Verizon Gets into Cloud Computing
February 18, 2009
Verizon (News - Alert) Communications appears ready to launch its planned cloud computing service in the summer of 2009. The new service will let customers order computing capacity for applications such as retail Web sites on-the-fly instead of having to commit to rent computer space longer term under Verizon's current hosting service model.
"Overflow" computing requirements, such as the need to ramp up e-commerce capability during the Christmas holiday shopping season traditionally has been cited as an application such on-demand access to computing utilities can address. The weaker economy should make the concept more appealing as well.
The new service, expected to be used primarily by enterprise customers, has been under construction for some time, as Verizon Business (News - Alert) executives had talked about it in the summer of 2008.
In many ways, the move validates cloud computing. As often happens, innovations in the communications business are pioneered by "outsiders" and then adopted by large communications providers once demand is proven. Recently, one saw the pattern with dial-up Internet access and broadband Internet access, for example. We also might be on the cusp of seeing something similar happen with content delivery services.
Verizon's move suggests that firm now sees utility computing as a solid business idea, even though it has been pioneered by the likes of Google, IBM (News - Alert), Microsoft and Amazon.com.
Verizon and other global IT services companies like AT&T, BT and HP/EDS (News - Alert) already deliver managed services, co-location and hosting via data centers around the world. The twist with an on-demand computing infrastructure is that those enterprise users would be able to purchase core metered computing services like processing, database queries and online storage as they need it.
Some might question the skills large incumbent telcos bring to the business, such as understanding how applications run in networked environments. A bigger issue is simply enterprise customer comfort levels with sourcing computing facilities in a different way.
Gary Kim (News - Alert) is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Tim Gray