Verizon joined its subsidiary Oath in picking Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred public cloud provider. The deal bolsters Verizon’s overall operations, and it also boosts AWS’ position among the country’s largest telecom operators.
Verizon will migrate more than 1,000 applications and database backend systems to AWS platforms as part of a corporate-wide initiative to increase agility and reduce costs. Verizon will be standardizing on AWS’ open source cloud resources, including the Aurora platform.
Mahmoud El-Assir, senior vice president of global technology services at Verizon, said the Aurora platform would replace the carrier’s proprietary products. AWS’ Aurora platform is a MySQL and PostgreSQL compatible relational database built for the cloud. It combines the performance of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases.
AWS recently announced that the Aurora service was the fastest growing service in the history of the company with tens of thousands of users, a number that has increased by about two-and-a-half times in the last year.
The agreement will also see Verizon invest in AWS-specific training initiatives to allow developers to ramp up on AWS technologies.
Verizon has been working with AWS since 2015, and it runs business and consumer applications in the AWS ecosystem. This includes the carrier’s Virtual Network Services (VNS) enterprise-focused virtualization platform.
Verizon’s Oath subsidiary, which was formed by the consolidation of the carrier’s AOL and Yahoo acquisitions, earlier this month made the same commitment to AWS. This includes the migration of legacy workloads and building new cloud-based applications into AWS.
The latest AWS win comes on the heels of what have become failed efforts by many operators, including Verizon and AT&T, to manage and operate their own public cloud platforms. Analysts have noted that it makes financial sense for operators to increase their reliance on cloud partnerships.
“There are 523 cloud providers left in the world, and it’s an economy of scale business,” said Roger Entner, founder of Recon Analytics, facetiously after both AT&T and Verizon made significant cloud shifts last year. “Everyone has problems keeping pace with AWS on pricing, even Google. It just made sense for the telecom guys to get out of it.”
Verizon in early 2016 moved to close its own public cloud platform. The carrier at that time said the move would allow it to focus more on the enterprise space. However, Verizon last year struck a deal with IBM to sell the carrier’s cloud and managed hosting services business, thus ending most of Verizon’s work on operating its own cloud platform.
AT&T also has deep ties into AWS, although it has also been aggressive in striking deals with other cloud providers. Much of the work between the two is tied to networking and security components offered by the companies.
Entner noted that AT&T has historically been more open to partnerships than Verizon. “For someone like Verizon, it’s a tough pill to swallow as they like to own their assets,” Entner said. “AT&T is more willing to partner, which is a last resort for Verizon.”
AT&T also operates its own AT&T Integrated Cloud (AIC) platform. That platform is based on OpenStack and is used to host and manage network workloads and launch new services.
AT&T more recently said the next generation of its AIC platform will rely more heavily on Kubernetes for management and control. This AIC Container Platform (AIC-CP) model will use the container orchestrator for its automated deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications; use containers as a stand-alone, executable package of software components; and tap the OpenStack-Helm project for deployment, maintenance, and upgrading of OpenStack services.