Optus Business has revealed plans to launch a federated cloud service later this year, allowing users to relocate data between facilities in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore for the first time.
The new service falls under the renamed Optus PowerON Computer cloud service portfolio first launched in October 2010. It comes as one of a number of additional cloud services Optus plans to launch this year, alongside storage-as-a-service and burst or pay-as-you-go offerings.
The federated capability was first foreshadowed by Optus last year when it gained VMware vCloud Datacenter Service certification.
Last year, Optus trialled moving workloads between data centres in Australia and those owned by parent company SingTel in Singapore. But commercialisation of the offering was not certain until this week.
The telco said it would offer the service from the second half of the year, allowing customers to transfer application workloads from on-premise VMware instances to Optus' facilities, as well as those in Hong Kong and Singapore.
The service would initially be available only for Optus' infrastructure-as-a-service offering, rather than the storage or burst services.
VMware has certified eight global cloud providers - including SingTel and Optus by extension - since launching the Global Connect platform last year.
The platform allows customers of a single Global Connect service provider to gain access to other partner data centres in multiple geographies for either primary data location or disaster recovery.
In addition to the regional cloud offering, Optus also foreshadowed plans to introduce application and hardware readiness consulting services on the back of a transition toward standardised offerings between Optus and SingTel.
The consulting offering, offered from SingTel's managed services brand NCS, would review security and governance policies over customer data while also ensuring applications were ready for transition to the cloud platform.
"We're now really getting in there where it matters - into their applications and making sure we work with them in a very deep and engaged way, not just from an IT point of view but from a business point of view," said Liam Fraser, general manager of cloud services for Optus Business.
Moves to align Optus' cloud offerings with those offered by SingTel Group's other subsidiaries across Asia Pacific is the result of a significant restructure at the group level which saw Optus' consumer and business subsidiaries split reporting lines into Singapore.
The move effectively split Optus' enterprise and government from the rest of the company.
SingTel's interim head of Group ICT, Allen Lew, told media this week that the split would allow the group to "take Optus from being a purely communications provider to participating in the entire ICT stack, transforming Optus and becoming a true ICT company".
"Australia as a country is the largest IT services market in the entire Asia Pacific so we have to be very strong here," he said.
Lew foreshadowed plans to effectively standardise offerings across Optus and SingTel, including the addition of business process outsourcing and managed desktop services in Australia through existing staff at Optus subsidiary Alphawest and SingTel's NCS.
Recently appointed Optus Business managing director John Paitaridis told iTnews the move allowed the business division to take advantage of the "inherent DNA" of SingTel's business divisions in Australia.
Paitaridis rejected notions of historical issues with telcos taking on managed services, as witnessed by Telstra's failed move into the arena with the Kaz acquisition last decade.
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