The cloud-based services market is still evolving and telecommunications providers are still jockeying for position within it. And to get where they need to be, it is often easier to buy than build. On Friday, CenturyLink did just that built on its Savvis acquisition a few years ago with the purchase of AppFog on Friday.
AppFog offers Platform-as-a-Service aimed specifically at applications, and has developed a following amongst developers. Basically, their PaaS means servers preconfigured for a suite of programming languages, tools, and public/private cloud setups. While one can use raw computing as a service to do this, the idea is to offer a reliable systems environment that doesn't require as much system administration support to keep online and up to date and let the developers spend more of their time doing what they do best.
AppFog's capabilities will be rolled into the Savvis product suite, where they will be able to reach a wider list of potential customers. Meanwhile, CenturyLink hopes that gaining the nod from developers and their managers will give them a boost when it comes to the marketshare landgrab in cloud services as a whole.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal is already done. No doubt CenturyLink has its eye on other opportunities for technology bolt-ons like this. Note that what they did not do is go out and buy fiber, e.g. tw telecom. They still might of course, but it seems to me that the TWTC/CTL rumor trail has gone cold for now.