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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Jared Wray, Founder and CTO of Tier 3 (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Nov 28th 2011

Businesses continue to move their operations to the cloud. So, the need for companies like Bellevue, Washington–based Tier 3 will continue to increase, as will the need for such companies to provide faster, more efficient cloud solutions. Tier 3 has provided large and small enterprises with an enterprise cloud platform that allows them to keep their business operations flowing smoothly since 2006. The company’s technology partners are VMWare and NetApp, among others.  

Sramana Mitra: Hi, Jared. Tell us a little bit about Tier 3 to set the context of what areas of cloud computing we’re talking about and what scale of company we’re talking about, so our readers have some background.

Jared Wray: Yes, absolutely. Tier 3 is an enterprise computing platform. We work in the public space, and we focus on what I call the enterprise mid-tier to an enterprise customer base. What that means for most people is doing back office financial applications, e-discovery, and high-end powered websites. We focus on that hybrid type look and feel moving forward so that companies can connect to us and offer a hybrid solution with their private clouds in our cloud.

SM: Okay. And what kinds of customers do you work with?

JW: Most of the customers are in the Fortune 1000 or in the mid-tier space. We have many customers that are on the stock market, the Microsofts, the NetApps of the world. We also have mid-tier companies that are $50 million and up, and they’re focusing on how to optimize their IT environments but also provide high availability, security, automation, and things of that nature.

SM: In the offerings that you have, whether archiving or discovery, whatever, do you also provide the applications, or is it just infrastructure?

JW: At this time, we provide outright the cloud infrastructure and a lot of the automation tool sets, such as patch management, policy management for auto-scaling. We also do such things on the application level where it’s moving up into the stack, such as exchange management, active directory management, and things like that with our professional services. But our platform focuses on what I call auto-operations, which is patch management, security scanning, backups, not having to have a SAN administrator anymore, really easing the common IT problems.

SM: Help us to understand with a use case. Take one of your customers and walk us through what you do for that customer and how that customer works with you.

JW: One of our customers is NetApp, and the problem that they had is they had a lot of shadow IT going on inside their organization where they were trying to help the business units to not create servers under their desks and have backups, a better structure around their data. What they did was use a hybrid solution to offload it into our environment. Basically, we’re a business partner with NetApp IT, who are driving the charge and letting their business units use a bit faster quick-access environment to bring things online.

SM: So, you’re a server provider?

JW: Yes. We are a public cloud service provider. If you think about the others out there, the BlueLocks, the Terremarks, Savvises. Their public cloud offerings–that’s what we do mostly for the enterprise [customer].

SM: So, you’re a public cloud server service?

JW: Yes, infrastructure as a service. We do servers. We also do database as a service. We also do storage. It’s kind of a full solution set.

SM: Okay. Got it. So, you’ve been invited to the Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing series. Would you give me some instances in which your company is playing a real thought leadership role in how you deal with the philosophy of cloud computing?

JW: We push the envelope on enterprise cloud services. We do a lot of things around highly optimized high performance environments. We also work on predictive technologies for engineers, such as our auto-scaling technology, which is more predictive based. It predicts what the environment needs to adjust to, and will work that. We’ve also worked with a lot of the larger enterprises on figuring out how to optimize their environments with a lot of our back-end storage technology where it autoscales to meet demand. We’re moving into a more federated approach with our offerings in the next year.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Jared Wray, Founder and CTO of Tier 3
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