Partners Approve Of CenturyLink's ElasticBox Acquisition For Hybrid IT, Multi-Cloud Management

CenturyLink has scooped up startup ElasticBox to take the pain out of multi-cloud management for both partners and business customers.

Most businesses today are working with hybrid IT environments, consisting of a variety of cloud services across multiple cloud providers. The addition of the ElasticBox technology for cloud application management, in conjunction with CenturyLink's global network, will help free up partners and end customers from managing increasingly complex cloud environments, according to the telecom giant.

Monroe, La.-based CenturyLink has recently been positioning itself as an IT company instead of a carrier thanks to its large IaaS cloud and hosting footprint and robust network. That mindset needs to be applied to its latest acquisition because applying "old world" telecom thinking to the cloud won't work, said Michael Bremmer, CEO of, a telecom consultancy firm and solution provider based in Moreno Valley, Calif.

[Related: Partners Cheer CenturyLink's Energy-Efficient Data Center Efforts]

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"CenturyLink shouldn't try to change the DNA of the company it bought," he said. "As long as they don’t apply the old thinking to the new company and let Elastic be as they are, the synergies should be fantastic."

ElasticBox’s platform complements CenturyLink's cloud technology that the provider has been actively developing and operating, a CenturyLink spokesperson told CRN.

"We’ve thought through the partner angle prior to the acquisition, which will enable greater cloud access and management options for partners and their customers. Our support and the excellent partner and end-customer experience our current CenturyLink Cloud platform provides will be enhanced by ElasticBox’s ability to enable a great experience across multiple clouds," the spokesperson said.

Avnet, a Phoenix-based technology distribution provider and CenturyLink Premier Partner, is pleased that ElasticBox’s multi-cloud technology will be integrated with the CenturyLink Cloud platform, said Tim FitzGerald, Avnet's vice president of cloud solutions and channel ecosystem strategist.

"This frees up businesses to focus on issues that are central to their organization rather than spending time and resources managing multiple clouds," FitzGerald said. "Directionally, we see it as a positive move because having options for multiple cloud platforms – and making it easy to use them – is aligned with the hybrid IT strategies and needs of many customers."

San Francisco-based startup ElasticBox provides a cloud application management platform to help end customers -- and now, CenturyLink partners -- orchestrate application deployment. ElasticBox's application orchestration is available today for more than 12 different cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services, IBM’s SoftLayer and Microsoft Azure. The startup recently added support for the CenturyLink Cloud platform, as well as additional support for the Google Compute Engine and OpenStack. ElasticBox also supports Docker and Amazon ECS containers, according to CenturyLink.

CenturyLink expects to put additional resources behind the ElasticBox technology to improve their capabilities at managing multi-cloud environments, as well as performing hybrid IT managed services, the provider said.

The management platform should be easy for partners and business customers to be able to use right away, Avnet's FitzGerald said.

"With CenturyLink’s stated desire to improve and leverage the ElasticBox technology to deliver end-to-end network, multi-cloud and hybrid IT managed services, this looks really exciting … for Avnet and we expect it will be for other channel partners, too," he said.