Naver opens cloud to enterprises

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Naver opens cloud to enterprises


Naver’s data center in Chuncheon, Gangwon. [NAVER]

A subsidiary of Naver, the operator of Korea’s most popular search engine, released a cloud service for corporate clients on Monday.

The Naver Cloud Platform will allow companies to store and manage data on servers run by Naver Business Platform, a subsidiary of Naver that develops enterprise software. This form of computing, known as cloud computing, frees clients from having to expend costs on managing their own networks and hardware.

Naver Business Platform was spun off in 2009 from an internal unit within Naver that provided technological infrastructure for the company’s products. This included cloud support for services like messaging app Line, photo app Snow and live-streaming service V. Naver Business Platform has capitalized on this technology to provide cloud services to external clients.

“Unlike some of our competitors that developed cloud services as a product to sell, Naver’s cloud platform was not first developed as a revenue source but as a business tool to be used for our own services like search engines, messengers, email, videos and games,” Naver Business Platform CEO Park Won-ki said. “Therefore, it’s an outcome of thorough planning and verification from not merely the perspective of a service provider but from that of a business operator.”

The company said Naver Cloud Platform will provide 30 infrastructure functions relevant to computing, data security and network administration. “The plan is to add four to five new services each month,” the company said.

Naver Business Platform also touts the strength of its parent company, Naver, in technological developments like voice recognition and management systems for user information. The company wants to add these services to the cloud platform this year so that clients can apply these technologies to their own products.

Naver currently operates 10 data centers worldwide. Three of them, Korea, Singapore and the United States, are “regions” that store and process data on Naver’s cloud.

Centers in Hong Kong and Germany are scheduled to be added to the list in May and July. The company’s plan is to expand this number to six by this year’s third quarter.

“The initial purpose for overseas regions is to ensure a stable cloud network for domestic companies who do business abroad,” Park said. “However, we do have plans to offer the service in other foreign languages in order to pull in global clients.”

Korea is considered a high-potential market for cloud computing. Gartner, a tech research firm, projects the market will grow to 4.3 trillion won ($3.8 billion) this year. The world’s leading cloud service providers - Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM - have already entered the competition in Korea, with Amazon and Microsoft establishing local data centers.

In February, Naver hinted it would be attempting a go at the cloud service market when Naver Business Platform acquired a certificate form the Korea Internet & Security Agency to provide cloud services to state-owned institutions. Naver was the second Korean company to do so after KT, a local telecommunications provider.

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