40 hours later, Verizon says its cloud is back …

After taking a ton of heat for what ended up being a 40-hour maintenance shutdown over the past two days, Verizon said the work it did will prevent these sorts of stoppages in the future.

This maintenance work, added what Verizon called “seamless upgrade functionality” that will enable similar major upgrades to happen without service interruption, according to a press release posted Sunday afternoon.

Going forward, Verizon said, “virtually all maintenance and upgrades to Verizon Cloud will now happen in the background with no impact to customers.” There wasn’t a ton of information about how this will work, but there you have it.

Last weekend, when Verizon advised customers a week in advance of  what it said could be a 48-hour shutdown for planned maintenance, all sorts of things hit the fan. The prevailing opinion was that cloud computing vendors should be able to handle upgrades and maintenance with a lot less downtime than that.

Verizon is trying to make a name for itself in enterprise-class cloud infrastructure.  In that market it must contend not only with other telco-rooted companies– [company]CenturyLink[/company], [company]AT&T[/company] et al — which are trying to pitch the same customers but with public cloud giant [company]Amazon[/company] Web Services, which has proved serious about winning corporate workloads.

As if that’s not enough, legacy IT powers like [company]Microsoft[/company] and [company]IBM[/company], which are already in virtually every enterprise account are pitching their own respective clouds aggressively.

In a cloud melee like that, Verizon, which launched this new Verizon Cloud last fall, had better make good on no-more-upgrade-shutdowns because people will be watching.