Big Blue to buy Verizon's cloud

Just last year Verizon said it was investing for the long haul, now it will share with IBM

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In February 2016 Verizon told The Register it “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."

And today it announced IBM will acquire its cloud and managed hosting business, for an undisclosed sum.

Verizon hinted it wanted out of the bit barn business in mid-2016 and then sold 29 data centres to Equinux for US$3.6bn in December of the same year.

Now it's quit the business altogether in a deal it says will see it agree “to work with IBM on a number of strategic initiatives involving networking and cloud services.” Just what those initiatives are has not been disclosed.

Verizon's cloud has a rocky history. It acquired to offering from Terremark and quickly rebooted it by moving from VMware to Xen and pledging a new object store, a block store, and a compute service.

But the public compute service was closed in February 2016, leaving just the “Verizon Virtual Private Cloud” on sale.

And then there was none, although the canned statement from senior veep and group president for enterprise solutions George Fischer says the company still has a goal “to become one of the world’s leading managed services providers enabled by an ecosystem of best-in-class technology solutions from Verizon and a network of other leading providers.”

Verizon says “We are notifying affected customers directly although we do not expect any immediate impact to their services as a result of this agreement. We will formally notify and update customers as appropriate with additional information nearer the close of the deal. We expect the transaction to close later this year.”

IBM is silent on the deal. The Register imagines an impossible-to-refuse Bluemix offer may not be long in coming once the ink is dry.

Verizon's departure from the cloud business follows similar surrenders by VMware, Cisco, HPE and to a lesser extent Rackspace, which now prefers offering cloud services to running clouds. Which may lead some to assume that the big four clouds – Amazon, Azure, Google and IBM - will soon have things all to themselves. On the other side of that argument is news that OVH is expanding and Chinese colossi Huawei and Alibaba plan to do so too. There's also an emerging mosquito fleet of ARM-powered upstarts thinks it can suck the blood out of x86-powered clouds. ®


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