Verizon is a major American telecommunications firm and America’s largest wireless network provider. In 2011, Verizon acquired Terremark, an American data centre owner and provider of colocation and cloud services, in a $1.4 billion deal. The move allowed Verizon to fully expand into the cloud market to support Verizon Enterprise (formerly Verizon Business), its business IT arm. Verizon already owned an extensive data centre network that was not cloud-enabled, and on the purchase pushed management of its existing assets over to Terremark. The new data centre business is called Verizon Terremark.
Now Verizon has commissioned CitiGroup to investigate the possibility of selling its entire enterprise division, including Terremark and MCI, its business landline and internet branch. The move comes as little surprise, as a number of US telcos begin the process of disinvesting in data centres – an area in which few have been able to compete against specialist data centre and cloud providers. Despite the retention of CitiGorup, and the press rumours that won’t die down, Verizon continues to deny it is considering the sale.
Verizon’s data centre services now cover private, public and hybrid clouds, managed cloud, managed services and colocation, along with other IaaS and Saas solutions. Cloud as a Service (CaaS) is now available on a pay-per-use basis in line with competitors, although customers who want to stay on the reserved capacity model can do so.
Verizon’s carrier neutral data centre network is highly-spec’d, with access to over 160 global network carriers, depending upon your location. Solutions, space and payment terms are all flexible, with a plenty of options on rack size and density. Customers requiring more than four cabinets can buy cages starting at 100 square feet and rising in 50 square feet increments, and private suites and part cabinets are also options.
Verizon Enterprise has headquarters in New Jersey, while the original Terremark headquarters in Miami-Dade, Florida continues to be used for the data centre side of the business.
Verizon owns two cloud-enabled data centres and nine standard regional data centres in Europe. The cloud enabled data centres are in London and Amsterdam, with the regional data centres located in Madrid, Dublin, Paris, Brussels, Luxembourg, Frankfurt, Milan, Stockholm and Istanbul. Verizon also has an extensive network of data centres in North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Worldwide Verizon has almost 50 data centres in total, 11 of which are cloud-enabled.
Verizon has been experimenting with various environmentally technologies ever since it acquired Terremark. In 2013 it began testing methods to push cool air around server racks more efficiently than manually controlling it and uses flywheels in place of batteries in the UPS.
Verizon has also gradually increased its use of renewable energy sources, with six of its sites taking 5.4mw from solar energy and 12 fuel cell sites offering 9.6mw. The sustainable energy sources were paid for by Verizon’s 2013 pledge to invest $100 million in renewable energies.
Verizon Enterprise and Terremark are both wholly owned subsidiaries of Verizon Communications Inc., which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Terremark was initially to keep its own name but has since been completely absorbed into the Verizon brand.
Customers and partners
Verizon Enterprise offers its services to businesses and organisations in any sector. It does, however, offer specialised services to the healthcare, agriculture, government, financial services and similar industries. It currently hosts the Visiting Nurse Service IT infrastructure and wireless network and offers its secure cloud interconnect to public sector organisations.
In 2013, Verizon lost a significant government contract through Terremark when its datacentre crashed twice on one month, leaving the public unable to access government services. Despite that, it still holds contract with other governmental departments, including the Library of Congress, and is part of the GSA Schedules programme, which offers bulk discounts to government departments.
A good all-round provider facing an uncertain future
While Verizon currently offers a good range of services that will appeal to a wide business market, the future of its data centre activity is still uncertain. The rumours that Verizon may sell its data centre business have been circulating for much of 2015, and with CitiGorup now on board, it looks likely that something significant is going to happen with the business.
Companies that are looking for long-term certainty and stability may not find a company under such scrutiny an appealing option at the moment. Verizon data centre services are not ground-breaking but they are comprehensive, well connected and scalable. Whether better value and stability can be bought elsewhere should be a major consideration for businesses currently seeking colocation and cloud services.