Cloud

Renewable energy startup AgileSwitch gets a security boost with LeoNovus partnership

Above: LeoNovus taps the unused processing power of hotel set-top boxes to run a data center.

Image Credit: LeoNovus

Signing up a small enterprise customer may not seem like a big deal. But LeoNovus considers it one more step in its quest to change data center computing.

LeoNovus announced today that it has signed up AgileSwitch as a customer for its distributed cloud services.

The main reason AgileSwitch is using LeoNovus is to enable secure data exchange with its customers and to make sure its data is properly backed up in the cloud.

Philadelphia-based AgileSwitch is a renewable energy firm that makes power electronics devices. It is a small firm with under $1 million in revenue and 20 employees. However, it has global clients who are large industrial manufacturers.

Normally, AgileSwitch uses cloud-based storage services like Dropbox to exchange documents, but some clients didn’t view that as secure enough. So AgileSwitch investigated LeoNovus’ distributed data center solution and found that it was up to par, was economical, and allowed for automated backups, said Rob Weber, chief executive of AgileSwitch, in an interview with VentureBeat.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based LeoNovus, which is publicly traded on the TSX Venture Exchange in Toronto, has found a new way to do cloud computing; and it promises a higher level of geographic dispersion, security, privacy, and redundancy, according to LeoNovus chief executive Gordon Campbell. LeoNovus will provide wide-area data management services to AgileSwitch.

“Increasingly, we are facing demands for more security,” said Weber. “It’s becoming a problem. The security of what LeoNovus offers is important to us and having the data distributed is a big benefit.”

LeoNovus has struck other novel deals, as well, with hotel management and real estate firm 360 Vox, which will use LeoNovus’ tech to turn hotels into virtual data centers.

LeoNovus has a plan to distribute free set-top boxes for hotel rooms. Normally, the hotels have to pay for these boxes that connect to the TV to movies and games. But now the hotels can get them for free and even make money from them. In exchange, the hotels let LeoNovus use the unused computer power inside these boxes. LeoNovus marshals these resources into what it calls a “distributed data center.” It then leases these so-calls distributed data centers to other companies that need computing power.

As announced last year, LeoNovus has a deal with a small town — Stratford, Ontario — where it’s testing this technology. The town’s 32,000 residents are getting free Internet access and a free set-top box from the town.

Campbell said in previous interviews that LeoNovus, and its related research company Sviral, have figured out how to take “dark cores,” or unused central processing units (CPUs), and assign tasks for them to handle in a massively parallel program (one that does a lot of things at once). The idea has been around for years, but LeoNovus said in March that it and its sister company Sviral have cracked the code on how to do it. LeoNovus promises fast, secure, and cost-effective compute and storage services for enterprises.

Campbell said that this distributed data center is more efficient, greener, and lower cost than regular data centers. While storms or other localized disasters can knock out traditional data centers, LeoNovus said it has much better overall protection because its processors are spread out over much larger areas. And since those processors aren’t concentrated in one place, it doesn’t require a ton of air conditioning and electric power in a single spot. That helps reduce data center costs dramatically.

Campbell is the founder of such Silicon Valley companies as QuickSilver Technologies and Chips and Technologies. He told us in March that distributed data center services are just one application of the new technology.

More information:

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