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Verizon puffs up Terremark cloud over London and Dallas

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It has been two years since telecom behemoth Verizon shelled out $1.4bn to buy cloud computing partner Terremark. And since that time, this poster child for VMware's vCloud wares has been pretty quiet as corporate types work to absorb it into the telco and realize the $500m in "synergies" – that means cross-selling and cost-cutting – that the deal required for it to make economic sense. Two years on, Terremark is integrated into Verizon and is ready to make some noise about its Enterprise Cloud.

Not a lot of noise, mind you. But some.

First, the vCloud-fluffed Enterprise Cloud is opening up for business in London – the one in England that is the financial capital of Europe rather than the one in Ontario that is a perfectly fine city of 366,151 souls along the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor that hugs the St Lawrence Seaway, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario and is home to more than half of the Great White North.

Terremark has been operating a single Enterprise Cloud data center in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and Troy Garrison, vice president of cloud experience at the Verizon unit says that European customers were clamoring for a second data center for disaster recovery that would still provide low latency links to the Amsterdam center.

The new London data center will not just sell Enterprise Cloud services based on the VMware software stack, but will also sell co-location services so companies can build hybrid clouds right in the Verizon facilities if low latency is of primary importance and they still want to retain control of some of their infrastructure. (Financial services companies, for instance, are usually pretty keen on controlling at least some of their own iron.)

Terremark got its start in Miami, Florida in 1980 and when Verizon snapped it up two years ago it was operating its main data centers there and in Culpepper, Virginia, from where it supports its Federal government customers. (At the time of the acquisition, the Feds accounted for about a fifth of Terremark's revenues.) The Terremark unit sells Enterprise Cloud capacity, colocation services, traditional hosting, and network services. When the Verizon deal went down, Terremark was running data centers in Amsterdam; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Bogota, Colombia; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Brussels, Belgium; Madrid, Spain; and Istanbul, Turkey. In the United States, Terremark had two other data centers: one in Dallas, Texas, and the other in Santa Clara, California. Prior to today's announcement, the Enterprise Cloud service was only fluffed up in Miami, Culpepper, Santa Clara, Denver (a Verizon data center), Sao Paulo, and Amsterdam. But now it is not only available in the new London data center, but also in the existing Dallas data center that came to Verizon from Terremark.

Aside from the expanded global footprint, Verizon has made a few other changes with the Terremark cloud. First, the role-based access controls and certificate-based multi-path authentication security that Federal customers have from the Culpepper data center is now available at all Enterprise Cloud facilities and to all enterprise and government customers. This makes the Verizon public cloud suitable for use with local, state, and federal governments and from any facility where Enterprise Cloud runs.

Enterprise Cloud has traditionally been sold in chunks of capacity called resource pools, with a certain amount of aggregated GHz of compute and GB of main memory that end users could carve up. Billing is done on a monthly basis and pricing is negotiated with a sales rep under contract for a set term. This is in contrast with the T-shirt sizes – small to extra extra large – preconfigured virtual server instances that Amazon and its other competitors use to peddle virty machines, and also to the published and hourly capacity prices.

Starting today, customers who want to buy capacity on the Enterprise cloud based on instances of CPU and amounts of storage capacity can do so. The instances can scale from 1 to 8 virtual CPUs and from 512MB to 16GB of main memory on the compute side. Pricing is still done under contract and on a monthly basis, but now if your billing for all other cloud services is done on a per-instance basis, you can merge the bills and manage your budget.

Incidentally, the images on the Enterprise Cloud are persistent, so even when you turn an image off, you can keep the virtual server in storage and fire it up any time without having to rebuild it.

While Verizon Terremark doesn't provide pricing for its Enterprise Cloud service, it does do one thing that Amazon does not: charge the same price for CPU and storage capacity no matter what region of its cloud it is running on. ®

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