IaaS provider OrionVM adds UTM provider WatchGuard to their cloud platform

OrionVM, which only sells through channel partners, continues to build out what they regard as a highly sophisticated platform, which can compete effectively against the large hyperscalers on margin because all the elements of their stack are built internally rather than licensed.

Infrastructure as a Service [IaaS] provider, OrionVM has announced the addition of UTM [Unified Threat Management] firewall provider WatchGuard Technologies to their OrionVM Wholesale Cloud Platform. WatchGuard was chosen because it was recommended by OrionVM’s channel partners, and WatchGuard’s addition to the platform should provide partners with additional revenue opportunities.

OrionVM, which has been in business since 2010, is Australian in origin, although they also have an office in San Francisco. They are a wholesale provider of IaaS that does not sell directly to end customers, only through channel partners.

“Our channel is a real mix, from telcos at one end to small six person shops and MSPs with 25 to 50 seats at the other,” said Daniel Pfeiffer, OrionVM’s VP of Marketing and Partnerships. “Resellers have full control over the management of the ecosystem, including things like billing integration and flexible account management. They also have the option of branding the platform as their own, which is easy to do.

“Most of our end customers would be considered SMB and SME, but there are some larger ones,” Pfeiffer continued. “We have some service provider partners in Canada, and we are looking to deploy a POP in Canada by Q4 of this year.”

OrionVM’s space has become a relatively crowded one, with the large hyperscalers representing formidable competition.

Daniel Pfeiffer, OrionVM’s VP of Marketing and Partnerships

“Our differentiation against these competitors is our technological innovation,” Pfeiffer said. “We have borrowed a lot from the supercomputing space, particularly Infiniband.” OrionVM has a highly-flexible network architecture designed to support hybrid deployments made up of Virtual Machines, Dedicated Servers and Co-Located infrastructure, all interconnected on the same Layer 2 network. The architecture is designed to be similar in design process to physical on-premise deployment, making it easier for customers to replicate on-prem base practices in the cloud. The architecture is also network appliance-centric, providing public internet and public IP addresses directly to the network appliance Virtual Machine – to the WatchGuard appliance in this case.

“Our stack was built by our own team,” Pfeiffer said.” It’s not VMware or other third-party licensing. That’s how we get the margins we can pass along to channel partners. We benchmark our margins at around 25 per cent below AWS and 35 per cent below Azure. Our much better margins make us the building blocks a reseller uses to build solutions out.”

WatchGuard joins what Pfeiffer referred to as a growing number of strategic vendor partners on the OrionVM platform. The WatchGuard appliances can be either hosted as virtual appliances on the cloud, or deployed as physical devices in a hybrid deployment.

“There are a bunch of other applications including messaging apps, and load balancing,” he said. “There will also be more in the next few quarters, as we look to supplement our platform with applications that we don’t build ourselves. We have a lot of cross-pollination across things like a desktop-as-a-service solution.”

Pfeiffer said that reseller requests were one of the reasons that OrionVM decided to add WatchGuard to their platform.

“We had specific demand from our resellers for WatchGuard,” Pfeiffer said. “Both our companies only sell through the channel, and that dovetails nicely. Finally, the technologies worked seamlessly basically out of the box. We didn’t have to do a lot of work there, so it was technically convenient.”

OrionVM’s partnerships on their platform are not exclusive, but Pfeiffer indicated that the WatchGuard offering was clearly recommended.

“We are agnostic, and given that we are open source, we support multiple security applications,” he said. “We do, however, see WatchGuard as a preferred solution that we recommend. Ultimately, it is up to the reseller, but we saw good demand from our resellers for this particular vendor.”

Pfeiffer also emphasized that OrionVM is on the hunt for more partners.

“We are somewhat under the radar as a Cloud Service Provider, and are trying to evangelize the market,” he said. “We have a big aspirational goal. We are trying to create a new category – enabling B2B IaaS a service – and have been seeing strong validation of it. We can offer a choice against the Amazons and Azures, and channel partners should give us a close look.”

The Standard OrionVM Starter Pack starts at $USD 499 for $1,000 Credit with no on-boarding fees, and includes one small WatchGuard FireboxV Appliance with CPU, RAM, Storage and WatchGuard License. An optional WatchGuard Basic Security suite is available. It includes: Stateful Firewall, VPN, Application Proxies, Application Control, Intrusion Prevention Service, WebBlocker, Gateway AntiVirus, Reputation Enabled Defense, SpamBlocker and Network Discovery.