In the long-running debate about the definition of cloud computing, many cloud-watchers insist that a true cloud must be self-service, allowing users to provision and deploy their own servers. With its new savvisdirect service, CenturyLink is bringing that capability to its Savvis suite of cloud services. Today CenturyLink announced that it is accepting applications for the public beta offering of savvisdirect.
Savvis has historically focused on managed hosting services for the enterprise, with a particular focus on the financial services vertical. That included "utility computing" services that were integrated into a suite of cloud services in 2009. But the company's cloud offerings have mirrored the high-touch model of its managed services, with Savvis staff helping provision services that were requested through a customer portal.
CenturyLink, the third-largest telecom company in the U.S., paid $2.5 billion to acquire Savvis last year. With savvisdirect, CenturyLink wants to make its acquired cloud services more accessible to its large base of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). So it has introduced a web portal offering users the ability to provision servers and storage on demand using just a credit card, a feature that has been available for years on Amazon Web Services and other cloud providers.
"By offering a unique, frictionless approach to cloud, our goal is to make cloud adoption – from learning to purchasing to onboarding – simple and affordable," saidAndrew Higginbotham, president, savvisdirect. "This is a cloud every business can use."
For users who may need guidance, savvisdirect will offer support from IT professionals to help their business get started. The savvisdirect cloud solutions are expected to be commercially available throughout North America later this year, with expansion into Europe and Asia in 2013.