Late to the party but best dressed, reckons telecoms firm
Virgin Media Business has announced its first cloud service – a virtual private data centre (VPDC) built on infrastructure from Savvis.
Aimed at the SMB market with organisations of 250 – 1,000 employees, Virgin says the service aims to make the provision and deployment of virtual private data centres quick and easy and enable customers to scale up or down as needed.
IT admins can set up their VPDC via an online portal that uses drag and drop functionality. Virgin Media Business claims it can be set up and deployed the same day with any subsequent changes taking 90 minutes to implement.
The service will be offered on a pay for what you use model, so companies will not be tied into long terms contracts. Customers will be informed of the cost on a per-month basis during set up, with prices changing depending on what configuration is used, such as server and storage space used. This does of course make it difficult to provide a price estimate.
The service is split into three different pricing levels, Essential, Premium and Balanced, which offer different SLAs and other security configurations depending on a company’s needs.
The company is also offering the service on a trial basis to help potential customers test the system out, Virgin Media Business MD Mark Heraghty said. All data will be kept within the UK to meet regulation requirements, the company said.
Speaking at an event held in London to announce the launch, Heraghty said he feels the time is right for Virgin Media Business to make its move in the cloud arena. "I recognise the hype around cloud and everyone’s been talking about it for a number of years," he said. "But what makes this different is that it is just about to happen; the technology in the network and the data centre is sufficiently mature for clear benefits to be delivered."
Andrew Barron, COO of Virgin Media Business said that although the cloud market is now fairly mature his firm will still be able to bring something different to the market. "You could say that we’re late to the party," he said, "but we’re best dressed. The combination of Savvis’ data centre infrastructure and our fibre-optic network is bringing something new."
Ovum analyst David Molony agreed that the launch has come at the right time. "It’s timely, because the cloud services business is getting some momentum. Ovum surveys with enterprises show that the proportion of enterprises trying out cloud-based network and IT services has increased from one-third to nearly half in the past year."
"VMB is able to offer a significant new service from a proven vendor with a high level of accreditation as well as significant hosting capacity. Savvis extends its service reach into the UK market across a high-spec MPLS network it would have taken years to build for itself. The partnership is a good fit because VMB does none of the global VPN services that Savvis specialises in particularly in financial markets."
The service is available from today and will be aimed at UK companies, which is where Virgin Media Business is focused. However companies with international offices can still use the service with some additional configuration needed, the company told CBR.