Verizon Business launches cloud computing service

By , Computerworld |  Small Business, Verizon Business

Verizon Business launched a cloud computing service today that gives companies access to virtual and physical server capacity for special needs that can be as short as days in duration.

The service, called Computing as a Service (CaaS), allows customers to use a Web-based portal to access custom software designed and built by Verizon engineers. Servers and other elements of the service can be made available inside Verizon's data center or on the customer's premises, since each installation will be a customized system, said Patrick Vehoeven, senior product manager, in an interview.

Verizon charges users a US$525 one-time setup cost and $250 per month to subscribe. Billing for the service will be based on per-day usage, ranging from $8 to $12 per day for access to a virtual server or $17 to $22 a day for a physical server, Vehoeven said.

In addition to the daily server costs, software charges will be priced per CPU, with storage and backups priced per gigabyte of data and bandwidth per Mbit/sec. of performance. None of those additional charges were detailed at the time of the announcement.

Vehoeven said that Verizon's approach is better than some competing offerings, since customers can access both virtual and physical servers, and because the service, for added security, rides over the Verizon private IP network, also known as the Verizon MPLS network. Daily usage pricing is also unusual, he said.

Cloud computing models are evolving, and Vehoeven said there are many examples of how customers might want to use CaaS. "A retailer might only need added server capacity for 10 days over the Christmas selling season, for example, " he said.

Melanie Posey, an analyst at research firm IDC, said in a statement that the variety of best-in-class features of the Verizon service make it a "standout in the marketplace."

The service is available now in the U.S. and in 15 countries in Europe. It will be available in seven Asia-Pacific countries in August. Verizon Business is a business unit of Verizon Communications Inc.

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