Verizon Throws Its Hat Into Cloud Storage Services Ring

The cloud storage competition just got a little more crowded.

Verizon Business on Tuesday launched its Verizon Cloud Storage Storage-as-a-Service offering, an enterprise cloud storage service that the provider said tackles the explosion of storage requirements. According to Forrester Research, data requirements are growing at 20 percent to 40 percent annually, leaving companies stressing over where to store and retrieve data. If that growth rate rings true, that means 100 TB of production storage capacity today will balloon to nearly 372 TB over the next five years.

"Managing these growing volumes of data is increasingly difficult," said Patrick Verhoeven, Verizon Business' cloud service product manager. "How do you cope with this explosive data growth?"

The cloud-based storage offering from Verizon comes as "Our approach to cloud storage is different than Amazon's," he said, adding that while Amazon is a solid fit for consumers, Verizon Cloud Storage is more suited for enterprises. "We're not approaching this market trying to be the cheapest cloud storage out there. Amazon has a good product. We serve a different type of customer."

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Verizon Cloud Storage is a pay-as-you-go storage offering that can be used as a stand-alone solution or to augment storage area networking (SAN) or network-attached storage (NAS) tools. Verizon will launch the service in the U.S. and 16 other countries next month. It features physical and logical security, such as secure multi-tenant file system and encrypted data transfers. It also allows for different methods to access stored data, including software, APIs and third-party applications. Meanwhile, companies can select where data is stored.

Next: Customers have 'complete control'

At the outset, Verizon will utilize the storage delivery network of Nirvanix, a cloud storage service provider, leveraging Nirvanix's five-node delivery network. Later this year, Verizon will build a series of five to 10 "on-net" nodes into Verizon data centers, offering more integration with other Verizon cloud services.

The service is managed via a Web portal that lets admins manage users through various accounts and select storage nodes and set up policies. Users can also view detailed reports, open and view service requests and access other Verizon services through the portal.

"Our customers have complete control over where they put their data and how many copies of that data they need," Verhoeven said.

Verizon Cloud Storage pricing is "consistent with other cloud storage services in the marketplace," Verhoeven said, noting that it lists at 25 cents per GB of storage and users can receive a price break based on the number of copies stored and monthly volume commitments. And for bandwidth and network access to reach storage the cost is 10 centers per GB in and 20 cents per GB out.

Along with the new cloud storage offering, Verizon also launched a pair of Verizon Data Retention Services, new consulting services that give users insight into where their data is currently stored, how it is used and accessed and to help align their storage policies and practices with business objectives. The services include the new Data Discovery and Retention Policy Assessment, which discovers customer's data and assesses existing policies for the flow, storage and handling of that data. The second service, Data Retention Policy Development, helps companies develop a formal storage and backup policy for data and a roadmap for implementations.

The launch of Verizon Cloud Storage is the latest in a string of cloud services from Verizon, which has been trumpeting its "everything-as-a-service" approach for the past several months. Last month, Verizon revealed a three-phase cloud security services plan and, earlier this year, Verizon updated its on-demand Computing-as-a-Service (CaaS) cloud computing infrastructure.