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Cloud Services

Terremark Packs Portability Into Private Cloud

4:15 PM -- I was surprised to learn Verizon Enterprise Solutions 's Verizon Terremark unit was launching a private cloud offer, but only because I assumed they already had one. (See Terremark Rolls Private Clouds.)

Ellen Rubin, Terremark's vice president of Cloud Products, candidly admits the company has, in fact, been selling private cloud services (i.e., services that weren't multi-tenant) for customers who want all the benefits of cloud -- flexibility, lower cost, less hassle -- with the security of not sharing the infrastructure.

"We have been offering flavors of this for the past couple of years; we have seen a lot of demand for this and we do it for customers as [a] customized, one-off kind of thing," Rubin says. "We decided it was time to productize it, standardize it, and make it more globally available."

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), BT Global Services and NTT Communications Corp. (NYSE: NTT), among others, already have private cloud products in their portfolios. So how does Terremark plan to make a difference?

Expect Verizon to emphasize an advantage the company believes it has in the Cloudswitch software that it acquired last year. That piece is designed specifically to enable customers to easily connect their existing IT infrastructure with Terremark's cloud so they can migrate apps and data between their own premises and the cloud, or among clouds -- including those of other providers. (See Verizon to Buy CloudSwitch.)

As the cloud market continues to mature, this portability of applications and data becomes more important. Large enterprises, in particular, will use hybrid clouds as a routine matter, keeping some apps on premises, putting others in private clouds and some others in public, shared infrastructure. The fluidity with which they can securely move back and forth will affect their choice of service.

The need to move things around and not get locked into one approach or one provider is what has led many cloud service pioneers to call for cloud standards, including standard APIs. With this announcement, Verizon is stressing what it can do that ahead of any standards process, which is guaranteed to be long and tedious.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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