Cisco, EMC and VMware help Orange build private clouds

The aim is to speed up the roll out of clouds in the data center

Orange Business Services has formed an alliance with Cisco, EMC and VMware to help enterprises adopt private clouds, the company said on Monday.

The partnership is called Flexible 4 Business and the goal is to help enterprises build private clouds faster, according to Orange. A private cloud is hosted in the data center belonging to the enterprise in question, as opposed to a cloud built by a third party. The services running on top of the private cloud can still be managed by Orange, it said.

The clouds will be based on so-called Vblock Infrastructure Packages, which combine networking, storage, computing and virtualization components, and were developed by Cisco, EMC and VMware as part of the Virtual Computing Environment coalition, which was formed in November 2009. The fact that the different parts have been tested in advance will help speed up the roll out of clouds, which will offer, for example, a more flexible IT environment, according to Orange.

Besides private clouds, Orange will also offer backup, security services and unified communications as part of the Flexible 4 Business push. Enterprises will be able to pay using a mixture of up-front fees and pay-per-use, Orange said, without elaborating on detailed pricing.

The services will be offered globally, and will also give customers the option to have cloud services can also be hosted in Orange's data centers or the data centers of a third party, according to Orange.

Orange Business Services isn't the only company interested in working with Cisco, EMC and VMware, which also have formed the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) coalition. Just last week, the VCE coalition announced that Singapore carrier SingTel would use its products to offer hosted computing services to enterprise customers before the end of this year.

The competition is also putting together packages for private clouds. In August, Hewlett-Packard announced CloudStart, a package that includes hardware, software and consulting services, and aims to speed up the construction of private clouds, it said at the time.

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