What’s behind CenturyLink buying hybrid cloud vendor ElasticBox

CenturyLink is looking to play with big cloud vendors by focusing on hybrid

hybrid cloud
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In an effort to solidifying its footing in the still-shifting public IaaS cloud computing market, CenturyLink today announced plans to buy ElasticBox, a company that specializes in hybrid cloud management software.

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During a week filled with mega M&A news, this deal cloud deal could fly under the radar, but it's worth noticing because it highlights important trends in the cloud industry.

For CenturyLink

CenturyLink has a compelling go-to-market cloud proposition. The telecommunications vendor has a strong backbone of network connections throughout the country combined with IaaS cloud and managed hosting services and a nationwide footprint.

But, the company is not typically considered among the major IaaS cloud vendors, the way Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform are. CenuryLink is looking for ways to distinguish itself in the IaaS market, and hybrid cloud management could be one way to do it.

Hybrid for all

ElasticBox is a hybrid cloud management tool that allows users to deploy to multiple cloud endpoints, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, IBM SoftLayer, VMware, as well as OpenStack clouds and container management platforms like Kubernetes too. The company’s software allows IT organizations to orchestrate the deployment of applications and create a self-service catalog of applications and infrastructure, according to CenturyLink’s press release announcing the deal. “The ElasticBox multi-cloud management platform frees businesses to focus on issues that are central to their organization rather than spending time and resources managing multiple clouds,” said CenturyLink Chief Technology Officer Aamir Hussain in the release.

CenturyLink believes it can help customers manage a multi-public cloud world, and use its network backbone to help customers provision to many different cloud providers. It’s a similar take that Microsoft has on the market, although their strategy focuses more on hybrid cloud management in terms of integrating on and off premises resources. It will be interesting to see if other public cloud providers make strong moves to enhance their hybrid cloud management capabilities. And don’t be surprised to see more M&A to help fill out that need.

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