Introduction to the features of the cloud platform and “Swiss made” AWS alternative  

Posted at:/2018-09-25 18:25:34

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This article aims to provide you with an introductory information on what

n’ is capable of. The target is to present you as customer or reseller

features, functionalities and applications. We will touch briefly each of these

individual features to give you an overview to learn more about our cloud platform

which we are aiming to position as “Swiss made” alternative to the major cloud

providers. The latter led by the likes of Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google

Cloud Platform. All of these three are American cloud providers. For this reason,

many experts see a huge potential for n’ to herald not only a new era in

cloud computing but also to make us less dependent from American giants. In fact,

outside the USA serious competition only comes from Chinese giant Alibabcloud.

The n’ ecosystem – a virtual skyscraper

When n’cloud was introduced in 2009 as one of the first clouds in Europe, Founder

and Chairman André Matter had the idea of creating a freedom to work anywhere.

That is how n’cloud Virtual Office was born. Compared to an apartment that one can

rent in a virtual skyscraper, customers cloud ask for as many rooms as they required.

The Virtual Office provided everything necessary to enable their work environment. A

perfectly organized workspace, integrating all of their workplaces and staff, including

a caretaker watching over data and devices, as well as a housekeeper to maintain

everything properly and tidy. A security service would guard the office day and night.

With n’ we went from renting apartments to renting the entire virtual

skyscraper. Comparable to the architecture of multi-level load-bearing masonry

buildings and structures, the n’ building is characterized by four setbacks.

Architects would agree that setbacks help lower the building’s center of mass.

Consequently, the building becomes more stable. Stability and reliability play an

extremely important role. All our products enjoy “Swiss made” high quality standards

in terms of security and reliability in setup and operation of fail-safe cluster-systems.

An innovative cloud platform characterized by four different setbacks

The foundation of n’ is Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). On top of that,

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) represents the first setback. Software-as-a-Service

follows in a step-like recession and forms the third main category of our cloud

computing services. The building is completed by n’STORE, an innovative internal

n’ application catalogue.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service – Provide virtualized computing resources over the


On the infrastructure side, one can easily spin up virtual machines, run back-ups or

make use of high available blocks and object storage. The idea here is to provide

virtualized computing resources over the Internet, as it is the case with n’cloud Virtual


Platform-as-a-Service by n’ – Easy and fast transfers of existing

developments from or to other major cloud platforms

The platform side allows you can run all your EC2 instances. For example if you are

an AWS user and look for an alternative, then you can simply with a few steps export

your VMs from EC2 and export to n’ Same thing applies for S3. What is

extremely important to keep in mind is that we provide the complete AWS API stack

for those services. In other words, whenever you are having your developments

running on AWS and you have got your API calls running on a regular basis, you can

simply copy-paste these codes by replacing the URLs by the ones provided by

n’ As a result, you can run exactly the same codes and workloads on our


Software-as-a-Service – Continuous Development-as-a-Service to

revolutionize the cloud making possibilities become endless

On the software side, a number of services is provided by n’ These are

amongst others Docker and Kubernetes-as-a-Service, as well as API Monitoring,

Analytics Hadoop, VPN and Cloud Watch. A unique feature of n’ is

Continuous Development-as-a-Service (CDaaS). The award winning service enables

customers to use a complete CI/CD environment while reducing time and costs in the

development process. The cost-efficient solution is based on automated

n’ tools and can be deployed in any development or productive

environment without external dependencies. In short, with CDaaS, the cloud is being

revolutionized and the possibilities become endless.

n’STORE – The marketplace for business applications and services

Within the n’STORE, we offer more than 142 applications from 30 different IT

categories “free and ready to go” as well as the opportunity to upload also other

development applications and tools easily. As a further competitive advantage and

innovation, this type of marketplace allows customers around the world to offer their

applications and services in a shop-in-shop environment, as Apple or Google are

already doing with their app stores. Customers who are seeking for new

solutions/services can enter their requirements (e.g. new CRM, new website,

development cases etc.) and receive quotes from vendors for the upcoming projects.

API connectivity and cloud exit strategy as the answer to vendor lock-in

Finally yet importantly, two major things have to be mentioned regarding

n’ API connectivity for easy and fast transfers of existing developments

from or to other major cloud platforms such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure or

Google Cloud Platform takes into consideration the importance of having a cloud exit

strategy. Nowadays, cloud customers are often face vendor lock-in. Also known as

customer lock-in, they find themselves dependent on a vendor for products and

services. As a result, they become unable to use another vendor without substantial

switching costs. This is something we do not expect our customers to put up with.

The cloud as the next big thing and digitization tool par excellence should be a real

benefit without creating mistrust towards cloud providers. Our customers should stay

with us because of the added value we provide them with and not because we make

them stay against their will through customer lock-in.

At n’, it’s all about “Make your own cloud”

It is a well-known fact that companies with a cloud strategy in place run in or up to 4

clouds simultaneously. Either because they are independent from a single provider,

due to legal reasons, services fitting better to certain requirements or just due to

more attractive pricing models than others.

Companies from the government, energy or financial sectors or the ones working

with sensitive data, are not allowed to have their data in a cloud outside their territory.

They either have to deploy their own cloud ON-PREM and/or work in public clouds

within the territory.

The size of the super cloud companies from the US and China and their impact

create more and more various concerns. Even when a cloud of the majors is running

in any other country than the US, the main questions arising are: Where is my data

stored? Who does have access to it?

These concerns are due to economic, commercial, legal or protective reasons. Even

though most cloud platforms run unmanaged, customers are more and more seeking

advice, support and want to learn how to use cloud computing services faster, more

efficient and more advanced to make the most of it. Regarding this issue and maybe

with the exception of large clients, there is a big lack in assistance for small and

medium sized companies from any of the major cloud providers. Last but not least,

customers want to have the freedom to decide where to run their cloud (geographic,

security perspective) as well as operating them as a Public, Private or Hybrid version

or in a combination of the three models.

For this reason, we have equipped n’ with a multicloud character. The

idea is to enable customers to design a cloud according to their specific requirements

with the same product, either as a service model (public cloud), an on-prem version

in existing IT environments (private cloud) or as a hybrid variant to bring together the

advantages of both private and public cloud.

The trend goes from «X-as-a-Service» to «Everything-as-a-Service»

By observing the cloud industry, we immediately realize that technology in this

industry, especially when it comes to software, it is particularly easy to that your

innovation quickly becomes commodity for your competitors. The smartphone

industry shows the same characteristics. It has become extremely difficult to stand

out and excel competitors through unique innovations that are hard to copy. When it

comes to the cloud market, the only option one can have is products or services that

respond to a maximum amount of customers’ needs and expectations. Now, cloud

providers should get away from that typical “X-as-a-service”. Customers should enjoy

flexibility and decide freely how to integrate the cloud into their daily business. We

believe that the cloud market might experience a notable change in competition.

Multicloud could be the coming USP and a way of innovative differentiation.

While the U.S. Congress recently approved the CLOUD Act for data stored overseas

and strictly speaking opened a back door for the FBI, CIA, and NSA to intercept

virtually anyone without any court order, the need for an alternative to the major cloud

providers becomes probably greater than ever. A market that is dominated by four

American (Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and IBM Softlayer)

and one Chinese (Alibabcloud), definitely presents numerous possibilities for

n’ AG. “Swiss made” high quality standards in terms of security and

reliability in setup and operation of fail-safe cluster-systems might present for us a

valuable competitive advantage.

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