Managed services and cloud computing surface as part of the strategic alliance Verizon Business and McAfee unveiled today. On one level the global pact resembles a traditional channel distribution arrangement: Verizon Business will offer the entirety of McAfee security solutions through its customer premises equipment catalog. But the deal doesn't end there.

On the MSP side, McAfee and Verizon Business say they will offer managed security services to enterprises. The companies will also collaborate in building cloud-based managed security solutions. Those solutions will span a range of technologies including firewalls, intrusion prevention services, anti-malware, content control and Secure Socket Layer VPN, according to Verizon Business.

Another twist on the typical alliance: Verizon Business plans to help McAfee consolidate its data centers.

Of course, McAfee isn’t alone in lining up service provider allies. Symantec teams with Atos Origin in the managed security services space. And the company’s alliance with CSC includes a storage archive managed service.

McAfee has been looking to bolster its partnering activities in recent months and the wide-ranging deal with Verizon Business may be a step in that direction. Also this week, McAfee has been working overtime to ensure its MX Logic acquisition remains channel-centric.

The Bigger Picture

More managed services security moves are certainly coming. Trend Micro, for one, has been working quietly to integrate its security software with a range of RMM (remote monitoring and management) and PSA (professional services automation) tools. And rival Sophos has been introducing new tools that secure on-premise and hosted SharePoint deployments for VARs and their customers.

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