With its announcement Wednesday of a new private cloud service, CenturyLink is promising to offer enterprises the ability to manage their public and private cloud services from a single management system and to bridge the two if they want, as part of a hybrid cloud service. (See CenturyLink Launches Private Cloud Services in 57 Data Centers.)
The company is essentially bringing CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) scale to the software and network management capabilities of Tier 3, the cloud service provider it acquired. (See CenturyLink Shows Cloud Is Still Critical.)
Richard Seroter, director of product management, came to CenturyLink Cloud Solutions in the Tier 3 deal, and says his former company was often asked by customers to provide its software stack and network management stack for customers to use in private cloud deployments, but lacked the size and scale for that kind of operation.
Now, with CenturyLink's 57 data centers in play and with the proven ability to turn up new data centers, that private cloud option can be delivered as a commercial service, either as a standalone product or in conjunction with public cloud deployments.
Businesses like private clouds for many reasons, Seroter notes, including a lack of comfort or familiarity with public cloud services, higher security concerns for a particular type of data, the need to meet regulatory or compliance rules, or maintain data within a particularly geographic boundary.
"With this capability, they can manage both public and private workloads from the same pane of glass, and they can build distributed systems which span private and public clouds in a hybrid model and not have to assemble all of it themselves," he notes. "Instead of having two separate projects and having to do a significant effort to link them in a significant way, they have a hybrid option."
The private cloud option means isolated networking and storage for a single tenant within the data center, and with that option, the hybrid capability essentially comes for free, Seroter says. Companies can pull data from the public cloud into their private cloud deployment with relative ease.
The service is also one approach to luring companies into the cloud who may still be uncertain. By starting with a private cloud, they gain the benefits of on-demand computing without any potential exposure in the public cloud.
The new service is the latest in a series of moves by CenturyLink in the cloud space to include new pricing, other new services and continued expansion of its footprint. (See CenturyLink Cloud Expands Canada Services, CenturyLink Delivers On-Demand Managed Services, CenturyLink Offers Managed Services on Tap and CenturyLink Cuts Cloud Prices, Touts Power.)
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading