Which is the more compelling story for enterprises and government agencies contemplating cloud computing: "We've spent years building our cloud service, and can now secure your data?" Or "We've spent years securing your data, and are now offering cloud services?"
Systems integrator CSC is about to put some major muscle behind the second approach. Today CSC announced Trusted Cloud Services, a cloud computing offering that will build on the company’s historic strength managing highly-secure data center infrastructure for government and enterprise clients. The company's initial offerings will focus on orchestration and consulting, but in coming weeks CSC will be announcing service offerings with alliance partners.
"We are taking our decades of experience managing private cloud infrastructures and bringing it into the cloud," said Brian Boruff, vice president of CSC’s Cloud Computing business. "CSC's experience is what uniquely qualifies us to be a trusted player in cloud computing. We're very committed to cloud computing. But there's a lot of hype and confusion surrounding it, and this is our attempt to ground the cloud in reality."
Boruff called today's announcement a "statement of direction," with more details to follow. CSC will offer two infrastructure options. CSC plans to house its government cloud customers in the NAP of the Capital Region, the Terremark Worldwide (TMRK) data fortress in Culpeper, Virginia. CSC is the anchor tenant in the 50,000 square foot first phase of the facility, which will eventually encompass five data center buildings.
The CSC hosted cloud at will run on Cisco's Unified Computing System, incorporating technology from VMware and EMC. Unified Computing features a unified network running Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), allowing server and storage networks to use the same network fabric. Cisco is positioning UCS as a platform for managing virtualized environments, and features orchestration capabilities to help managed virtual assets.
But CSC will also offer services running on the Windows Azure platform, which will run in Microsoft's data centers. Boruff is a Microsoft veteran who arrived at CSC four months ago to oversee the cloud offering. "We really believe the Microsoft Windows Azure and online services arena is one where we want to be a player," said Boruff.
Boruff sees security as a key competitive advantage for CSC, especially as the Obama administration begins to move the federal government's infrastructure to the cloud. CSC has been building and managing secure data center infrastructure for years for its govenrment and enterprise clients.
"The federal government is a key part of our strategy because they're never going to put anything in a public cloud," said Boruff. "They want a company like CSC to build a multi-tenant trusted cloud environment and share data between agencies. We think there will be a huge wave of innovation in the federal government that we can help drive."
Here's a brief overview of the initiatives CSC is announcing today:
- Cloud Orchestration Services is a best-of-breed approach for cloud services integration that provides clients with service level management, remote monitoring, reporting, auditing and data transparency. CSC’s Cloud Orchestration Services provide automated arrangement, coordination, federation, management, security and operation of private, public and hybrid cloud computing environments, supporting industry-specific compliance and auditing services.
- Trusted Cloud Services is a portfolio of industry-compliant desktop, computing, storage and network infrastructure services available on a just-in-time, on-demand basis with full security features and stringent service-level criteria.
- Consulting services to allow enterprise information technology clients and independent software vendors to take advantage of improved business models enabled by private, public and hybrid cloud capabilities. CSC has started a Cloud Consulting Group led by Lem Lasher, president of CSC’s Global Business Solutions and chief innovation officer. He leads the company’s Leading Edge Forum, an independent research group that drives innovative thinking around information technology, including cloud computing.
Headquartered in Falls Church, Va., CSC has approximately 92,000 employees and reported revenue of $16.74 billion.