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Verizon's two-headed cloud strategy

What will Verizon do with Terremark's cloud? How will a new partnership with SAP affect its cloud strategy? These are the questions that we never got to ask Verizon's cloud chiefs.

Weekly cloud computing update

I was really looking forward to meeting with Chris Gesell, Verizon's chief cloud strategist, and Chris Wilson, the company's chief cloud architect, at Interop this week. But these guys have a really hard time with the press.

I arrived for the interview but Verizon quickly backed out, shifting to "ye olde tyme monopoly" Bell company behavior with huddles, hems, haws and no comments. But customers still have this annoying, legitimate need to know what's going on.

I had three questions:

  1. What are the plans to bring Verizon's and Terremark's cloud computing services together, as it makes no sense to offer two of the same thing?
  2. Is partnering with SAP enough to provide an integrated, seamless Software as a Service experience for the user? It's been suggested that you need to own the whole stack -- network infrastructure all the way through to the software, like -- to create the best user experience.
  3. A large part of Verizon has its roots in the old Bell System, which was well known for its world-class innovation. Was any of that legacy baked into Verizon? If so, does this mean we can expect big ideas from Verizon to advance cloud computing, or will the company just continue to buy its way into the market and stumble and bumble its way to a cloud strategy?

My theory is that Verizon will at some point have to shut down one of its Infrastructure as a Service clouds, as it's costly and inefficient to run both. Two cloud chiefs each with their own strategy, two sets of engineers and operations staff, two sets of the same infrastructure; it's too much.

Terremark's service launched long before Verizon's and has more customers, so presumably this is the service Verizon will move forward with. Will Verizon's Compute as a Service users be migrated to Terremark? And if so, what's the timeline for that?

Until the company sorts this out, new customers to either service will be hard to get; what if that's the service that gets shut down? Existing customers will also get nervous and potentially start looking around at other options if Verizon doesn't make it plans clear.

To that end, there were plenty of IT managers at the expo who came to learn about cloud computing and some were happy so discuss their plans. Check out the latest Cloud Cover TV episode to find out what they had to say.

Jo Maitland is the Senior Executive Editor at Contact her at

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