My business partner Mark and I started a cloud computing services company called nScaled right at the end of 2008. A few months into it we found an opportunity to launch our own cloud service; legalcloud.net. We've been working hard and have made much progress in a short period of time. It's been a wild and crazy ride to be a part of thus far. It is also the reason I haven't been blogging quite as much. So, what have I been working on?
I sure didn't realize when I started nScaled that I'd be launching a Private Hybrid Enterprise Vertical Cloud. What's that you say? I thought I'd be helping other people build their own clouds and deploy to clouds. Well, I have been doing that quite a lot as a consultant but when an opportunity presents itself then well, you build a cloud right? Well, an opportunity did present. In my case, I've built a Private Hybrid Enterprise Vertical Cloud. Yes.. yes.. it makes me laugh too. We're in a limited private beta with select customers right now and it's very exciting. It's called LegalCloud.net You might ask, what is a "Private Hybrid Enterprise Vertical Cloud?" Well, I call it that because I really just don't what else to call it just yet so it's a functional working title I suppose. But, I thought I'd break it down a bit here today.
So, I'll break that down a bit:
Private - LegalCloud.net is private because it is on-premise, not accessible via the public internet directly, each client has their own dedicated area within' the IaaS portion by default. Every resource they consume is cordoned off only for them as much as technically possible.
Hybrid - LegalCloud.net is Hybrid because it is also off premise and bridges, from the clients point of view, the on-premise and off-premise concept. Fully functional, it includes even their own data centers and offices. I designed it that way from the start. So, literally, part of LegalCloud is installed on-premise with the clients servers IF they consume our Business Continuity services for their in-office or co-located applications/servers. There are others reasons to do this, but I'm not going to go into that just yet.
Enterprise - It's enterprise because, we've folded in some technology that is very enterprise centric. This hasn't always been easy. We did this because we felt that our target customers MUST feel comfortable with the technology stack, security, auditing, and implementation or they simply wouldn't use it. We've made absolutely sure that our technology stack reflects our target customers technology needs as much as possible.
Vertical - LegalCloud.net is vertical because it focuses 100% on the needs of one industry. The Legal IT vertical. While much of our technology stack can and will likely be applied to other verticals over time, we are taregeting one vertical. We are cloud enabling Legal Technology on a global scale. Focusing on this vertical allows us to push to a large enough scale and aggregate enough demand such that our own costs allow for creation of a profitable business that also saves clients substantial amounts of money individually while providing superior services. This is possible in part because the client gets the benefit of our aggregation of demand across the vertical.
Cloud - Sometimes, because our offering is a bit more enterprise looking under the hood people ask us if we are really a cloud or not. They ask if we are just a virtual data center. Well, that's a harder question to answer because sometimes it's subjective, contextual, architectural or all three. We do everything we do as a service. We price everything on-demand pay as you go style with appropriate contract granularity to maintain flexibility and elasticity. We can expand or contract client foot print according to demand. Internally, we can scale up and down on demand (albeit in larger units of time and equipment that the customer might experience). We offer many locations globally and can easily accommodate others over time. We have API's internally and plans to offer them externally in time according to standards in the market place. We have a self-service interface in development and will release the first version very soon for provisioning storage, servers, business continuity, monitoring, elasticity, and more.
That is just a little info off the top about what I've been building and why.
We are out looking for a small amount of funding to grow staff with the best and brightest. We have had some success already with this and with a little luck I'll be able to report more and even better news soon on that front.
Our beta customers are ramping up their use of the service and things are getting clearer, better documented, and more usable every week. We've added a couple of brave contractors. We got a type of funding from a company called Originate Labs, a "venture resources firm." They are a cool group of folks.
Here is some gratuitous linkage with recent information to thoroughly saturate you. But, hey, I haven't posted much lately and more is better right?
Rackspace and LegalCloud announcement:
About the LegalCloud deal with Originate Labs Resource Venture Investmet Deal:
At Structure'09 LegalCloud.net gets a brief mention at about 20:55 by Stacy Higgenbothem. I was very sad that I couldn't attend Structure'09, '08 was excellent. But, I was in Peru working at the time so it was too far to commute.
EDL Consulting wrote a short brief about our mention as a take off from Structure'09
At DataCenter Knowledge (one of my favorite publications on data center issues)
Lastly, tomorrow we are hosting the third webinar in our series about Cloud Computing for the Legal Industry (and enterprise in general in a way). It's called, "LegalCloud Services - helping law firms 'get out of the data center business."
Please feel free to join us by registering here.