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K5 is Alive and is Driving Digital Transformation

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Today is a big day for us – the culmination of months of hard work by a lot of people. Today, Fujitsu is taking a big step forwards in expanding its cloud computing offering – with the first of four new data centers in Europe for our K5 cloud service. By the time this post is on our blog, so a pair of data centers in Greater London will have joined the global K5 network of data centers – and they are the first of a big expansion that will take place in the months ahead.

Why is Fujitsu investing in building new data centers? Because we firmly believe that cloud is the future, and we’re laying the foundations for digital infrastructures. We’ve appreciated that transforming businesses to meet the demands of the digital world is a huge task and one that needs precision, experience, expertise and computing excellence. It is why, when we announced MetaArc at Fujitsu Forum in Munich last year, we were unveiling the first part of a bold plan. Today, a major part of that plan goes live.

MetaArc is a blueprint for how Fujitsu is addressing an essential need for our customers, as they embark on the road to digitalization. From the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) to the demands of mobility and secure wireless access to their own private servers, we understand that our customers need a digitalization platform that enables them to embrace this change, to ensure they have a compass to navigate through digital disruption, and to do so affordably.

Fujitsu Cloud Service K5 provides the essential cloud component for our Digital Business Platform MetaArc. As regular readers will know, K5 has been available outside Japan since May – now we’re adding the first European data centers to the network. K5 really is special – and I’m not just saying that because I’m a proud contributor. It’s special for a number of reasons – in particular because it uses the same technology platform to deliver next generation IaaS and PaaS services. This is a move that allows companies to reduce complexities in integrating new applications for business innovation, while increasing the route to market of new products by up to 30 percent – therefore helping our customers to shorten release cycles.

Today, most companies have a hybrid IT landscape, comprised of both cloud technologies (Fast IT) as well as their traditional (Robust IT) systems. Part of the reason why K5 is so vital to the Digital Business Platform MetaArc is the inclusion of Apigee. This is a technology that helps exploit the potential of data within existing systems, by providing the secure integration and connection of digital systems. Effectively, this means customers can now run line-of-business applications in the cloud while also developing and deploying native cloud applications.

Back in May, we announced global availability of location-independent services on K5. The opening of our London data centers for K5 is the next step in beefing up the K5 value proposition for our customers. These are highly-secure and accessible data centers (you have to book visits several days in advance to be allowed in) that make our customers’ digital projects a reality, they are certified to the Uptime Institute’s industry standard Tier III requirements and they are included by the UK Government on List X, which governs commercial sites that are approved to hold UK government information marked as ‘confidential’ and above.

Our slogan reads, “With K5, you can”. In Europe, this means K5 enterprise customers can now receive simplified, standardized cloud services at scale. Our UK-based K5 presence is the first of four locations in Europe to open: Finland, Germany and Spain will follow. They create a high performance, fully resilient and secure platform service, so our European customers can take full advantage of UK/EU data residency. Customers in other regions will no doubt be pleased to hear that we’re planning further K5 data centers in North America, Australia and Singapore.

What’s more is that the Fujitsu Cloud Service K5 includes the open source PaaS application Cloud Foundry, which is favoured by customers in many vertical sectors, including the UK’s GDS (Government Digital Services). Also, thanks to our recent acquisition of UShareSoft, we’re enabling fully automated blueprint and workload management.

There are many virtues to K5 – one of which is its affordability. K5 is built on an OpenStack cloud platform, which reduces software licensing costs. We made the bold move away from proprietary stacks in favor of an open source-based architecture, so that we can deliver previously unattainable cost efficiencies and open the door to lower Total Cost of Ownership. The underlying OpenStack architecture means enterprises can significantly reduce vendor lock-in. We’ve also made numerous contributions to the open source community as we have worked on ensuring that the platform is robust enough for the enterprise – and we’re backing that with solid Service Level Agreements and service credits measured from the moment any issue arises, another feature which sets K5 apart from other cloud services. When you consider that K5 is running at 99.99 percent availability, then you realize why it’s finally becoming possible to deliver mission critical systems from the cloud.

Since announcing the go-live on K5 back in May, we’ve seen unprecedented levels of interest. Our first customers are already up and running and we have plenty of proof of concept tests going on. With K5, Fujitsu has come up with a service that is truly differentiated in what is, to be frank, a highly commoditized market.

For customers who are still to dip a toe into the water on cloud, I’ll just say this: We can help. We’ve got a wealth of technical knowledge that caters to the fluidity and needs of all business objectives: Maybe you want international collaboration on a cross-border project, or  you’d like to mobilize your staff to work on-the-go. Even if you’ve got cloud services from other providers up and running, you can control these with the Fujitsu Cloud Service Manager (FCSM), which is part of the bigger MetaArc offering. It means you can control other clouds, from other providers, from within K5.

At Fujitsu, our focus is to spark innovation; and MetaArc enables fast track application development. I’m like a proud father when I see how customers are achieving greatly accelerated release cycles, through more rapidly testing and bringing new services to market, and hearing about how they are failing fast(er) and starting over, without losing too much momentum. Now that’s why we say, with K5, you can.

Find out more on how to come alive with K5.

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