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
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).
Bring your own device (BYOD) is flourishing, creating the need for better security on shared personal/workplace mobile devices.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
Que Sera Sarah
Growth of the 5G Ecosystem

3|6|15   |   1:15   |   (1) comment


Use cases and industry collaborations dominated 5G discussions during Mobile World Congress 2015. For what the road to 5G means for operators and their partners, head to the Building America's 5G Ecosystem event in New York on April 14.
LRTV Custom TV
Sonus NaaS IQ Real-Time Demo

3|6|15   |   4:03   |   (0) comments


Compass Networks Chairman and CEO Matt Bross and Ray Dolin, CEO of Sonus Networks, demonstrate their Sonus IQ SDN solution using a live video conference connection.
LRTV Custom TV
LRTV Talks Carrier WiFi & WiFi Calling With Aptilo Networks

3|6|15   |   4:53   |   (0) comments


We stopped by Aptilo Networks, a market leader in WiFi service management and offloading, to discuss the new possibilities with next-generation WiFi calling and why WiFi should be a natural part of any operator strategy.
LRTV Interviews
NGMN Chairman Outlines His 5G Vision

3|6|15   |   5:10   |   (1) comment


Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, chairman of the NGMN Alliance and Deutsche Telekom CTO, shares his thoughts on the challenges, opportunities and costs of 5G.
LRTV Interviews
In the Cloud With Telecom Italia

3|5|15   |   7:10   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders sits down with Telecom Italia's Simone Battiferri at Mobile World Congress to discuss virtualization, agility and the economic advantages of the cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
New Ways of Working

3|5|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Hong Kong Telecom's Michael Yue explains how the transformation in its business has changed its customer relationships.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bridging the Digital Gap

3|5|15   |   4:03   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Boingo's Dr. Derek Peterson explains how ICT can help telcos bring the physical and virtual worlds closer together.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Making the Internet of Things Affordable

3|5|15   |   2:42   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Telefonica's Dr. Mike Short explains how the Internet of Things demands a new low-cost approach to connectivity from telcos.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Evolution, Not Revolution

3|5|15   |   2:00   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan explains why telcos can't be too hasty in their efforts to transform themselves.
LRTV Custom TV
Management & Orchestration Enablement Strategies Required for NFV Commercial Success

3|5|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


NFV commercial success rests on successful service orchestration strategies which can span heterogeneous physical, virtual, legacy and next-gen networks. Network data and security integrity are additional key aspects. Nakina provides a suite of orchestratable network integrity applications built on an open, scalable MANO enablement platform.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Power of Five Convergences in OceanStor OS

3|4|15   |   6:24   |   (0) comments


OceanStor OS is Huawei's brand-new storage operating system. While inheriting the consistent high stability, reliability and performance from the company's previous storage products, OceanStor OS abounds in new converged storage features. Specifically, the new storage operating system achieves "five convergences" to lift storage convergence to a higher level.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
4K Brings Extreme Video Experience

3|4|15   |   8:10   |   (0) comments


4K video is a hot topic in the video industry. It will certainly bring an extreme video experience to end users. At the same time, however, it will also pose a big challenge to operators. Check out this Huawei 4K experts' discussion about how operators can achieve success in 4K video service.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
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
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Internet Pioneers Decry Title II Rules
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/2/2015
Wheeler: We'll Enforce Title II 'Case-By-Case'
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/3/2015
New CenturyLink CTO in Major Overhaul
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/4/2015
Verizon Takes Radio Dot to Detroit, VoLTE Overseas
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks transformation and virtualization – including Light Reading's independent testing of the vendor's virtualization solutions – with Cisco CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.
G'day! And welcome to an entirely new feature on Light Reading -- our weekly "CEO-to-CEO" interview.