Verizon Business, the division of fixed-line network operator Verizon Communications Inc that serves the business rather than residential market, has unveiled a Basic option for managing the operating systems on its customers’ servers.
Rick Dyer, the division’s director of IT solutions product management, said the new service is a subset of the company’s Remote IP Application Management Services. He said it is strategically designed as an entry level for the broader portfolio, with Verizon handling OS patch and change management as well as problem resolution, and leaving the customer to run the actual apps. He said there is also a compliance play in that it can institute a change-management process so that we can not only restore anything that’s gone awry but also keep a record of who made the changes for audit control purposes.
The Remote IP Application Management Service Basic will work by the carrier deploying software agents for monitoring and management on the customer’s servers. Dyer said the agents will be a mixture of HP OpenView technology and some custom code written by Verizon itself. The OS management function will then be carried out over a secure VPN connection, either over the public internet or one of Verizon’s Private IP dedicated lines.
The carrier charges for the service on a per-server basis, starting at $935 per server for a small number of boxes and falling as the size of the estate managed increases. Dyer said the average length of Basic contracts would be in the range of one to three years. He said the new service should function as a stepping stone for incoming customers, enabling Verizon, once in the account, to offer others from the MCI side of the business (co-lo and managed hosting) and rump Verizon (CPE storage, data center/mainframe outsourcing). The objective is to manage the customer’s comfort level with outsourcing, offering everything from infrastructure management through to an end-to-end service with professional services and consulting, he said.
The target for the Basic service is the medium-sized business segment looking for a joint or partial management service where they can still own the sexy bit but leave the patching and so on to us, said Dyer, as well as existing co-location customers in Verizon and non-Verizon data centers as a value add. The minimum number of servers for which it is worth taking the service would be in the five-to-eight range, for things like web, application, or database servers, he said. The service is available initially in the US, but as Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based Verizon has now gone global with the acquisition of MCI Inc which closed on January 6, Dyer said it will be rolled out to Europe and APAC later in the year once the company has resolved all billing issues.
The remainder of the Remote IP App Management portfolio comprising co-location and fully managed services is already available in those other geographies, serving the overseas arms of US corporations as well as competing for business from non-US customers. It is the result of MCI’s acquisition last August of Totality Corp, which extended its management capabilities from equipment within its own data centers to kit on customer premises.