& cplSiteName &

Telco Data Centers: Crisis Control

Roz Roseboro
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?
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
A dedicated cloud-hosted core is important to making the mobile network commercially attractive to Internet of Things (IoT) service providers.
Huawei has announced a new approach to measuring the quality of a user's gaming experience.
Heavy Reading has identified four use cases that are key to cable virtualization and that prove cable is ready to turn concepts into action.
The next iteration of cloud deployment will deliver considerable benefit, but also impose new requirements and create new challenges for even existing virtualized products.
Separating fact and fiction in the brave new world of NFV.
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
TalkTalk Exec: Find Your North Star at Work

12|7|16   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


Women need to find their purpose, a professional North Star, and create a personal board for themselves, according to Alex Tempest, director of partners at TalkTalk Business.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon: Beware Unknown Unknowns

12|7|16   |   04:58   |   (0) comments


Chris Novak, director of the Verizon Enterprise Solutions Risk Team, explains that enterprises who don't conduct a thorough audit of their assets often leave some things unprotected because they don't know they exist. Many times these unprotected assets are part of corporate M&A activity but left unshielded they can become a hacker's playground, he tells Light ...
LRTV Interviews
ETSI's CTO Talks NFV, 5G & NGP

12|5|16   |   09:45   |   (0) comments


Adrian Scrase, CTO at standards body ETSI, talks about the various initiatives and specifications developments related to NFV, 5G and NGP (next-generation protocols) that will underpin next-gen networks.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (2) comments


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Tackling 5G in Dallas

11|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Here are our highlights of the 5G North America show in Dallas, Texas with Light Reading's Dan Jones.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Prepping for Virtualization Trials

11|14|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this video interview, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein discusses MSO's plans to test managed business services in early 2017 and tackle Distributed Access Architectures.
LRTV Custom TV
Drivers & Potential of NGP

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


ETSI has created an Industry Specification Group to work on Next Generation Protocols (NGP ISG), looking at evolving communications and networking protocols to provide the scale, security, mobility and ease of deployment required for the connected society of the 21st century. The NGP ISG will identify the requirements for next generation protocols and network ...
Upcoming Live Events
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cable Nodes Becoming a Choke Point
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 12/5/2016
WiCipedia: After-School Coding, Salary Probing & Pro-Parenthood Companies
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 12/2/2016
Consolidated Snaps Up Fairpoint for $1.5B
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/5/2016
Altice FTTH Bill Could Hit Almost $9.6B in US
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/1/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.