Verizon explains its seamless cloud upgrade except not really

In a bid to be more transparent about last weekend’s 40-hour closure of the Verizon Cloud, the company just posted more about that massive upgrade. But, to be honest, it was more a history lesson about Verizon’s cloud ambitions than any new detail about what exactly it did to its cloud.

Mostly the post recapped the message from October, 2013, when Verizon first talked up its planned enterprise-class cloud, and explained how it was built from scratch to be completely virtualized and network addressable at all levels — all the endpoints, all the orchestration, firewalls, load balancers, identity management etc. Thursday’s post was written by Verizon CTO Kevin Clarke who, by the way, stepped in for his predecessor John Considine, who left Verizon last fall in a move that has not been reported but which the company confirmed on Thursday.

What all that virtualized goodness means, according to Clarke is:

Updates and maintenance, even unscheduled maintenance like those required with the Xen hypervisor security flaw last Fall, can be performed while client virtual machines continue to run, without requiring a two-zone setup or a machine reboot. It’s a little like performing brain surgery on yourself while you’re awake. Tricky? Yes, but necessary to keep our commitment to enterprise customers

Soooo, what exactly was done over the 40 hours last weekend to make sure this is the last massive maintenance closure? No clue. We’re just told that “Seamless Upgrade was a key addition” to achieve that aforementioned vision.

To be fair, the post was called: “Why seamless upgrades matter” but in reality everyone already knows that.

[company]Verizon[/company], [company]AT&T[/company], [company]CenturyLink[/company] and other telco-rooted companies moving into cloud have some heavy lifting to do to sell to many customers who think of cloud as [company]Amazon[/company] Web Services, full stop. There is a bias among many of these customers that telephone companies, despite their networking expertise — and, face it, networking is key — are not really in this game.

For that reason alone, Verizon had better hope that its seamless upgrade, whatever it actually was, works as promised.