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Cloud Is Everything

Carol Wilson
9/30/2010

11:45 PM -- How important is the cloud strategy, or "everything as a service" to Verizon Enterprise Solutions ?

In Thursday's announcement of a $17.2 billion data center expansion, Verizon makes it clear that network-based offerings -– whether cloud, managed, hosted –- of core IT functions are at the heart of what the company sees itself doing going forward. (See Verizon Boosts Global Data Centers)

Verizon beefed up its cloud infrastructure, adding computing-as-a-service capabilities in three core data centers -- in San Jose, Calif.; London; and Canberra, Australia -- that will serve as regional hubs, and adding capacity to what it calls "premium Internet data centers" in seven international cities and across the US.

And it added two data centers, in Virginia and Miami, designed specifically to deliver cloud services to the US federal government, and meeting the Federal Information Security Management Act requirements.

The investment is taking many forms, says Chris Gesell, director of strategy for Verizon Business. In some cases, Verizon is adding capacity to existing data centers or devoting more of its existing capacity to cloud offerings.

Verizon is now in all-out competition mode for the cloud space on multiple fronts: private clouds for large enterprise customers, public cloud services on demand, and government-specific cloud services. It is targeting the broad spectrum of the business community, Gesell says, with services that range from core IT functions to basic business continuity and backup offerings. (See Verizon Takes On Amazon With SMB Cloud Offer .)

"The early adopters have been companies with a propensity to outsource," Gesell says. "That includes companies with high variability in their work loads, like e-commerce players that have to plan for the holiday season, and companies doing testing and development of new products."

Verizon also has parlayed its investment in Crossbeam and heavy emphasis on network-based security into cloud-based security as well. (See Verizon Puts Security in the Cloud.)

But the growth for which Verizon is now planning happens when businesses of all sizes and types start outsourcing basic IT functions, like running SAP AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: SAP) business management applications, something Verizon was first to do in the cloud. (See Verizon, Accenture Tap SAP App Gap.)

"We see that as the value of what the cloud delivers," Gesell says. "The cloud is moving through the back office of enterprises and all the benefits that cloud brings to other workloads will ultimately deliver in the back office."

That is what today's investment is about.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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