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Verizon bets reliability beats price in cloud computing

Verizon unveiled their cloud computing offering this week and introduced a new question into the debate over cloud: Which is more important, price or reliability? Carl Brooks runs down Verizon’s cloud pricing scheme in detail, and it’s a very different flavor than Amazon Web Services. Verizon: pay $750 just to get started, and then by the day. Amazon: nothing to start, pay by the hour.

Translate that into use cases and you get Verizon=deliberate act by someone with a budget, Amazon=casual act by someone with an expense account. Of course, Amazon already has customers with budgets, but they may well have started as casual users kicking the tires at virtually no risk. Verizon’s early adopters will have likely gotten a nod from someone in authority and have a budget — no mention was made of self-service and credit cards.

At first glance, Verizon’s entry seems a bit like Dad showing up at the high school dance dressed like all the cool kids. But in some ways, Verizon’s offering marks a turning point in the emerging cloud market because Verizon (as with most major telcos) is all about uptime and process. Brooks’ story quotes a Verizon exec suggesting, for example, that users will likely be able to bring auditors in to meet their compliance and security audit needs. Verizon is talking about “100% uptime.” Amazon is a bit elusive on their exact uptime and to my knowledge has no kind of customer audit capability.

Verizon is only committing “a few hundred” servers to the project as yet, but they are the first major player to emphasize those kind of enterprise requirements. The question to readers is, are you looking for that kind of enterprise reliability in cloud now, or are you currently more into cheap trials? And if it all works out, do you see a Verizon as a long-term partner?

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