Verizon Kills Some Public Cloud Services

Verizon apparently plans to kill some of its public cloud services, and is warning customers to migrate their data to Verizon Private Cloud or alternative services by April 12.

Rumors about Verizon abandoning the public cloud and trying to sell data centers have circulated since November 2015. The telecom company -- much like Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Rackspace and VMware -- discovered that it can't compete head-on against commodity public cloud IaaS platforms like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Dell killed its public cloud plans several years ago, HP Enterprise killed its public cloud in Fall 2015, Rackspace expanded to manage third-party clouds last year, and VMware is now enhancing NSX to unite a range of third-party clouds.

Also, telecom giant CenturyLink is trying to sell nearly 60 data centers, and expects to speak with numerous bidders this week. CenturyLink intends to remain in the cloud and managed IT services markets, but doesn't believe it needs to own the physical concrete to do so.

Verizon Shutting Down 2 Cloud Services

Verizon spent $1.4 billion in January 2011 to acquire Terremark Worldwide as part of a massive public cloud initiative. CenturyLink purchased Savvis around the same time for a similar strategy.

Now, Verizon appears to be retreating from the public cloud to focus on private cloud services, though the Verizon Cloud Storage service also will remain online. In an alert to public cloud customers, according to The Register, Verizon said:

"On April 12, 2016, Verizon will shut down any virtual servers running on Public Cloud or Reserved Performance Cloud Spaces. Please take steps now to plan for migration to VPC or another alternative before the discontinuation date. Verizon will retain no content or data remaining on these Cloud Spaces after that date and any content or data that you do not transfer prior to the discontinuation will be irrecoverably deleted."

Verizon's Cloud Response

In a follow-up to The Register, a Verizon spokesperson said:

"Verizon remains committed to delivering a range of cloud services for enterprise and government customers and is making significant investments in its cloud platform in 2016."

Re-read that Verizon statement and the term "public cloud" is noticeably absent. Assuming Verizon Public Cloud really is set to go dark, it's the latest indication that telcos won't transform into public cloud hubs for their customers. Instead, they will likely become managed network highways to a range of third-party clouds.

ChannelE2E has not independently confirmed The Register's original report. We have reached out to Verizon for comment about its public cloud strategy, and the alleged note to customers about the April 12 data/workload migration deadline.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.