Verizon, Novell Offer ID Management Service - InformationWeek

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4/28/2010
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Verizon, Novell Offer ID Management Service

Verizon Business is branching out into cloud services, including identity management, in partnership with Novell.

Verizon Business has teamed up with Novell to offer Novell's identity management and application access controls for use as an on-demand service supplied from the Verizon cloud.

Enterprises that want a standard identity management and single sign-on system may make use of Verizon's Secure Access Services, noted Mark Shapiro, senior strategist with Verizon Business in an interview.

With its data centers offering Verizon Business Computing-as-a-Service, Verizon can give enterprises a federated identity service that allows a user to log in and be authorized once, then have that authorization follow him as he moves from application to application, whether those applications are in the on-premises data center of in the Verizon Business cloud, Shapiro said.

When Novell's Identity Manager and Access Manager are offered as a service in the Verizon cloud, they are running in a high availability environment with built-in disaster recovery capabilies. The service is initially aimed at enterprises with 500 or more employees or business units of companies with at least 500 employees.

"We believe Verizon Business is in a leadership position to scale on-demand Secure Access at any time," said Mark Rogers, director of business development at Novell.

Security and identity management are top priorities among IT managers surveyed on their concerns about cloud computing. Verizon may not have been the first supplier in the emerging field but it has several years of experience providing hosted services from its data centers and views cloud computing as the next step.

The Verizon Computing-as-a-Service cloud is different from other public clouds in that it is emphasizing security capabilities versus low hourly rates and is capable of running VMware ESX Server virtual machines as workloads. Amazon Web Services EC2 runs Amazon Machine Images, a variant of the Xen open source hypervisor's virtual machine format.

Verizon Business charges $3-$5 per user per month for Secure Access Services, according to spokeswoman Janet Brumfield.

Verizon started offering Computing as a Service last June from its Beltsville, Md., data center. It had been a hosted service provider for several years but with the advent of cloud computing, has started providing infrastructure and software as a service for business customers. In September it added cloud services from its data center in Amsterdam and on April 27 opened a second data center in Hong Kong.

The latter is a 3,000 square meter facility in the iTech Tower of Tsuen Wan that can provide interconnections with four local carriers as well as Verizon's global telecommunications network.

Verizon offered cloud infrastructure facilities last June as part of its Beltsville, Md., data center. Unlike its counterparts who charge by the hour, Verizon's Computing as a Service has an initial set up fee for a customer's virtual servers of $525 and a $250 a month subscription fee, plus usage charges.

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