New cloud alliance aims to break vendor lock-in and cost burden

Christopher Tredger
By Christopher Tredger, Portals editor
Johannesburg, 26 Jun 2023

US-based global cloud computing company Vultr is vying for greater share of Africa’s growing cloud market. To assist customers to build agile cloud operations, the company launched the Vultr Cloud Alliance, an international strategic program that provides plug-and-play services from IaaS, PaaS and SaaS providers including Cloud 66, Backblaze, Domino Data Lab and Console Connect.

The company, founded in 2014, opened its first Africa-based cloud datacentre in Johannesburg in December 2022.

Kevin Cochrane, CMO at Vultr, says the South African and African cloud markets are key to the company’s footprint and growth strategy. “We are hoping that local businesses take advantage of our services, including the ability to provision Cloud Compute and Optimised Cloud Compute instances, as well as Bare Metal, Kubernetes, and Cloud Storage from our Johannesburg location.”

The company says through the alliance customers can access a central portal that simplifies infrastructure deployment and the addition of services, and they  can scale up or down as needed, without having to worry about vendor lock-in or long-term contracts.

Cochrane explains, “As businesses in South Africa and the African region more widely look to scale their cloud-native and generative AI applications, they are faced with the cost, complexity and lock-in that comes with choosing a big tech cloud. Rather than having freedom to choose the services that best suit their needs, they are stuck navigating complicated controls, services and configuration bloat and complexity. At the same time, limited server locations and network connectivity result in latency and data residency issues that impact application delivery, performance and customer experience.”

He says the Cloud Alliance is an open alliance of vendors promoting composability and an API-first approach to infrastructure, platform, and application services.

There are requirements to affiliate to the Alliance, he adds, and these are focused on adherence to core principles of MACH (micro-services, API-first, cloud-native, and headless) and composability.

The MACH Alliance is a not-for-profit industry body that advocates for open and best-of-breed enterprise technology ecosystems.

Cochrane adds, “We decided to pursue MACH certification because we share similar values - we are both aiming to create a more transparent and trustworthy digital ecosystem where customers have more control over their data and technology choices.”

Vultr says awareness of MACH is growing. In August 2021 the MACH Alliance had around 30 member organisations, and a mere 16 months later it had surpassed 70 vendors, partners, start-ups, systems integrators, and other ambassadors dedicated to fostering the alliance’s micro-services-based, API-first, cloud-native SaaS and headless services approach.

Vultr intends to recruit more alliance partners in Q3 this year.

All partners must also have robust technical documentation for developers, including documentation on how to integrate, build, and/or deploy on Vultr.