Service provider Colt has launched its cloud service in Europe and has announced its first two customers: Fidelity Investment Managers and Carphone Warehouse.

Colt announced an agreement to support VMware's vCloud Director back in August and the deals with Fidelity and Carphone Warehouse represent the first European movement towards vCloud.

According to Matthew Lodge, VMware's senior marketing director for cloud products, said that the Carphone Warehouse situation was a perfect example of how enterprises could use cloud services. "The company needed extra capacity for about 6 months so that it could complete a workflow project. It couldn't get the funding to do it in-house by conventional ways but it was ideal for the cloud. If they hadn't gone to Colt, the project would have taken a lot longer and wouldn't have been under the same conditions – for example, they could test a lot more.

The Colt service is aimed at those companies that have already gone down the virtualisation path and want to extend it to the cloud said Colt's Murrough O'Brien. "The typical customer already uses VMware and is looking to extend that to the hybrid cloud," he said. 

Both of the initial customers are UK-based although O'Brien said the service could be extended to the rest of Europe through Colt's low latency links.

Colt offers a variety of different service options based on configuration and consumption.