When It Comes to Cloud Computing, the Little Things Add Up

As cloud computing becomes more of a commodity, it will increasingly be the little things that will start to matter a lot more. For example, the quality of the network connection to the service provider and the flexibility of the cloud computing platform are increasingly going to be of more interest.

None of that is lost on the folks at Skytap, which recently added three small but interesting features to its cloud computing platform. The first is a Self-Healing Network Automation capability that not only makes it easy to set up a virtual private network (VPN), but it will also detect if a VPN connection drops and then restart it.

The second capability is support for the Open Virtualization Format (OVF), which makes it easier to move workloads across different virtual machines just in case a customer decides for whatever reason to ditch one virtual machine platform for another, or simply move workloads back and forth between different virtual machine instances.

Finally, Skytap is including a new advanced notification service that alerts customers about when they are about to run out of capacity.

None of these capabilities on their own might convince a customer to select Skytap. But Brett Goodwin, Skytap vice president of marketing and business development, says collectively they show a commitment to service that customers are not going to get from rival cloud computing vendors such as Amazon or Google.

As we move into 2012 and IT organizations become more aware of what cloud computing means to them, the conversation is going to shift towards which vendor does it best for what price. Chances are pretty high that the answer may not turn out to be the biggest name in the industry once customers understand the differences between services.