ViaWest has launched a purpose-built, audit-ready PCI-compliant cloud service. PCI compliance means the cloud can be used for accepting, storing, processing or transmitting credit card data.
ViaWest exemplifies the trend of data center providers adding cloud services to colocation and managed services but tailoring them to specific verticals and use cases instead of competing with so-called "commodity clouds," offered by the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform.
In the case of ViaWest's KINECTed PCI cloud, the company is catering to the security- and compliance-minded. The provider also has a HIPAA-audit-ready version of KINECTed cloud service for the healthcare sector.
The PCI-compliant offering is a virtual private cloud that uses a dedicated, secure network infrastructure with security baked in by default. It comes with a 99.9 percent availability Service Level Agreement (SLA) on compute resources.
The company said the PCI cloud extends beyond the need of financial and e-commerce sectors. It is designed for businesses of all sizes that deal with credit card data in general.
Amazon Web Services is PCI-DSS Level 1 compliant but it requires more in-house configuration. Other providers of PCI-compliant cloud hosting services include Rackspace, FireHost and Online Tech, to name a few.
Data breaches continue to be an issue. A 2013 Ponemon institute study found that 35 percent of data breaches identified were the result of company negligence.
"We've designed our PCI Compliant Cloud solution from the ground up to satisfy the needs of customers who want to protect themselves against PCI DSS non-compliance," ViaWest CTO Jason Carolan said.
Another trend exemplified by ViaWest is one of large telcos buying data center providers. Canada’s Shaw Communications acquired ViaWest for $1.2 billion in July. It wasn’t the first Canadian telco to make such a deal: Cogeco bought acquiring Peer 1 Hosting in 2012.