Well, I'm sure that's what they want you to think. But where's the cloud here?
Does Savvis have a cloud? No, they have hosting centers and fiber lines. Does CenturyLink have a cloud? No, it's a phone company.
So this is, in a way, just financial manipulation. But, as a small piece in AmLawyer notes, this is all part of a larger trend.
I call it the myth of the telco cloud.
When companies move their resources to “The Cloud,” they're taking money out of all these many mouths, and so those industries must respond. Suddenly telcos and core ISPs, which previously thought of themselves as fierce competitors, now find they're facing an identical threat.
But that doesn't mean combining a telco and a core ISP provider makes you a cloud competitor. Sure, Savvis has probably abstracted some of its computing, virtualized it, and saved money by combining infrastructure. But it's not a platform, and it doesn't provide services.
Remember what I wrote about clouds the other day. It's infrastructure, it's a platform, it's services, and the money is in services. All these two outfits have, combined, is a lot of infrastructure. They don't really have an offering yet.
So how can they compete with EC2, or (more to the point) Google, IBM, and Microsoft? They can't. Unless they can use some chokepoint to force business customers into their data centers.
That's what Qwest provides. Believe it or not, a lot of businesses are still tied to their phone company. And a lot of them think (because of heavy marketing) that the phone company still knows a thing or two. So what CenturyLink has gets them in the door.
What Savvis will probably provide is OpenStack and Cloud Foundry. Savvis is going to use open source tools built by others to create its own cloud stacks, compatible among its many data centers, and then tell CenturyLink (Qwest) companies that it has their cloud solution.
Will it work? As always “having just a vision's no solution, everything depends on execution.” But you're betting on people who are shucking-and-jiving against people who actually know what they're doing. So probably not.
Just don't tell Wall Street. They think this is a big cloud computing deal when it is, in fact, another case of 1+1=1, not 3.