Cloud enablement

Verizon, VMware Create Cloud Services

Verizon Enterprise Solutions and VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) today unveiled a hybrid approach to cloud computing that enables businesses already using virtualized servers from VMWare to more easily and rapidly shift some of their IT operations to Verizon's network cloud.

The new service, Computing as a Service (CaaS) enabled by VMware vCloud Datacenter, is currently in field trials. Enterprises can use this hybrid service without having to rewrite applications that operate on VMware, using their current modes of operation, according to the vendor.

"It is intended to lower some of the barriers to adoption of cloud computing." says Joe Crawford, executive director of IT solutions. "VMware customers, whether or not they are Verizon customers, will be interested in this functionality. They have hundreds of thousands of customers who use VMware today, and can now use a cloud-based solution using the same tool set and same knowledge base."

The new service is ground-breaking for VMware, a company that has factored heavily in the service provider community's move to cloud computing -- which landed VMware CEO Paul Maritz on Light Reading's Top 10 Movers & Shakers list.

The new service also promises security for applications shifted onto the cloud-based architecture, based on Verizon's portfolio of network security products.

One immediate area of appeal is disaster recovery and business continuity, Crawford says, as enterprises look for network-based computing options that enable them to stay in business in the face of natural or man-made disasters or service interruptions. In addition, the CaaS offering will give businesses the ability to add or subtract computing resources as needed, paying for what they use rather than investing capital in computing power that sits idle during slower times.

InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) has been trialing the service, using cloud computing to handle higher booking activity during peak travel times.

"If you look at IHG, Verizon's network gives them much greater reach than they can get with their own connectivity," says Mathew Lodge, senior director of product marketing for VMware. "Their customers are all over the world, and they need to reach their hotels and customer base. Verizon will have much better economics for doing that."

About two thirds of VMware's largest accounts have hybrid clouds or external cloud projects today, Lodge says, so they are actively looking for cloud solutions. By teaming with Verizon, VMware is providing those customers with an easier path to cloud computing, for their current needs and for new applications.

"Training is another use case," Lodge says. "If you have a training application, and the email goes around saying everyone has to take this training by the 30th of the month, you are likely to need extra capacity until that time. With this service, you can have variable workloads hosted by the service provider as opposed to using your own resources."

The new service, launched at VMWorld 2010, extends the working relationship between Verizon and VMware. For the last two years, Verizon has been offering server virtualization to its enterprise customers, using VMware.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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