Cloud Services

Verizon Looks to Bridge Amazon

Everybody knows Amazon is the market share leader in cloud services, but the extent of that lead is amazing -- Amazon Web Services Inc. has five times the computing capacity of 14 other leading cloud providers combined, and one third of Internet users visit a website powered by AWS daily.

Given that kind of lead, it seems hopeless to expect any other company to ever catch up, even if that company is a Tier 1 service provider such as Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).

And yet Verizon thinks it has a secret weapon. Amazon provides basic cloud infrastructure service capabilities, prized by small developers and webscale companies such as Netflix, says John Considine, CTO Verizon Terremark. It's a terrific service, he says. But Verizon thinks it can top Amazon by offering hosted enterprise applications and services, such as those developed by partners including Oracle, Cloudera, NetApp, and F5. Enterprises can bring their familiar application and network environments to Verizon's Enterprise Cloud.

Of course, Verizon isn't exactly a small startup: It is building out its cloud platform in seven data centers globally, across the US, South America, and Europe. Its recent secure Cloud Interconnect connects enterprise private networks into Verizon's and other providers' clouds.

Verizon faces stiff competition, not just from Amazon, but from other service providers, which have their own enterprise cloud services.

To find out more about Verizon's plans to compete in the demanding enterprise cloud market, see my Prime Reading feature, Verizon Brings Thunder to the Cloud.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected].

Want to learn more about SDN and the transport network? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.

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bobrien 5/22/2014 | 7:30:02 PM
Re: Get a Clue Randy covered this pretty well. Pets = virtualization2.0/VMware/Oracle/EMC/Cisco, classic big enterprise gear & ultimately only yeilding hype on cost savings (effectively business as usual). Cattle = cloud/Supermicro/Quanta/Arista/KVM/Ceph/openStack/Cassandra & gain cost efficiencies in infrastructure. This accounts for most of the cost of telecom HA deployments. Many vendors are redesigning their applications for the cattle model and telcos that adopt that model will be able to see massive horizontal scale out, better availability/SLA's and data durability.   

Overall, it's a not a good or bad thing, rather reflects an architectual & operations cultural decision. Are you looking for the massive scale, efficiency and speed of something like Google or Facebook, and Amazon? Is it attractive to your product team to deploy new products or enhancements weekly, while lowering prices multiple times a year across your portfolio? That requires a different architecture across the board and culture change. Most won't have the stomach or vision and NFV merely becomes a check box they can check because they deployed a firewall or router vm in their existing vmware pods.

Mitch Wagner 5/20/2014 | 12:05:53 PM
Re: Get a Clue Bobobrien - Interesting. What are pets and why are they bad?
bobrien 5/17/2014 | 6:18:52 PM
Re: Get a Clue FakeMitchWagner - Check out http://cloudscaling.com/blog/cloud-computing/pets-vs-cattle-the-elastic-cloud-story/. Randy's blog is excellent if you have time to read past blogs. Few telco's will deploy clouds actually built like google or amazon. Interestingly, most NFV architectures from the big telcom vendors leverage openstack, but then inflate their infrastructure costs by buying "Pets". Thus, vendors recover revenue loss from the commodization promised by SDN, with "Pets", bloated NFV Software suites and PS engagements. The more things change the more they stay the same. LOL.
Mitch Wagner 5/17/2014 | 4:37:35 PM
Re: Get a Clue bobrien - What do you mean by the "'pets vs. cattle' thing"?
bobrien 5/16/2014 | 4:11:14 AM
Get a Clue I would invite you and folks at Verizon to visit the AWS Marketplace and HW VPC pages. https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/ref=gtw_navhdr_header/183-6116729-7353030 & https://aws.amazon.com/vpc/

Until Telco's really understand the whole "pets vs cattle" thing, they can merely imitate Amazon but will never beat them at price, scalability and speed to market.  
brookseven 5/13/2014 | 3:21:01 PM
Re: Seems like a natural mhhf1ve,

I disagree with your opinion.  Amazon is productizing and selling what it is doing for itself.  That several hundred million in R&D is what does AWS.  There is essentially no telco R&D.

mhhf1ve 5/13/2014 | 2:57:41 PM
Re: Seems like a natural Big telcos *ARE* a natural fit.. the challenge for them, though, will be in distinguishing their offerings from all the other big company cloud services. Amazon has a big lead and has grown its userbase and it has a reputation for reliability. Will Verizon's reputation as a telco spill over into how developers perceive it as a cloud service provider? Microsoft was a similar "problem" in that it can offer a cloud solution, but "cool" developers are oftentimes anti-MSFT (and anti-monopolist in general), so Verizon may not be able to absorb "cool" developers from Netflix or other tech startups. 
Mitch Wagner 5/13/2014 | 1:38:25 PM
Re: Seems like a natural Good point about being potentially late to market. Verizon and the other carriers may be willing to cede the IaaS/PaaS market to Amazon for now, and focus on the enterprise market. But HP, IBM, and others are also going after the enterprise market, and HP/IBM/etc. have the services relationship with enterprises on the application level that the carriers lack. So the carriers may find themselves squeezed out. 
ponnnn 5/13/2014 | 9:04:13 AM
Re: Seems like a natural My concern is if these companies are too late?  Amazon launched AWS in 2006.  8 years ago.  They captured most of the early movers, but are now focusing on the broader market.  For example: http://www.infor.com/company/news/pressroom/pressreleases/CloudSuite/

Microsoft has a leg up compared to carriers as well I think.  I don't know too much about their cloud offering but I think that it probably is a good choice if you use Microsoft products. 

I honestly think carriers are goign to have a hard time here.  They may be able to build their own private clouds for hosting VNF, but even if they do well there it doesn't mean that they will be good enough at the cloud part to succeed in selling that as its own offering.

I guess the key thing is whether the network comes down to being an advantage.  My experience with AWS suggests their network is pretty darn good.  There is not dedicated bandwidth, it is all best effort, but in my experience this has been rather adequate.  They charge for every bit you send between their own data centers so they have a nice incentive to make sure they have enough bandwidth to move those bits.  That leaves the connection from your office to the cloud as the bottleneck.  The traditional carries in most cases own this link, but there is no real reason they can deliver better connections into AWS vs their own cloud data center.  In fact while you won't see AT&T or VZ on the list, many carries are already offering connections to AWS: https://aws.amazon.com/directconnect/partners/  
Mitch Wagner 5/12/2014 | 5:55:59 PM
Re: Seems like a natural jabailo - Not just HP – IBM and most of the Tier 1 and many smaller carriers are getting into cloud. It's the place the market is going, and smart technology companies stay ahead of that. 
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