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Verizon the Latest Big Cloud Player

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By Christopher Morris, Tech Commentator

The retail firm, Amazon, have already established themselves as the world’s biggest player in the cloud market. The company that originally made its name as a bookseller have greatly diversified as the size of the corporation as grown, and its successful move into electronics with the electronic book reader the Kindle has convinced the strategists behind the company’s future to move into cloud computing. This could hardly have been more successful, given that the company that Forbes listed as the seventh most innovative in the world is currently the ‘go to’ cloud provider.

However, in what is certain to be a trillion dollar industry in years to come, Amazon would be extremely naive should they expect to get the apex of the mountain to themselves for a significant period of time. The nature of cloud computing means that many diverse companies can get involved in this embryonic technology, and it is the early years of a particular innovation or new phenomenon when very big gains, or losses, can be made in a market.

This is probably doubly true for anything related to hi-tech industry or electronics, with many a brand today consigned to history, and many early market leaders having been completely wiped out. Thus, Betamax was wiped out by VHS despite many devotees claiming it to be technically superior, Sega made a series of abysmal decisions that turned them from the world’s biggest console manufacturer to completely out of the business in a matter of a few years, while it is only the most committed Internet fanatic who will today remember the name Netscape Navigator.

…we can expect to see many familiar names announcing cloud services and trying to get a slice of the action

So while big corporations continue to vie for supremacy in the cloudspace, and indeed to merely establish themselves as a viable cloud player, we can expect to see many familiar names announcing cloud services and trying to get a slice of the action.

The latest major corporation to get involved with the cloud in a big way is Verizon, who have recently announced a cloud-based service for businesses, simply called Verizon Cloud. Moving into cloud computing on a major level would seem to be a natural move for the international telecommunications firm, whose yearly revenue is well over $100 billion, and whose assets include a significant share in the Italian arm of Vodafone.

In order to sell their new service to potential customers, Verizon has claimed that “the new Verizon Cloud service will offer better end-user control over performance than any other cloud solution.” At present, the service is still in the beta phase, but enough is known about Verizon Cloud for it to be stated that the service will feature an IaaS elastic computing system, Verizon Cloud Compute, and an object storage system, Verizon Cloud Storage, once it is fully released.

…enough is known about Verizon Cloud for it to be stated that the service will feature an IaaS elastic computing system, Verizon Cloud Compute, and an object storage system, Verizon Cloud Storage…

The gimmick, as you might call it, that Verizon hope will make their service stand apart from other is that they claim that Verizon Cloud delivers the performance that you actually require from the service, rather than forcing you to pay for stuff that you don’t need. Verizon state that Verizon Cloud will enable users to “set virtual machine and network performances”, which they claim will enable users to maintain a consistent and predictable system performance from their cloud service, even during peak terms of usage. This differs from Amazon’s Web Services for cloud, for example, which compels users to select a preset virtual machine size.

Whether Verizon can deliver or not on this claim at this early point in the lifespan of the cloud remains to be seen. What can be said for certain is that their cloud-based offering for businesses is to be based on technology produced by Terremark; a cloud technology company that Verizon acquired a couple of years ago.

…their cloud-based offering for businesses is to be based on technology produced by Terremark (Verizon Terremark)

The CTO of Verizon Terremark, John Considine, has been very much pushing the flexible element of the new Verizon system, stating that unlike existing applications, the behaviour of your neighbour will have no effect on the way that Verizon Cloud operates. There is a complex technical explanation behind how Verizon state that they have achieved this, but essentially Considine claims that Verizon will allocate performance on an individual basis, and that this will be based on individual elements and user capabilities.

It is very early days for Verizon’s offering, given that we have yet to see a final release. But evidently Verizon believe that they’ve made a significant technological breakthrough as the cloud power struggle begins in earnest.

Excerpt: Christopher Morris reflects on recent news that Verizon is going head-to-head with Amazon for flexible cloud compute resourcing at scale. The retail firm, Amazon, have already established themselves as the world’s biggest player in the cloud market. The company that originally made its name as a bookseller have greatly diversified as the size of the corporation as grown, and its successful move into electronics with the electronic book reader the Kindle has convinced the strategists behind the company’s future to move into cloud computing.