Thursday, March 24, 2011

Verizon, Terremark and Academic ICT Programs

Over the past few days the $39 billion AT&T / T-Mobile deal has been getting a lot of press. There's another deal that happened last month for a little less money - $1.4 billion - that has the potential for significant impact over the next few years. The purchase of Terremark by Verizon.

Terremark provides collocation in the Internet cloud - basically space, power and a secure place for a company's infrastructure and value adds by offering managed services to their customers - what is commonly referred to as IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service. There are significant advantages to IaaS for a customer - no worries about redundancy, backups, updates and 24/7 support are just a few.

Verizon already has a cloud business along with AT&T and Qwest so there's been some speculation on this deal - is is a good or a bad move for Verizon? Long term I think it is a good one as the company continues to rapidly shift away from legacy landline-based voice delivery systems. It's a move for Verizon to get further "into the cloud", controlling both infrastructure and the customer connections (wireless, fiber, copper - the "pipes"!) connected to the infrastructure.

Cloud based services will continue to expand, especially as connected devices become smaller, faster, more portable, and more ubiquitous. In the education world we need to think about how this is going to impact our courses, curriculum, programs and students as we prepare people for the modern workplace.

If you are an educator, you should be taking a close look at a couple of industry programs that are relatively new (especially to the community college world) from EMC and VMWare.

The EMC Academic Alliance with a focus on storage linked here

The VMWare IT Academy Program with a focus on virtualization linked here
Both programs are excellent and offer access to the latest technology, high quality curriculum, courses that can be integrated into existing curriculum, course paths that lead to certification, and faculty development opportunities.

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