Orange forms cloud with VMware, Cisco and EMC

Cloud computing

Orange Business Services has formed an alliance with Cisco, EMC and VMware to offer private cloud computing services.

Called Flexible 4 Business (F4B), the service will deliver pay-per-use managed cloud services based on technologies from the four partners, with Orange fronting as the service provider.

The cloud services portfolio will initially be composed of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) provisioning. IaaS will be the main offering of a private cloud configuration with a back-up service and SaaS will add security, based on RSA Security technologies, anti-malware protection, plus unified communications services.

The alliance said it would help customers transfer to cloud computing and gain flexibility, cost reduction and business performance optimisation.

The F4B services will be based on Vblock Infrastructure Packages. These are integrated, validated, and "ready-to-grow" cloud infrastructure building blocks developed for the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE), a concept forged by VMware, Cisco, and EMC last November. The acronym VCE also encapsulates the partner's names.

Vblocks are comprised of Cisco's Unified Computing System blade and rack servers, based on Intel Xeon processors, and Nexus 1000V virtual switches, EMC's V-Max or Clariion disk storage and the VMware vSphere stack.

Vivek Badrinath, chief executive (CEO) of Orange Business Services, stressed the F4B is not a shrink-wrapped product and will be customised to suit each customer.

He said: "It's about four players coming together to address the four components of cloud computing: infrastructure, storage, virtualisation, and network operation."

The Orange Business Services unit is targeting sales of 500 million (423 million) by 2015 from cloud computing services.

"Architected properly, customers can benefit from having their own private clouds seamlessly integrated with service provider clouds to deliver on the promise of providing unprecedented gains in operational efficiency, quality of service and business agility for Enterprise IT," said Howard Elias, president and chief operating officer for EMC's Information Infrastructure and Cloud Services division.

Business Services will provide data centre space or work with third-parties' and customers' data centres under service level agreements (SLAs) suited to the nature of the provision. It will also make additional services available from its existing catalogue to assist with operating system and middleware issues.