451 Research Article on AIS
451 Research analyst Glenn Ford wrote the excellent piece below summarizing AIS data center service offerings.
This is a must-read!
Emphasis in red added by me.
Brian Wood, VP Marketing
American Internet Services update
American Internet Services (AIS) is a multi-tenant datacenter (MTDC) provider that offers colocation, cloud services, disaster recovery/business continuity (DR/BC), bioinformatics analytics, professional services and managed services. AIS operates six enterprise-class, carrier-neutral datacenters and one network node/point of presence (POP) with locations in San Diego, Phoenix and Los Angeles. A 10Gb private optical backbone network from multiple fiber providers connects the datacenters.
AIS is SSAE 16 compliant and SOC 1, 2 and 3 Type II audited at all of their datacenters. AIS has change management and incident management procedures based on the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) service management practices. The company supports customers with HIPAA, HITECH, PCI-DSS and other data security requirements by leveraging its operating procedures and experienced network engineers who can assist customers in locking down network infrastructure.
Cloud and managed services
In 2012, AIS announced BusinessCloud1, an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) virtual datacenter (vDC) cloud offering using VMware vCloud Director, NetApp storage, Dell servers and Cisco and Arista network gear as its foundation. BusinessCloud1 offers customers public, private and hybrid cloud configurations. Customers can select a pay-as-you-go or an allocated resource pricing model. Both pricing models provide access to the Web-based self-service portal to manage their cloud environment and customer support.
AIS’s managed services offerings include network services that provide low-latency network services connections to corporate and subscriber networks; managed security is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model powered by Security On-Demand’s security architecture for firewall management, network intrusion prevention, log management and to perform vulnerability scans and evaluations; cloud-based email provides customers with a Web-based administrative management console for managing user accounts and email settings; cloud-based data archiving that provides access to remote off-site storage to replace tape storage, and a portal for monitoring and managing data; and managed high-availability services.
AIS offers two disaster-recovery/business-continuity (DR/BC) services: the Phoenix DR Vault and DR Quick Start. DR Vault uses the Phoenix datacenter with its 2N UPS and N+1 cooling infrastructure as a backup facility due to its low risk of service disruption from environmental or weather-related events. DR Vault has three service options, including Virtual DR, which is a VMware, cloud-based service with a layer 2 multiport transparent bridge between Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles; Hybrid DR, which combines physical colocation in the Phoenix datacenter with Virtual DR; and Turnkey DR, a fully managed, custom tailored turnkey option that is supported by the AIS ProServices team.
QR Quick Start is a full turnkey hosted service that enables customers to quickly establish backup environments for their mission-critical systems. The AIS ProServices team conducts a consulting session with the customer to determine specific infrastructure needs and then builds out the space, racking and stacking the servers.
Another service that AIS offers is its ClearCompute bioinformatics analytics platform. The ClearCompute platform is an on-demand, SaaS model service consisting of a library of research tools that work together or independently to analyze sequences including BLAST, Galaxy and RNA-Seq.
BLAST, or Basic Local Alignment Search Tool, provides a search algorithm for comparing primary biological sequence information like amino-acid sequences of different proteins or nucleotides of DNA sequences. BLAST was developed at the National Institute of Health (NIH).
Galaxy is a Web-based biomedical tool with a workflow engine for performing accessible, reproducible and transparent genomic science research. Galaxy is an open project supported by NIH, National Science Foundation (NSF), Penn State University, Emory University and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Health.
RNA-Seq refers to high-throughput sequencing technologies used to sequence complementary DNA in order to get information about a sample’s RNA content. AIS customized and tuned the RNA-Seq job processing service for efficient operation within the AIS cloud environment.
Founded in 1989, AIS is a privately held company backed by Seaport Capital, Viridian Investment Partners and DuPont Capital Management based in San Diego, California. AIS primarily sells retail datacenter space with at least N+1/2N or greater redundancy across all infrastructure systems, as well as cloud and managed services. AIS has about 111,000 square feet of operational datacenter space in San Diego and Phoenix. Additionally, AIS has a small point of presence in Los Angeles. The company currently focuses on customers in the Southwest. AIS serves customers in healthcare, life sciences, education, financial services, retail, government and other vertical market segments.
Competition in the San Diego market
San Diego has the 17th largest GDP out of the metros in North America and the city has seen steady demand for MTDC services. The economy in the city has a number of drivers, including the city’s deep water port; hosting the world’s largest naval fleet; a shared border with Mexico, leading to important trade; tourism and the city’s growing number of technology firms providing demand for MTDC facilities, including wireless, life sciences, pharmaceutical research and health services.
San Diego is about 120 miles south of Los Angeles and 87 miles south of Orange County, so MTDC providers in the city do see some limited competition from datacenter providers in Orange County and even further north in Los Angeles. We estimate that about 75-80% of the demand for San Diego datacenter providers tends to come from within a 75-100 mile radius. We identified nine MTDC providers in San Diego during our research of the market in 2012 with a total of 14 active datacenters. AIS is the market share leader in San Diego, with five datacenters and we estimate it has a 52% market share in terms of operating square footage of datacenter space. The company faces MTDC completion in San Diego from several providers, including redIT, ScaleMatrix, SunGard, Level 3 Communications and NextLevel Internet.
The company’s cloud offering will likely see competition from Rackspace, SoftLayer, Layered Technologies and local provider ScaleMatrix.
The 451 Take
AIS continues to adapt its offerings to meet the evolving IT needs of its customers. An example of this is its ClearCompute platform of bioinformatics tools addressing demand in the life sciences/bioinformatics market. The bioinformatics market is seeing an increased demand in the United States for bioinformatics platforms and we see AIS in a position to benefit. Bioinformatics analytics typically use very large databases and the scalability of the cloud can provide on-demand resources to support compute and storage needs.
We expect AIS to continue to grow its VMware-based cloud services business focusing on vertical markets in healthcare and life sciences. We also expect AIS’s customer base to become more geographically diverse and we wouldn’t be surprised to see AIS expand geographically.