Tata Communications' fast-growing cloud connection platform, IZO, today announced the addition of Salesforce.com to its direct connections for enterprise customers, but the real story may be the way in which hybrid cloud services are driving its investments to create a more predictable global Internet. (See Tata Adds Salesforce.com to IZO Cloud.)
Mike Galvin, VP of NextGen at Tata Communications Ltd. , tells Light Reading in an interview that the rapid movement of enterprises to the cloud is driving expansion of ecosystems such as IZO -- a 2015 Leading Lights Winner -- and significant investments in IP infrastructure designed to bring quality and predictability to the network connectivity piece of the puzzle. Because that cloud infrastructure is often global in nature, with scattered endpoints but also significant aggregation points in key data centers, the challenge is providing the mix of public and private IP connections to meet that growing demand. (See Leading Lights Awards 2015: The Winners and Gigabit Providers Not Focused on Apps – Study.)
"IT departments within the enterprise are committing more to the cloud," Galvin says. "The thing that is critical to them is the flexibility to move, and at the heart of it is predictability as well. The more predictable we can make our IP network, the more we can make latency issues go away, and predictable routing on the Internet becomes defacto and useful, well that is a really interesting conversation because that helps people know what they are committing to, whether the Internet is public or private."
As a top five global ISP on five major business continents, Tata Communications is investing in its IP infrastructure -- for both public Internet options and private MPLS-based services, he adds -- to keep its network in the middle of the conversation around business expansion.
"Right now we are seeing a lot of demand around IZO private services, around Ethernet and QoS," Galvin comments. "There is a lot of discussion around how can we provide a predictable secure Internet; a lot of time and effort are being spent in that space right now. There is an absolute commitment from Tata Communications to provide QoS over our IP services."
The addition of Salesforce to the IZO cloud means Tata Communications now gives enterprises direct connections to most of the top cloud services, including Amazon, Microsoft and Google, as well. As businesses move rapidly to considering cloud operations their standard method of operation, having those direct connections delivers on the promises of predictability and security.
There are other challenges in making this an international solution, Galvin admits. Many of those involve managing data sovereignty challenges and handling major question marks around where data is hosted and moved.
"For the last six months, we have been getting accreditation from the very large cloud providers themselves in terms of their understanding of how it fits into the positioning of their services, and how much they can work with us to help their customers connect into their environments," he says.
For Tata Communications, the business is double-sided -- with the cloud providers and the enterprises -- with IZO sitting the middle, and the global IP network underlying it all, Galvin says. That's why the investments in expanding that network and making it more predictable are so crucial, but also the agreements with cloud providers that enable connections and predictable routing to support enterprise needs.
"It's really the constant evolution and investment in QoS on Internet -- as a concept it is very much making the global Internet fit the business," he says. That investment includes beefing up Tata's core and its points-of-presence, and even the global cable infrastructure, he adds.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading