Markley Group of Boston is getting into the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) game with the launch of a new cloud service that will put it in direct competition with the likes of Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Web Services EC2, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Azure Virtual Machines, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Compute Engine and the rest of a growing list of national and international IaaS providers.

Markley is known for as a data center and colocation provider, and the release of Markley Cloud Services is a major step the company is taking to dive into the cloud computing market. The new IaaS offering is being positioned as a "utility-type service" enabled by cloud management software. Available now, the cloud offering will provide Markley's customers with elastic, on-demand computing and storage resources that are meant to be highly flexible and scalable.

"Our vision for Markley Cloud Services is built upon the same virtues that framed our company formation in 1992—custom design based on customer demand that paves the way for innovation and performance," said Jeffrey D. Markley, CEO of Markley Group, in a prepared statement. "MCS leverages our broad carrier network to offer customers the very best in connectivity and bandwidth so they worry less about cloud initiatives and more about how IT can impact their overall business goals."

The entire offering will provide customers with a variety of features, including:

  • Administration and configuration capabilities that enables customers to configure VMware-based virtual appliances in test and development that will automatically power down or delete based on a specified time period.
  • Role-based access control for administrators to control multitenant virtual data centers by defining user roles and permissions.
  • Catalog development for rapid deployment to give customers the ability to create catalogs of pre-configured and custom templates for quick and efficient deployment of virtual data centers. It also enables fast virtual machine uploads from local environments using a VMware-based operations center for hybrid cloud environments.
  • vApp management so businesses can use and manage vApps using set specifications.
  • Virtual firewall enablement.
  • Advanced load balancing using A10 Networks technology to provide customers with redundancy and added throughput capacity for increased uptime, content switching and SSL acceleration.

It looks like a good start for Markley Group, but it's going up against some of the biggest players in the cloud computing market—many of which have already got their bearings and found ways to grow using a community of channel partners and developers. We'll have to wait to see what Markley does to stand out from the crowd.