Why CenturyLink's Savvis deal is no big deal

The answer: The world of cloud computing is not about managed hosting services but about innovative intellectual property

I've received a lot of questions around the recent announcement that Savvis has agreed to be acquired by CenturyLink for $2.5 billion. Although this seems like a cloud computing superdeal on the surface, the cloud computing angle is really very thin. 

Many managed hosting services providers have seen the cloud computing light, which means that they can get a much higher valuation if they spin their way into the cloud. Recently, Savvis has been moving in this direction, along with other managed hosting services players, and -- cha-ching! -- a multi-billion-dollar offer. You can't blame them, really.

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However, those who consider this to be a cloud computing deal are naive as to the real value of cloud computing technology and the companies that provide it. While I would consider the ability to host data and processes to be paramount, the core value is around the innovation. Otherwise, everyone who manages a data center or any item in a data center for a customer would now be managing a cloud. They're not.

The reality is that in the public cloud computing space (specifically IaaS), there is one major provider, Amazon.com, followed by Rackspace. These companies are ahead of the rest, not because they have the most processes occurring within their servers but because they have the most innovative way of providing IaaS services. Providers in the managed services space, such as Savvis, are not even close.

Again, cloud computing is not about hosting, it's about the automated provisioning of IT resources without having to think much about how that occurs once the architecture is in place. Without that innovative aspect of cloud computing, a hosting provider such as Savvis simply does not provide as much value as a real cloud provider.

This article, "Why CenturyLink's Savvis deal is no big deal," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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