Clash of the Titans: Verizon Challenges Top Colocation Providers

9 Oct 2013 by Technology

"Verizon is headed to the cloud.

Providing state-of-the-art data center services and cloud colocation may be the gold standard that lets multi-service enterprise empires into increasingly rarefied air.

Verizon recently unveiled the Verizon cloud – a new infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud platform and storage solution. The cloud service provided by Verizon Terremark is the latest entrant in an increasingly crowded environment of public cloud providers, which includes Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft‘s Windows Azure and Rackspace. Such a move had been anticipated since Verizon purchased cloud vendor Terremark for $1.4 billion in 2011.

Verizon cloud is comprised of two main components: Verizon Cloud Compute, an IaaS platform, and Verizon Cloud Storage, an object-based storage service. Targeted Cloud Compute support areas include customizable virtual machines and networks, mission-critical application reliability and configurable storage capacities. The Cloud Storage platform is tailor-made for cloud-based applications, as it eliminates lingering latency issues present in many traditional storage offerings.

“Verizon created the enterprise cloud, now we’re recreating it,” stated John Stratton, president of Verizon Enterprise Solutions. “This is the revolution in cloud services that enterprises have been calling for. We took feedback from our enterprise clients across the globe and built a new cloud platform from the bottom up to deliver the attributes they require.”

Verizon is in a good position to offer their tenants premium connectivity through its global IP network, which operates in more than 150 countries on six continents around the world and serves more than 98 percent of Fortune 1000 companies. Its multitenant storage platform will be available first as a beta program in the company’s Virginia data center before expansion to its facilities in Colorado, California, London, Amsterdam and Sao Paolo. ReadWrite’s Brian Proffitt wrote that at first glance, Verizon Terremark’s Cloud Compute and Cloud Storage are most similar to Amazon Web Service’s’ current EC2 and S3 offerings, respectively, but Verizon’s biggest game-change potential lies in the fact that it already possesses its own network.

Sizing Up the Competition
Connectivity isn’t the only deciding factor included in choosing a managed services provider. To succeed, Verizon will have to show it can compete in a market already occupied in large pieces by the aforementioned providers. So how do their services stack up to the company’s competitors?

In an interview with Business Cloud News, John Considine, Verizon Terremark chief technical officer, stated that the company would differentiate its services from those of other providers through offering more flexibility and customization on a granular level.

“We’ve introduced a concept called ‘reserved performance’, which allows customers to select the performance level for compute but also for networking assets on a per VM and per element basis, and we guarantee that performance no matter what’s happening,” Considine told the news source. “No more noisy neighbor, no more spikes causing your system to vary in terms of its performance.”

This level of customer-facing flexibility, Considine said, offers tenants the ability to work in the type of public cloud environment offered on the Google Cloud or Amazon Web Services. However, should some workloads perform better in private cloud environments, Considine said that the system can be separated piecemeal accordingly.

InformationWeek editor at large Charles Babcock wrote that Verizon could be “setting a standard that other suppliers will one day seek to emulate.” Verizon may be the first big market competitor to leverage the customer-facing, data center outsourcing solutions that have been deployed in more standard formats by the other leading providers. As companies get more comfortable in the data center and cloud environments, it’s possible that the type of granular flexibility Verizon offers could jumpstart the next big industry shift."

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