Xerox Offers New IaaS, Cloud Backup, Disaster Recovery Services To VARs

Xerox plans to offer a host of new cloud services through solution providers, including infrastructure-as-a-service for midrange and Intel systems, cloud backup and disaster recovery.

The services leverage the cloud infrastructure built by ACS, acquired by Xerox in 2010, and are targeted toward SMBs with revenue between $10 million and $250 million.

The services are designed to ensure that a company's applications, data and IT platforms are secure and are standardized versions of custom solutions that ACS previously built for large clients, said Ken Stephens, senior vice president of Xerox Cloud Services.

"We're packaging them in such a way that is much more standard, more off the shelf. Because we are standardizing those services, they can be sold much easier, i.e., with less customization, which provides us the opportunity to sell to a broader market," said Ken Stephens, senior vice president of Xerox Cloud Services. "The problem in the past has been if you spent a great deal of time developing customized solutions, the sales cycle is long and you have all these development costs to do the deal. You really had to do bigger deals to justify the investment of building solutions."

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The Xerox Cloud IaaS for Midrange and Intel services work on Linux and Windows servers and are offered with multiple tiers of storage, They also support multiple databases, legacy applications and ERP systems, according to the company, and can be installed and ready to use with an on-demand "click and pick" provisioning process.

Each client's workload is isolated on a separate VLAN, and protected by hypervisor-based virtual firewalls, according to Xerox. The IaaS services also include tracking, auditing and reporting capabilities through the Xerox ACS Management Platform and are delivered via five global data centers that house multitenant technologies and virtualized LANs, according to Xerox.

The Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery services include the recovery of data, applications and OSes with restorations less than 24 hours, according to Xerox. The Cloud Backup service includes self-service provisioning for Quantum deduplication/replication appliances, client-side software download for Quantum vmPRO and Quantum deduplication/replication appliances. Each Quantum appliance includes two terabytes of storage to contain the replicated de-deuped compressed data backups.

Private network connectivity from the client's network into the ACS Data Centers is not included, but network engineering services are available to help design and implement connectivity, according to Xerox. A customer may order and own the telecom service or order service through ACS, using ACS's contracted telecom rates, according to Xerox.

The Disaster Recovery as a Service is sold in combination with Cloud Backup and is replicated, secured and encrypted on a daily basis and leverages the same Business Cloud infrastructure used for corporate enterprises, according to Xerox. While Cloud Backup enables the restoration of individual files, the Disaster Recovery service can recover a complete image of each virtual machine instance to an alternate location. End users can designate critical applications for restoration in less than 24 hours by purchasing guaranteed capacity, while less critical applications are available for a longer restoration period at a reduced cost, according to the company.

Next: Cost-Effective Choice

Xerox is targeting the services toward VARs that don't have the capital or resources to build cloud solutions themselves, and to VARs that might have the means to do so but still couldn't do it in as cost-effective a model as Xerox can provide, Stephens said.

"The one thing that's great for cloud services is you can leverage them across multiple tenants to reduce the financial leverage. Even for larger customers this makes sense. We make money and [VARs] get beter solutions to offer to customers," he said.

Xerox acknowledged that it's joining a crowded roster of vendors looking to capitalize on the cloud phenomenon. The Xerox differentiator, Stephens said, is that partners aren't forced to rely on a single vendor to provide the entire solution.

"HP is an example. They're a great company but they still culturally struggle offering something that is not HP. We don't have that problem. We're pretty agnostic. We do have chosen partners. We are standardized on [VCE's] Vblock and we leverage a great deal of CA [Technologies and Novell/Attachmate, but we're not religious about it," Stephens said.