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CSC: The cloud's quiet whiz kid  

Gartner says CSC is ahead of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google, Rackspace and other competitors

By , Network World
October 03, 2013 12:38 PM ET

Network World - When most people who track the industry think of the cloud computing market, big names like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google, Rackspace, Verizon Terremark and others come to mind. HP, Joyent, IBM and Dell even. But Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC)?

Each year research firm Gartner puts out its Magic Quadrant, and this year’s report caused some to do a double-take. CSC beat out all those other companies – except for Amazon – and was the only company named with AWS in the coveted "leaders" quadrant of the report.

While CSC has long-time IT industry roots in traditional outsourcing, IT consulting and services, it hasn’t been a household name in the cloud computing market. “I was completely surprised,” says Brian McCallion, an independent cloud architect with consultancy Bronze Drum. “I’ve looked at a whole bunch of providers and they’ve never really come up. They’re flying under the radar.” 

David Linthicum, another consultant at Cloud Technology Partners, says he works with hundreds of customers a year and he’s never worked on a CSC deployment.

But Gartner says CSC is a major force in the cloud. In order to even be considered for the Magic Quadrant a provider must have one of the top 15 providers of IaaS market share based on estimated revenue. Gartner Vice President Lydia Leong is the lead researcher on the Magic Quadrant report for IaaS and said at the beginning of the project she wasn’t sure CSC would make the cut, but after vetting more than 20 providers, CSC rose to the top of the heap, behind AWS.

“What sets them apart from other VMware-based competitors is that I don’t think they view this market as one where they get customers VMs (virtual machines) faster and cheaper,” she says. “They’ve seen it all along as a vehicle to transform the enterprise.”

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Siki Giunta
Siki Giunta

The woman behind CSC’s cloud strategy is Siki Giunta, the company’s vice president and general manager of cloud. Back in 2010 the company embarked on a strategy to embrace cloud services as a supplement to the company’s traditional outsourcing business. The cloud is a busy and crowded market, but Giutna says it’s still in its early days.

One use case for a powerhouse like Amazon has been attracting developers who use the services behind the back of IT. CSC is going after a different demographic.

“The market’s really going to be made when the enterprise, large and medium businesses, move their strategic and mission critical workloads to the cloud and use the cloud as a new delivery mechanism,” Giunta says. “This is when IT moves from a capital to an operating expense, when applications are modernized to become multi-tenant and embrace agility.”

CSC offers three major buckets of service: its multi-tenant public cloud option is named CloudCompute, which is hosted in CSC data centers and typically comes with month-to-month commitments. BizCloud VPE is a similar service that’s still hosted at CSC data centers but provides private networks and logically separated resources for customers, creating dedicated resources for customers. Finally there is BizCloud, which is an offering that sits on customers’ premises behind their firewall and acts as a private cloud.

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