Virgin Media Business launches fresh cloud offering

Cloud computing

Virgin Media Business has announced its first "true cloud product" with the launch of its Virtual Private Data Centre (VPDC), mixing private and public cloud functionality.

Businesses who sign up to the service will enjoy typical public cloud benefits, such as scalability and a pay-as-you-use model, Virgin said today.

In a typically public model, users will outsource their infrastructure to Savvis, who will provide the data centre capacity for the VPDC.

Organisations are craving some clarity and no-nonsense advice...

However, for those worried about the security of using the public internet, Virgin said it could simply build a dedicated IPVPN into the customer's data centre.

Customers will be billed on an hourly rate for however much virtual power they use and IT will be able to manage their infrastructure from a drag-and-drop online portal.

Virgin promised a VPDC could be set up on the same day of purchase. The VPDC can also be modified "as and when required, with changes being ready to go within 90 minutes."

The offering has been built on top of VMware virtualisation and Cisco virtual fabric technologies.

It all came as Virgin announced an overarching strategy to provide simple cloud services without any of the technical jargon.

"Organisations are craving some clarity and no-nonsense advice. Providing easy-to-use, simple cloud services that do exactly what they say they'll do, really well, is a breath of fresh air," said Virgin Media Business' managing director Mark Heraghty.

"Today, we're launching a cloud product and a market strategy that's got all the right ingredients. We're backing this up with the largest nationwide fibre-optic network, and the straightforward advice and support everyone expects from a Virgin company."

A positive reception?

Ovum analyst David Molony welcomed the move, saying Virgin has come into the cloud game at the right time and with the right partner.

"This is a significant development in VMB's [Virgin Media Business'] services strategy, with a well-thought out choice of partner," Molony said.

"It makes a big statement about VMB's intentions to be a significant player in the UK business telecoms market and will be a big challenge to BT and Cable & Wireless, both of which have already launched virtual data centre services like this."

Read on for our interview with Cable & Wireless about what telecoms firms can offer over other cloud vendors.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.