Verizon Expands Cloud-Based Computing Service

Verizon Business has expanded the reach of its cloud-based services to include management for IT servers, networks and storage.

Verizon Business has extended the reach of its cloud-based services to include management for IT servers, networks and storage.

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The  computing-as-a-service (CaaS) offering is the company's most wide-reaching cloud-based operation to date, as Verizon is promoting it as a way to maintain servers and storage, manage network connections and have the option of using both physical and virtualized services.

Cloud computing differs from traditional IT infrastructure because it treats IT more as a utility rather than as a piece of dedicated physical infrastructure that must be managed and upgraded internally. Ed Bugnion, CTO of Cisco's Server Access and Virtualization Business Unit, described cloud computing at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology panel last month as a "nascent" technology that "has tremendous growth potential… it's basically a transformation from IT in data centers to more virtualized technology."

Mike Marcellin, the vice president of global product marketing for Verizon Business, says Verizon's inclusion of adding physical databases to the cloud computing package is one of the big differentiators between Verizon and other companies' offerings.

"Many offerings are built around virtualized servers," he says. "We have those as well but we are also focused on physical servers. For database or e-mail applications, a physical database may make more sense than a virtualized environment."

Because cloud computing is inherently more scalable than physical on-site infrastructure, Verizon says its CaaS package will be particularly useful for businesses that have widely varied bandwidth needs, such as seasonal retailers. The company says these services are pay-as-you-go, which will help companies "avoid having to build out for peak capacity requirements by buying new equipment and adding staff."

Verizon also is providing several security measures for its CaaS offerings, such as a multi-tiered network with a virtual firewall and add-on features such as identity and access management, host intrusion detection and application vulnerability assessments.

Telecom carriers in recent months have upped their cloud computing offerings to compete with cloud services such as Google Apps, Azure and Rackspace. AT&T last month began offering a cloud storage service, while Verizon broadened the reach of its cloud-based software as a service network monitoring products.

This story, "Verizon Expands Cloud-Based Computing Service" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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