where he led the development and commercialization of three generations of Ethernet Networking products.
Abhijit has an MS in Management from Stanford Business School, an MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida, and a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. He has authored numerous publications and has over fifty US patents.
“Unitedlayer’s cloud migration services seamlessly transfer enterprise applications, data, and infrastructure to the cloud”
Abhijit and his wife have two young boys. He enjoys windsurfing and playing the guitar.
UnitedLayer is an enterprise-grade Data Center and a SoftwareDefined Multicloud Data Center Platform company, delivering highperformance, secure, highly available, and scalable data center solutions in a hybrid and multicloud environment. UnitedLayer has more than 18 years of experience serving SMBs, enterprises, and government agencies with data center, managed services, hosted private cloud IaaS, and hybrid cloud management solutions.
UnitedLayer’s 200 Paul Ave, San Francisco, is an enterprise-grade Tier 3+ data center, with advanced security and extreme connectivity to over 300 carriers, all major public clouds, and major peering platforms. UnitedLayer’s 200 Paul data center is located at the most robust location in the San Francisco Bay Area on bedrock and is at the epicenter of the most technologically advanced companies in the world.
UnitedLayer’s Software-Defined Multicloud Data Center Platform is a technology platform that converts any data center into a modern hybrid cloud and multicloud data center, with on-demand scalability into private and public cloud resources, on-demand connectivity into carriers, and private and public clouds with UnitedConnectTM, comprehensive remote management capabilities, and DevOps automation, to enable complete remote management of your data center colocation cabinets, hardware infrastructure, and hybrid cloud with a single pane of glass.
UnityOneCloud is a Software as-a-Service company that provides the most comprehensive enterprise-grade Multicloud Management platform for managing your real hybrid cloud environment, across data centers, private clouds, and public clouds.
UnityOneCloud manages all your hybrid cloud assets from legacy data centers to modern cloud-native DevOps services offering unified management with a single pane of glass. This includes data center cabinets, power distribution units (PDUs), bare-metal servers, networking devices, virtual machines, containers, service mesh, and serverless, across data centers, private clouds (VMware, OpenStack, Hyper-V, Oracle VM), and public clouds (AWS, GCP, and Azure).
UnityOneCloud’sMulticloud Management platform is a single pane of glass that provides multicloudobservability, monitoring, management, auditing, support, and modern DevOps automation of hybrid cloud environments.
UnityOneCloud enables organizations to solve the complex challenge of managing their disparate real-world hybrid cloud and transforms it into a modern, efficient, lower cost, secure, and compliant hybrid and multicloud environment.
We are headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Canada and India. UnityOneCloud is a highly secure SaaS platform serving enterprises across the globe.
UnitedPrivateCloud is an enterprise-grade Software-Defined Private Cloud company. We are one of the world’s experts at building and operating highly available, secure, and scalable private clouds.
UnitedPrivateCloud’s G3 IaaS Private Cloud Platform is its 3rd generation private cloud solution, developed, hardened, and perfected over a period of 12 years, while serving many hundreds of enterprises and governments across the globe. G3 IaaS delivers high performance, 99.999 percent availability, locked down security, and softwaredefined agility and scalability, while delivering greater than 30 percent cost savings versus leading public clouds and greater than 70 percent cost savings versus other leading private clouds. G3 IaaS comes connected with all the leading public clouds (AWS, Google, & Azure), integrated disaster recovery and business continuity, a comprehensive suite of enterprise-grade managed services, and a private online marketplace for single-click deployable enterprise applications.
UnitedPrivateCloud’s G3 IaaS offers private clouds based on VMware, Openstack, Hyper-V, and Oracle VM virtualization technologies and specialized cloud solutions for SAP, Oracle, Kubernetes containers, Desktop as-a-Service (DaaS), and Silicon Tapeout. We also deliver a Private Cloud Build as-a-Service (PBaaS), where we build custom private clouds for enterprises, and our Data Center Assessment service, where we map and migrate the enterprise’s legacy data center workloads, and their security and compliance requirements, into modern data centers, private and public clouds.
UnitedPrivateCloud’s G3 IaaS Private Cloud Platform enables organizations to gain performance advantages, lower costs, rapidly respond to the unpredictable demand, and easily adhere to data sovereignty and compliance requirements.
UnitedPrivateCloud is headquartered in San Francisco and has sales and support offices in the United States, Canada, and India. UnitedPrivateCloud is available in 11 data centers across 5 continents and can also be deployed in any customer data center across the globe.
Accelon Capital is a private investment firm that specializes in investing in cloud and Software as a Service technologies that enable businesses to transform themselves into agile, digital, and connected enterprises.
We invest in next-generation cloud and Software as a Service technologies which enable businesses to solve realworld challenges in becoming digital and agile enterprises. Our companies become business partners to enterprises enabling them to navigate the complex and evolving cloud technology landscape.
"It's very important for us to have data in multiple locations with a rock-solid disaster recovery plan. Our RPO is 15 minutes, and the RTO is 2 hours. Three words that I would use to describe UnitedLayer's private cloud and disaster recovery solutions are; Agile, Responsiveness, and Enterprise-grade offering.”
– Co-Founder & EVP, Major American SaaS Company in Energy Sector
“The option to virtualize (and got to the Cloud) was a very attractive advantage for choosing UnitedLayer. Managing the hardware is a time-consuming task for our small technical team, and the thought of us not having to run in crisis mode was very appealing to us.”
-Denise Johnson, IT Operations Manager, WestEd