Paetec Pumps Up Cloud Services Portfolio, Eyes Expansion

Paetec Holding Corp., a national service provider, on Monday boosted its cloud computing profile with the launch of a host of new cloud services.

The Fairport, N.Y.-based Paetec is also looking to expand its presence with a massive coast-to-coast data center expansion plan that will more than double the number of Paetec data centers nationally.

Paetec on Monday launched new cloud offerings that include virtual server, dedicated server, managed storage and hosted Exchange. Paetec said its new roster of cloud-based services will be housed, managed and maintained in the company's data centers.

According to Paetec, the virtual server play will give businesses the ability to buy computing and storage on a per-logical server basis for a monthly fee for on-demand scalability. The dedicated server solution offers turn-key implementations that reside in Paetec's data centers and lets customers transition to virtualization and cloud computing without new infrastructure.

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On the managed storage side, Paetec will offer an advanced, multi-tenant storage platform for on-demand storage capacity. And the new hosted Exchange offering delivers Microsoft Exchange E-mail servers with access to Paetec technicians and engineers for support.

"Looking at the products and services that were already available in the market, we saw very strong solutions for small business and startups and increasing competition for the large enterprise but very little that was appropriate for the needs of our mid-market customers," said John Chapman, chief marketing officer of Paetec, in a statement. "Unlike other cloud infrastructure providers focused on leveraging commodity hardware, we believe the cloud data center must offer the same performance and reliability of which our customers have become accustomed."

Paetec's leap into cloud computing comes as Paetec continues to expand its national footprint. Part of Paetec's cloud strategy includes the addition of 13 data centers by the end of 2012, which will put Paetec at an even 20 data centers nationally. Paetec's current data centers are in Andover, Mass.; Bethlehem and Conshohocken, Penn.; Richmond, Va.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Houston; and Phoenix. This year, Paetec plans to add data centers in McLean, Va.; Tampa, Fla.; Columbus, Ohio; Detroit, Mich.; and Charlotte, N.C. And in 2012, Paetec will bring data centers in Dallas; Chicago; Northern California; Rochester, N.Y.; Pittsburgh; Denver; Atlanta; and a location in the Pacific Northwest.

Paetec has also been on an acquisition hot streak over the past year.

In September 2010, Paetec acquired regional rival Cavalier Telephone Corp. in a $460 million all-cash deal. Paetec said the Cavalier buy expands its fiber-optic network business with the addition of Cavalier's 17,000 miles of fiber network in the U.S., which ups its own fiber network to more than 37,000 miles.

In February, Paetec signed a definitive agreement to acquire Xeta Technologies, one of the top Avaya and networking VARs in the Midwest and a VAR 500 staple. The cash deal was valued at about $61 million.