Orange Business Services has hitched its wagon to the members of the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) coalition and its integrated VBlock virtualization and cloud play to launch cloud-based managed services, a move that will give Orange a stronger competitive edge as service providers battle to control the cloud.
The VCE, which comprises cloud and virtualization tools from Cisco, EMC and VMware to create the pre-integrated VBlock architecture, formed in 2009 to provide a single source for networking, storage, computing and virtualization components into a single data center architecture.
On Monday, Orange Business Services unveiled its allegiance with the VCE and VBlock, and its three key players Cisco, EMC and VMware, to offer managed private and hybrid cloud computing services, said Vivek Badrinath, Orange Business Services CEO, during a Web conference announcing the alliance.
The alliance, dubbed Flexible 4 Business, will leverage Orange's global network to deliver pre-integrated and pre-tested VBlock-based solutions from its three partner vendors. Some solutions will include Cisco's Unified Computing System and Nexus 1000V switches; EMC's cloud and virtual storage platforms; and VMware's vSphere virtualization platform, vCenter Server and vCloud Director.
"The combination of all of our expertise … is really around the fact that we have a vision of what the cloud is about," Badrinath said.
Orange said it can give customers IT-as-a-service without requiring CIOs and IT to build their own cloud computing infrastructure. Offering a single-source managed service reduces complexity while boosting application performance.
Badrinath said Orange's experience enables it to offer the services in a managed end-to-end fashion and with SLAs. The Flexible 4 Business offerings will include four different pay-per-use cloud offerings
"It's like a natural extension of a telco's business model, our business model," he said.
Orange's move to partner up with Cisco, EMC and VMware, both through pairing with the VCE and each vendor separately, comes as service providers look to capture a portion of the cloud computing market and will help Orange compete against the likes of AT&T, BT, Verizon and a host of other carriers that are building out their cloud computing plays.
Rob Lloyd, Cisco executive vice president of worldwide operations, said that VBlock is the "logical platform" on top of which to offer private and virtual private clouds, along with unified communications and security as cloud services.
Howard Elias, president and COO of Information Infrastructure and Cloud Services at EMC, added that the alliance recognizes that enterprises will turn to service providers for cloud needs as they shift to private cloud computing solutions.
"Customers want more than commodity," he said.