Telecom giant Verizon, the latest provider to succumb to mounting pressures in the ultra-competitive public cloud market, will be closing its public cloud platform by spring, according to a letter to customers Thursday US time.
Verizon told its customers that any virtual servers running on its Public Cloud, Reserved Performance and Marketplace Services will be shut down by 12 April. Verizon urged users to migrate to its pricier Virtual Private Cloud offering or find another cloud alternative. Verizon Cloud Storage (VCS) users won't be impacted, the company said.
Verizon partners said the carrier's move to decommission its public cloud could throw some weight behind any partnership between Verizon and Alphabet's Google. The two are developing a Verizon-branded hybrid cloud service that runs on Google's public cloud, according to sources familiar with the deal.
"I think this is more evidence of that [Google deal]. It makes no sense for Verizon to maintain their own public cloud infrastructure if they are going to be doing that with Google," said one executive with a Verizon partner who requested anonymity.
"Culturally, these companies couldn't be more different," said the partner exec, "so how they integrate from either a partnership perspective or maybe through a merger or acquisition will be fascinating. I think that Google's technology within its cloud platform is a couple generations beyond where Verizon's cloud platform is."
Verizon users took to Twitter to share the letter Thursday US time. According to the letter, Verizon won't retain any data remaining on its public cloud platform after its discontinuation date and leftover content will be "irrecoverably deleted". Some partners speculated that the move could mean Verizon will sell off its data centre assets.
During its fourth quarter earnings call, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said the provider is evaluating the potential sale of its data centres, but no decision had been reached as of January.
The shutdown further proves that the pool of public cloud players is dwindling, with competition being edged out by industry heavyweights like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure that allow users to spin up cloud services simply with a credit card.
Hewlett-Packard made a similar move when it announced last year that its Helion Public Cloud platform would be shut down as of 31 January in an effort to double down on its private and managed cloud offerings.
According to a Verizon spokesperson when reached for comment by CRN USA, the impending public cloud closure puts an end only to the cloud service that accepts credit card payments.
"As we continue to focus on the enterprise market, we’re discontinuing the niche cloud service that accepted individual credit card swipes on April 12. We have an enterprise-class range of cloud services including multi-tenant offerings such as cloud storage and virtual private cloud for enterprise and government customers. We’re making significant investments in our cloud platform in 2016," Verizon said.