XO Adds Cloud Compute, Storage, Backup Services

XO Communications Inc. introduced Monday three new cloud service offerings XO Enterprise Cloud infrastructure-as-a-service, XO Cloud Drive storage and file sharing and XO Cloud Vault data backup  that are optimized for delivery over the XO network.

The services are in addition to XO Hosted PBX (formerly Enterprise Cloud Communications), which was launched in early 2011, as well as Cloud Express (formerly Enterprise Cloud), Content Acceleration Services and Cloud Contact Center Services, which were rolled out last May under the Concentric brand. Those services have since been pulled back under the XO banner but still use the Concentric cloud technology paired with XO’s data center and network infrastructure.

The launch is part of XO’s “larger strategy to move up the stack,” said Jake Heinz, vice president of marketing at XO Communications, in an interview with Channel Partners. Already, the company provides cloud-based applications in the communications space, including Exchange, PBX, IVR, call routing and contact center.

The key differentiator with XO’s cloud service portfolio is the secure coupling of the network with the service, Heinz said.

That change underpins the new XO Enterprise Cloud service, which augments last year’s Cloud Express service by offering IP MPLS VPN access in addition to public Internet access, Heinz said. It also adds a choice of how to allocate compute resources, including Shared, Reserved and Dedicated.

Enterprise Cloud and Cloud Express also operate out of separate data centers. The XO Enterprise Cloud platform is deployed in Tier III data centers located in Northern Virginia and Southern California with SSAE 16 Type 2 compliance.  It is built using server and storage products from HP, VMware and EMC. Fortinet security appliances provide integrated and high-performance protection against security threats. XO Enterprise Cloud supports 1GBps dedicated bandwidth per virtual machine and can scale to 32 vCPUs and 512GB RAM per server.

A new offer, XO Cloud Drive, is an alternative to Google Drive and Dropbox, which allows business users to store, share, synchronize and collaborate on business content and files in the cloud while giving their IT departments the ability to control and centralize content management. With XO Cloud Drive, files can be drag-and-dropped, saved virtually for consistent version control and shared anywhere, anytime, across multiple platforms and among numerous users for seamless collaboration. The cloud-based platform supports file sharing across iOS, Android, Mobile Web, Windows, Mac and Linux.

XO Cloud Vault automates backup services for businesses with multiple locations or complex, distributed IT environments. Customers can replicate data from the XO Enterprise Cloud platform as well as from premises-based servers and desktops. An intelligent backup design provides compression, encryption and copy of only those documents, emails and databases that have changed since the most recent backup across the following platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac, Solaris and FreeBSD. To restore, the virtual design allows users to simply point and click to refresh files to a single point in time, streamlining and automating disaster recovery/business continuity planning for businesses of all sizes.

XO Cloud Drive and Cloud Vault are based on the same technology from Vembu Technologies and are designed to be used together. XO Cloud Drive, a user-driven service, is purchased by the seat and priced based on the terabit of storage required. XO Cloud Vault, a company service, is priced based on the amount of storage needed.

All three new XO cloud services have been in beta testing for the last month and are expected to roll out to the indirect channel in June and July. Partners can sell the services under their existing contracts and commission plans.

Heinz said channel certification is not required, but XO has created Web-based training modules on each new product and it will be hosting webinars to help partners with sales.

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