Verizon Enters Cloud Storage Services, Extends Delivery Model

Carrier's business unit launches Storage-as-a-Service, gains SAP certification for CaaS cloud services platform.

Verizon Business, an operating unit of Verizon Communications Inc., recently initiated a new cloud-based, on demand storage service, called Verizon Storage-as-a-Service, that the communications giant said offers a cost effective and easy solution for companies to store and retrieve large quantities of data.

Separately, Verizon said that its Computing-as-a-Service platform has been certified by SAP AG, the Walldorf, Germany-based provider of business management software.

Officials said that a flourishing business need underlies the cloud-based storage effort, which maps to the vendor’s overall strategy to deliver IT services in an “as-a-service” model.

“The current methods of storing huge and growing volumes of enterprise data are simply not sustainable from either a cost or management perspective," said Joseph S. Crawford, Verizon Business executive director, IT solutions product management.

"Verizon Cloud Storage is a game-changer for enterprises, offering IT departments a cost-effective and simpler way to store data,” Crawford said.

Verizon said that the cloud-based storage service--which operates on a pay-as-you-basis and scales on demand to meet customers’ storage requirements--can be deployed on its own or to supplement existing storage solutions such as storage area networking (SAN) or network-attached storage (NAS).

Patrick Verhoeven, Verizon Business cloud services product manager, in an audio podcast said that the cloud storage service is geared towards Tier 2 and Tier 3 data—specifically, for seldom or rarely-used non-critical, non-transactional information.

He said that the service can be embedded as part of Verizon’s larger business solutions such as network services, security services, professional services, and application management services.

Customers access Verizon’s cloud storage service from a portal where accounts can be set up and data managed. At the portal, policies can be defined for individual users, detailing where data is stored and whether it is to be replicated in multiple locations.

Storage resources are consumed on demand with monthly billing based on usage.

The company said that the out of the gate it will use the storage delivery network from Nirvanix, a San Diego, CA-based provider of enterprise cloud storage services.

Storage growth driven by user-generated data, machine data, business analytics

To help make its case for the service, Verizon pointed to a recent report by researcher Forrester Research Inc., entitled “Controlling Storage Cost Amid High Growth,” that indicated storage capacity requirements are ballooning as much as 40 percent a year.

Verhoeven said that the explosion in data growth is prompted by user generated content such as documents, images, audio and video, machine-generated IT materials such as alerts and logs, and data retention levels mandated by regulatory and compliance requirements.

In addition, companies using data for competitive purposes—applying business analytics and intelligence technology to data to drive sales—contribute to the upsurge in data storage requirements, he said.

Verizon also is rolling out a suite of data retention services to help enterprises understand where data is stored and how it is used and accessed.

Two of the services—Data Discovery and Retention Policy Assessment—provide discovery of the customer’s data and an assessment of existing policies for the flow, storage and handling of data.

The Data Retention Policy Development service helps enterprises to develop formal data storage and backup policies.

Verizon said that its cloud storage service is available in North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific regions.

Global availability makes it a “very compelling offer for distributed enterprises looking for a flexible way to store growing volumes of data," said Amy Larsen DeCarlo, principal analyst, security and data center services, Current Analysis Inc., a Sterling, VA-based researcher.

SAP AG certifies Verizon’s Computing-as-a-Service platform

Verizon said that it is the first global provider that SAP has certified for its cloud services. The certification grants permission to Verizon to provide enterprises with the CaaS model, including business software applications for customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, product lifecyle, supply chain and corporate services.

“Businesses that rely on SAP applications now have a new option with the certification of Verizon CaaS as a cloud delivery platform," said Crawford.

"Running SAP applications on CaaS will enable companies to streamline how applications are consumed and managed to achieve new gains in productivity and economics," he said.

TAGS: cloud computing,services,Enterprise,Verizon Business,Storage

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