How's the enterprise cloud going to be best delivered? A trio of software companies has combined with a system integrator to bring an internally managed version of Amazon AWS and Rackspace to enterprises.

MomentumSI has fused software from three companies – NewScale, rPath and Eucalyptus – to provide what it calls a self-service private cloud offering. The company claimed that this coalition would help businesses improve its IT agility in a way that would not be possible by the use of public cloud providers on their own.

The platform comprises the following offerings: newScale provides on-demand provisioning; rPath specialises in system automation and image generation across a cloud while Eucalyptus provides infrastructure software that all allows organisations to scale private clouds.

According to Jake Sorofman, chief marketing officer for rPath, there are some key advantages in the service that the coalition is offering. "Amazon and Rackspace provide public cloud services for organisations that wish to consume compute capacity on-demand from a third-party service provider. While public cloud services are well suited to some (unregulated, short-running) enterprise IT doesn't see a public cloud service as a viable alternative to private infrastructure."

He said that in particular, enterprises were looking for applications and data behind firewalls to meet customers' security concerns; workload portability to avoid vendor lock-in and lower costs to make the most of the economies of scale provided by cloud suppliers. "What they're looking for is a self-service private or hybrid cloud that embodies the characteristics of Amazon or Rackspace—self-service, automated and elastic—but hosted behind their own firewall. That's what this coalition delivers," he said.

Sorofman said that the key words were elasticity and scalability and that while many businesses were attracted to the cloud for these very features, there were still problems to surmount. "Accommodating the scale and speed of elasticity requires process standardisation, automation and operational maturity. As enterprises adopt cloud architectures, the volume of deployed systems grows exponentially, as does the need to provision a new system on demand and without conflicts. To truly benefit from cloud initiatives, IT organisations need deeper and higher-quality automation,". It's this level of automation that the MomentumSI-led coalition provides, he said.

The MomentumSI approach is in line with the approach suggested by James Staten at Forrester Research in his paper You're Not Ready for Internal Cloud, said Sorofman. "We're providing the sort of operational maturity that is absolutely essential to scaling and sustaining a cloud," he added.

Sorofman stressed that the tie-in between the companies was more than just a casual arrangement. "This is more than purely a marketing initiative. MomentumSI is responsible for both solution delivery and level 1 support. The goal is to combine best in class technologies from multiple independent vendors and deliver it to customers as a single-source solution," he said.