Optical/IP Networks

What Color Is Your Cloud?

12:30 PM -- Cloud services didn't originate in the telecom world, which is weird when you consider how long the idea of network clouds has been, well, floating around.

Even back in the 1980s, before there was a commercial Internet, the notion existed of services in the cloud -- Centrex is, in many ways, the original cloud service.

It took Amazon Web Services Inc. and other Internet companies, however, to launch "cloud services" as a means of offering on-demand, pay-as-you-go computing and other IT capabilities. Major telecom operators have been fast followers on this concept, and are claiming to bring much more to the cloud space.

But telecom service providers also face a real challenge in defining what "cloud" means and where it fits in the broader array of hosted and managed services that have been the cornerstone of advanced business data services in the past.

One key difference between hosted/managed services and cloud offerings is that the former have been associated with long-term contracts and infrastructure deployed on behalf of the customer, either in the service provider's network (hosted) or on the enterprise premises (managed). The beauty of cloud offerings, on the other hand, is their flexibility -- resources can be turned up or down on demand, used as needed and paid for only when used.

This is a new way of thinking for many telecom service providers and one they should get used to. Locking customers into contracts is a safer and probably more profitable way of operating, but more nimble and efficient companies don't need that contract crutch, and telecom operators need to throw it away as well.

Will telecom settle on one definition and one approach to cloud? I hope not -- that would be deadly dull, after all. But this and other topics will be among the many discussion points on May 9, when Light Reading hosts our very first Carrier Cloud Forum. There's still time to join us. You can register here. — Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:06:46 PM
re: What Color Is Your Cloud?


I was interested that you noted only one of the areas that Cloud Services (theoretically) are good at - Scalability.

There are others - again these are theoretical and have offsetting liabilities:

1 - Redundancy: Should be built in to the service

2 - Lowered Capex:  No need to buy, maintain, and then upgrade hardware

3 - Different Opex:  Many baseline Opex items are removed (like power and space)

4 - Focus:  No need for your IT folks to learn the nuances so many things.  Focus on what is key to your business.



Charles Studt 12/5/2012 | 5:06:15 PM
re: What Color Is Your Cloud?

Our experience with customers backs up the point that companies demand the ability to pay as they go and avoid restrictive contracts before they’ll embrace a service. Give them quality, simplicity and flexibility - Cloud-based communications solutions like SIP trunking and registry/federation that enable an on-demand multimodal communications experience - and they’ll come knocking.


cnwedit 12/5/2012 | 5:06:14 PM
re: What Color Is Your Cloud?

I agree on all fronts - I think at this point I've been writing about cloud services and their advantages for so long, I'm taking them for granted.

cnwedit 12/5/2012 | 5:06:13 PM
re: What Color Is Your Cloud?

I think pay-as-you go is going to remain a key component of cloud, which fits with what the market is telling you.

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