Earlier this year Verizon bought Terremark, a cloud and security service provider. Terremark shepherded in 13 data centers from across Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. to join with Verizon’s previous 220 data centers throughout 23 countries.
Now the astronomical giant in the telecommunications industry is buying the software to match. Their newest acquisition is CloudSwitch, a cloud software vendor. They have successfully pawned off their software on 15 sizable corps, ranging from banking, to pharmaceutics, to media, according to VP of Products, Ellen Rubin. Their software has only been on the market for about 12 months.
Verizon’s plans to rule the world include combining the two into one. Verizon is undecided whether to offer the software separately or as part of the Terremark package. The current price for CloudSwitch software runs $25,000 annually on a subscription fee basis. Additional costs are charged for each virtual machine utilized in the process.
The trouble with selling cloud services and software lies not in the company offering either, but in the fear of cloud vulnerabilities and complexity. Larger corps are hesitant to take a bite of the bait simply because it is both difficult to migrate legacy software and it sets up a security vulnerability living in the cloud. It is a matter of redesigning software that already works well and of losing control over possession of the applications.
The software from CloudSwitch is designed to ease the transition and extend the Local Area Network security barrier, according to Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer for Verizon Terremark, Chris Gesell. Rubin claims the software takes a mere 20 minutes of installation time. Then they can easily create or move applications to the cloud. All of the same directory structure and network tools are available after migration. Everything will behave just the same as if they were operating on their own data center, or so they claim. But this still does not actually address the security concerns nor those of possession of the applications.
Rubin added that IT departments may search for their software across multiple clouds, but that just begs the question about possession and security. She has not alleviated the concerns with her strange statement. The protection while interacting with the cloud comes from encryption tunneling. It keeps the network configuration, IP address, and other important settings intact.
Rubin does go on to explain that there is a layer of abstraction protected by an encryption key whenever communicating with the application. The cloud provider does not have access to this key. So theoretically your data and data streams are safe from prying eyes, even from the cloud maintainer. But we all know that is just theory.
The acquisition of CloudSwitch was a smart business move by Verizon. It will help them set their cloud services apart from the bare bones of such giants as Amazon or Rackspace. CloudSwitch will be an attractive addition that will encourage companies to make the move with less effort and more reliability, or at least in theory.