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        ADD A COMMENT
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
The latest optical modules and semiconductor components are game-changers for 100G and will accelerate 400G adoption.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) market expands, vendors should target specific vertical markets to maximize their business opportunities.
Enterprises are driving consolidation in the colocation market.
One of the most significant changes that network functions virtualization will introduce into the CSP environment is the use of generic IT servers rather than purpose-built, dedicated hardware platforms to run network applications and services.
Metro data center interconnect (DCI) and transport SDN were the key themes of Optical Innovation Forum 2015.
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
Verizon Hums a Driving Tune
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/26/2015
Gogo Approved to Speed Up In-Flight WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/24/2015
Could Market Volatility Hurt Tech IPOs?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/24/2015
Sprint's Claure: '3 to 5 Years' to Turnaround
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about data center, cloud and the impact of virtualization in the coming years.
Cats with Phones
Cats Are a Smartphone's Best Friend Click Here
Whoever said cats didn't live to please their humans?