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Verizon Intros Cloud Computing For SMBs

Pay-as-you-go, on-demand model offers small and midsized businesses features including built-in security and prebuilt server templates.

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Small and midsized businesses are the focus of Verizon's latest pay-as-you-go cloud offering, Computing as a Service SMB, which the carrier announced Tuesday.

The service is geared at companies such as retailers, manufacturers, professional service firms, web-based businesses, and application developers with limited IT resources or those that don't want to own or manage their IT infrastructure, the carrier said. The scaled-down CaaS SMB joins Verizon's other cloud computing services.

The carrier claims its built-in security, which includes virtual private networks (VPNs), sets it apart from other available cloud offerings. Companies can add other security features and can also retain their existing data and server architectures for continued access through CaaS SMB, Verizon said.

"We are bringing the power of a high-performance, secure cloud environment to our small-business customers to meet their specific need for on-demand computing resources," said Carrie Gray, Verizon Business' executive director of medium business, in a statement. "This new offering will help SMBs tap cloud technology to be more agile, productive, and cost effective, so they can better compete in today's global economy without having to build and maintain a high-capital, high-maintenance infrastructure to meet their IT needs."

Customers can use CaaS SMB to deploy a prebuilt server from templates that have licensed subscription software or change an existing server configuration. Features of the service include: a web-based console that doesn't require an IT background to use; no minimum commitment; fully redundant architecture; server cloning; hardware load balancing; adaption to a wide range of operating systems; up to eight virtual processors per virtual server; up to 16 GB of RAM per virtual server; up to 7 TB of storage per virtual server; and compatibility with existing applications.

The on-demand, pay-as-you-go model is ideal for SMBs, which need flexible, cost-effective services that have built-in security and control for their IT operations, said Melanie Posey, research VP at IDC.

Verizon introduced its CaaS product last year with partners VMware and Terremark. Pricing for CaaS SMB is based on the services chosen, said the firm.