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Verizon Challenges Amazon with Verizon Cloud

It features an IaaS elastic computing system, Verizon Cloud Compute, and an object storage system, Verizon Cloud Storage

Verizon is calling on the expertise of one of its recent acquisitions to offer a cloud computing service to its customers.

Verizon has announced details about a new cloud computing service for business, Verizon Cloud, an IaaS offering the company claims will offer better end-user control over performance than any other cloud solution.

Currently in limited beta, Verizon Cloud features an IaaS elastic computing system, Verizon Cloud Compute, and an object storage system, Verizon Cloud Storage. But where Verizon Cloud differs, according to Verizon, is that it delivers the performance you specify, not just the performance you end up with, according to an article on InfoWorld.com.

Much of the technology for creating this new cloud sprang from Terremark, the cloud technology company Verizon acquired in 2011. With conventional telecom on the wane, companies like Verizon are looking for related technology venues into which to expand, and cloud computing may well be one of them.

With Verizon Cloud Compute, Verizon says, "users can determine and set virtual machine and network performance, providing predictable performance for mission-critical applications, even during peak times." Other services, such as Amazon Web Services, force users to pick a preset virtual machine size. The other big selling point versus the competition is that Verizon Cloud will supposedly eliminate "latency issues that have plagued many traditional storage offerings" in the cloud.

Cloud Storage Strategies Could Reduce Data Loss
Here's something to file under "Important": Widespread acceptance of cloud storage indicates the impact cloud storage can have on disaster recovery strategies, according to a survey of 288 IT personnel from cloud-based storage solutions specialist TwinStrata.

Sixty percent of respondents today currently use cloud storage, with another 23 percent planning to use it. With more than four out of five (83 percent) organizations planning to use cloud storage in some capacity, survey results indicated that cloud storage has gained significant ground in terms of widespread acceptance and even adoption, according to an article on eWEEK.com. Furthermore, when asked about current and future plans, the survey revealed that current users have already implemented cloud storage for two or more use cases with plans to average at least four use cases per organization.

Sixty percent of respondents estimated that they could recover from a full disaster (as defined by the need to bring up both apps and data in a secondary location) within 24 hours. However, one in five (20 percent) estimate that it would take them more than three days. Interestingly, however, while cloud storage has gained significant ground in terms of adoption, the amount of data pushed to the cloud remains relatively light, with 55 percent of cloud storage users having less than 10TB in the cloud. Only 25 percent have more than 50TB.

However, despite the availability of affordable data recovery options such as cloud storage, 1 in 3 organizations relies solely on either onsite backups or offsite tapes as their only backup strategy, while 1 in 10 relies only on cloud storage for backup and disaster recovery.

How Cloud Computing Changes the Game for Retail Industry CIOs
Attention, cloud computing shoppers.

The cloud is poised to make an impact in the retail sector, according to a recent report.

By moving to the cloud, CIOs in the retail sector can address certain deficiencies and build capabilities tailored for today's consumers. The retail cloud market is expected to more than triple from $4.2 billion in 2011 to $15.1 billion in 2015, according to Accenture estimates.

Retail CIOs can use cloud, combined with the technological advances in mobility and analytics, to further improve business outcomes. Here are a few key areas, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal:

Channel operations. With cloud, retail-as-a-service (RaaS) will finally become a viable solution. RaaS brings operational processes, like sales associate management and restocking, on to a single cloud platform. CIOs won't have to own and maintain the servers required to support peak loads during holidays or product launches. With RaaS, hardware and software updates will be handled by cloud service providers. IT costs will drop and geographic expansion will be easier.

Merchandising and marketing. Cloud enables emerging trends like context-based services, which can help retailers personalize the in-store experience by merging real world and digital data in order to understand who the shopper is, where she is and what she is doing.

Supply chain. Cloud will give small- and medium-sized retailers access to industry-leading inventory processes, such as Master Content Management (MCM) which creates a process to more effectively share IT data with business. MCM can help retailers use social data to better understand and influence consumer behavior.

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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