Virgin Media Business (VMB) today launched a Virtual Private Data Centre (VPDC), a private cloud service aimed at medium-sized enterprises.
The service will be provided in partnership with global cloud services provider Savvis, and will compete with BT and Cable & Wireless cloud offerings, which were launched in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
"We recognised that customers have concerns regarding the performance and security of cloud and we believe we have addressed those with this offering," said Virgin Media Business head of applications and services Matt McCloskey.
The Virtual Private Data Centre features a drag-and-drop online portal that allows the customer to manage their cloud service, the company said.
Other features include free testing and development of applications and the ability to launch e-commerce facilities.
Customers will pay on a per use basis by the hour and will not be tied into a minimum contract.
Virgin's partner, Savvis, will provide access to its global network and database infrastructure.
Savvis's services will be pushed out to the UK using Virgin's Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) network. Although Virgin will manage the connectivity of the network, the actual cloud services will be provided and maintained by Savvis.
Principal Ovum analyst David Molony believes that VMB's partnership with Savvis is a good one.
"Savvis could provide customers of the service with a lot of other cloud services such as access to the Symphony Database, which can integrate Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server solutions with just a few clicks.
"It could also mean that Virgin is able to extend its customer base outside of the UK, which would see it increase its revenue," said Molony.
"Virgin has a strong infrastructure but it is not on the same level as BT as it doesn't have a big datacentre infrastructure of its own. VMB recognises this and is more likely to attract IT managers at smaller companies," added Molony.