Light Reading

Telco Data Centers: Crisis Control

Roz Roseboro
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst
3/7/2014
50%
50%

There's no shortage of crises facing network operators, and many of them are starting to converge in a key inflection point in carrier networks: the telco data center.

Some challenges stem from the need to adopt new transformative technologies (SDN and NFV chief among them) to improve operating efficiencies, and others are driven by external threats -- the web giants and upstarts that are now picking off telco customers. (See Defining SDN & NFV.)

Operators are fully aware that they need to move at Internet speed, but are stuck with infrastructure built for a different age. Having already helped push disruption in the compute environment, The OpenCompute Project -- with noted agile data center operator Facebook leading the charge -- is now focusing on networking. Pica8 Inc. , Cumulus Networks, and Big Switch Networks all offer pieces of the puzzle that promise to leverage high-volume (read: cheap) generic x86 boxes to support data center switching requirements.

Telco data center operators will no doubt be seduced by the possibility of dramatically lowering capex by deploying generic bare-metal switches, but will be rightly concerned about ensuring that nothing gets lost in translation. You can be sure Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), and Arista Networks Inc. will not go down without a fight. They, better than anyone else, understand that telcos tend to be a conservative lot, and while not resorting to outright scare tactics, will stress that both their products and their companies will be around for the long haul -- a claim that won't have nearly as much resonance coming from the upstarts.

While we shouldn't expect a telco to transform into Google overnight, we should expect to see them taking steps toward creating data center environments that are as scalable and agile as their nimble Web-based competitors. New architectural approaches to data center switching are just emerging now, which could radically disrupt the status quo. The question is whether the telcos are able to follow in the footsteps of the Facebooks and Googles of the world -- and do it soon enough -- to ensure they enjoy the same cost and capability benefits of a transformed switching environment.

In my new role as Senior Analyst at Heavy Reading , I will focus my research on telco data center transformation. There's a lot of ground to cover, and lots of crises to identify and help to resolve. Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions or need any assistance in sorting through this critical area that will help define network operator success or failure in the coming decade.

— Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Liz Greenberg
50%
50%
Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/7/2014 | 6:49:29 PM
Re: Opex vs. capex
You nailed it Mitch!  Too often companies focus on reducing Capex without enough regard for Opex, which can be a very costly mistake in the long run.  This does not just affect IT but all networks no matter what they transport or what they manage.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/7/2014 | 5:23:05 PM
Opex vs. capex
Everybody loves capex, but the real value for virtual networking is in opex. That makes sense -- in IT, operating expenditures are a bigger deal for IT than capital spending. 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/7/2014 | 3:06:01 PM
The elephant in the room
Cisco is intent on doing NFV on its own terms. There's probably a good case for doing that. Do you think standardization is the key to all this, or are standards again going to be a vague rallying point for new technologies that will turn out to be different proprietary variations on a theme?
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Overlays have been proposed as a way to bring the benefits of virtualization to the telco data center networking domain.
Join our fireside chat at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as we discuss the operational implications of NFV with Justin Paul, head of OSS marketing at Amdocs.
The race to deliver gigabit broadband services is accelerating, and G.fast is a key technology that telecom service providers can deploy to compete successfully.
If NFV is to progress, proofs of concept and trials need to come out of the lab and into live networks in 2015.
This year is expected to be a year of great market evolution across most telecom sectors, specifically in virtualization and Long Term Evolution (LTE).
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Networks of the future will rely on "white box" switches and servers rather than proprietary hardware and that's going to alter the shape of the communications industry. Who says so? John Chambers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Power Play With GrupoGiro

4|1|15   |   2:51   |   (0) comments


Daniel Heredia, CEO of Energiro, the power management services part of Spain's Grupo Giro, explains why his company has just struck a partnership with Huawei for uninterruptible power supply products and how he hopes it can take the partnership into other markets.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Intros Smart Device for eLTE

3|30|15   |   05:25   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed a secure, location-aware multimedia smartphone for its eLTE trunked radio solution, says Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Win Video, Win All

3|30|15   |   06:44   |   (0) comments


Video is going to be the next main source of revenue for operators. Operators have big opportunities and advantages to monetize video services. Globally, Huawei has helped more than 70 operators achieve over 30 million video subscribers. Watch this video for more.
LRTV Custom TV
The Benefits of HyperScale Clouds for NFV

3|27|15   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Hyperscale cloud has been developed by the Internet giants to support the creation and delivery of software-based services at blistering speeds, and at the lowest possible cost. The original ETSI NFV vision was to adopt hyperscale cloud architecture and practices. This vision has become somewhat obscured along the way, due to misunderstandings about the hyperscale ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
eLTE Rapid Meets the Need for Speed

3|26|15   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


Designed especially for emergency and dedicated ad hoc local mobile communications coverage, Huawei's eLTE Rapid solution can deliver trunked voice, video and data coverage for multiple users over a 6km range and be set up in just 15 minutes, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
On Videos: Challenges & Opportunities

3|26|15   |   5:56   |   (0) comments


Most everything is now connected. And along with 4K and 4G technologies, everyone could be creating and broadcasting video contents. Users are expecting better video experience with any screen, anywhere and anytime. Operators will meet new challenges, but also see some big opportunities.
LRTV Custom TV
JDSU: Delivering Dynamic Networks for a Personalized Experience

3|26|15   |   5:59   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks to JDSU at Mobile World Congress 2015 about new solutions in the areas of HetNets, VoLTE, backhaul, virtualization, big data analytics, and real-time intelligence.
LRTV Custom TV
Smarter Service Chaining & New Ways to Benefit From Qosmos Technology

3|25|15   |   03:11   |   (0) comments


David Le Goff, director of strategic and product marketing at Qosmos, explains how the company has added application awareness to subscriber information to make service chaining more efficient and reduce costs for networking and infrastructure. In addition, Qosmos technology, which has been delivered as C libraries, is now also available as a virtual machine, ...
Between the CEOs
Qosmos CEO: The Changing Face of DPI

3|24|15   |   13:53   |   (0) comments


LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures. Also, how the comms market is becoming more like the automotive industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FC Schalke Scores With Its Agile Stadium

3|24|15   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Top German soccer club FC Schalke 04 has deployed a new, agile WiFi network from Huawei in its Veltins-Arena stadium and is reaping the benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and business opportunities, explains marketing chief Alexander Jobst.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Insights on Mobile Video

3|24|15   |   7:51   |   (0) comments


More people than ever are now watching videos on smartphones. Seventy percent of mobile traffic will be video traffic until 2018. In this video, Huawei's exports give their insights on mobile video in terms of business model, network planning and 4G network construction.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Industry 4.0

3|24|15   |   02:26   |   (9) comments


Are you ready for the fourth industrial revolution? It's a big deal for influential operators such as Deutsche Telekom.
Upcoming Live Events
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
AT&T Woos SMBs With Small-Scale WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/26/2015
Just Don't Say IBM Is 'Relaunching' Networking Business
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 3/26/2015
TV Everywhere Nears Mainstream Adoption
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/27/2015
Carriers Are Bright Spot in BlackBerry Q4
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/27/2015
Comcast Says TWC Deal Will Close Later
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.