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ND SatCom CEO Reveals Cloud Computing Strategy

By | November 15, 2010

      [Satellite News 11-15-10] ND SatCom, which has become a ‘Citrix Ready Partner’ thanks to its XWARP cloud computing solution, hopes to be a pioneering satellite presence in the cloud computing space. According to ND SatCom, it is “the only certified Citrix partner in the field of satellite communication”. Citrix is a U.S. based IT solutions supplier.
          Johann Pohany, CEO, ND SatCom told Satellite News that the company wants to position itself as “an enabler of cloud computing over satellite”. “The question nowadays is not if cloud computing will come, but how fast it will come,” he says. “In order to gain efficiency and reduce cost on a big scale, companies have already centralized their IT applications such as, SAP, CRM, database applications in their headquarters and are connecting their remote offices with a thin client infrastructure. At the point where MPLS networks from major telco providers can’t guarantee minimum latency or where no terrestrial infrastructure is available, XWARP enters the scene. Therefore we see XWARP as an enabler for cloud computing over satellite.”
          With companies embracing cloud computing solutions, the onus is on companies such as ND SatCom to come up with solutions to tailor to their needs. “(Companies) need to make sure their branch offices in remote or rural areas continue to have access to the same IT resources as their headquarters. Having connectivity anytime, anywhere is the keyword for them right now. For these corporations, satellite communications is sometimes the only WAN option in order to be fully independent from traditional terrestrial communications infrastructure and to overcome the last mile issue. The foremost strength of satellites in the cloud is the reliable, secure and cost-effective transmission of data,” says Pohany.
          The XWARP solution aims to lower the latency of satellite-based IT networks practically to zero. The interaction of its various components, such as the Citrix virtualization technologies, the Zero Latency Engine, the intelligent management of the SPSN (Secure Private Satellite Network) connection, and the satellite modem SkyWAN, enable ‘zero latency’. In addition, the IT solution is also equipped with security features for efficient SPSN connections.
          Pohany admits the discussions with key customers’ are changing because of cloud computing. “When we nowadays talk to our customers we see a big shift in our discussions. It is not the modem features which are the important topics a CIO wants to talk about – it’s the business value and the cost savings you as a vendor can bring to his IT operations. In our case he wants a specific answer to his question: ‘How can I bring my centrally hosted applications cost effectively to any location – worldwide.’ The CIO is not that much interested in the satellite features and technology – he wants a solution to his latency issue for IT applications. Here ND SatCom and its partners can bring in their long-term satellite experiences. With XWARP , we are doing this. We already show an end-to-end responsibility integrated in our XWARP product.”  
          ND SatCom launched the XWARP solution earlier this year, and Pohany is confident more deals will be signed before the end of the year. “(We had) the launch of the first Managed XWARP platform with our partners Q-KON and Business Connexion (BCX) in South Africa earlier this month. With this launch, the VSAT provider Q-KON and the cloud computing hosting company BCX can offer their customers on the African continent an end-to-end managed XWARP service for latency critical applications over satellite. With this success it’s a clear target of ND SatCom to find further partners to establish such kind of service offerings for a worldwide coverage for end-customers. So, yes we do expect to close significant deals before the end of this year,” he says.
          The award of Citrix certification is a major boost for the XWARP solution going forward. “Being the first satellite company to get a Citrix ready certification manifests ND SatCom’s position to be more than just a satellite modem vendor. With XWARP we developed a solution covering both the IT and the satellite world and we therefore opened a door for a totally new sales market. Looking on our customers’ feedback I see XWARP as a very disruptive technology combining the cloud computing and satellite world,” Pohany says. “Another interesting point is that XWARP represents an added value for all of our partners in the value chain – i. e. the cloud computing companies can extend their market reach to every location on the planet even the vast areas where mobile or wireline access is not available.”
      ND SatCom is going through major change right now. In late October, it was announced that Astrium would purchase a 75.1 percent stake in the company from SES Astra. In 2009, ND Satcom’s contribution to SES revenues was 81 million Euros ($112.46 million).

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