Verizon offers data storage services

FRAMINGHAM (09/19/2003) - Verizon Communications Inc. this week said it now is offering storage back-up and data-retrieval disaster-recovery services for large corporations.

The offering provides storage systems, software and services from EMC Corp., and Verizon will resell EMC's networked storage systems and software. The storage service mirrors and replicates data to an off-site data center.

Verizon says it will provide the service for Amscot, a financial services company based in Tampa, Fla., that has 51 offices.

"We were redundant in every aspect of our organization here except, 'What happens if something happens to this [headquarters] building?'" says Michael Horrocks, Amscot IT director. "We actually start the implementation next week."

Amscot also evaluated proposals from IBM Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Xiotech Corp.

Verizon's Enterprise Solutions Group provides the data storage service. In the first quarter, Verizon added long-distance connections in the Northeast for regional frame relay; SONET and ATM services for companies that need to transmit video or a high volume of transactions, and disaster recovery and data storage.

Verizon launched its large enterprise initiative about a year ago.

The company is not alone among the regional Bell operating companies in addressing the data storage service opportunity. SBC Communications Inc.'s hosting division unveiled a storage-area network service over a year ago that will provide customers with highly available storage running over a fiber-based infrastructure.

SBC's Managed Optical Network service also supports disaster-recovery, data-mirroring and business-continuity applications.

Meanwhile, BellSouth and IBM are exploring the possibility of jointly developing a storage service.

Worldwide spending for storage services is increasing by 6 percent per year and will reach almost $30 billion in 2007, Verizon says, citing research from IDC.

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