NEW YORK -- Reliance Globalcom is rebranding as Global Cloud Xchange to prioritize a cloud future over its deep fiber roots.
The global fiber provider used the old money environment of the Yale Club of New York City to tell the world that it expects new revenue to come from a software-based, cloud future -- though one that builds on its already massive fiber footprint. CEO Bill Barney admitted during a Q&A session Tuesday that the move might be "a year or two ahead" of his customers, but he said he didn't mind being ahead of the game.
"All of our customers are going to be in the cloud. They might not know it yet, but they're going to be there," Barney said in response to questions from Light Reading. "In 10 years' time, there won't be fiber guys anymore."
This doesn't mean that Global Cloud Xchange will forget its position as the largest fully owned submarine cable provider on the globe. In fact, Barney expects to announce more buyouts of "distressed" networks in the future.
During his presentation, he said that the massive amounts of video, data, and voice that is and will be delivered over social networks and other cloud services will start to make fixed -- not wireless -- more trendy again as the need to move more packets of "big data" (no, not that Big Data) requires extra horsepower.
"Fiber guys are going to be be sexy for the next couple of years," he said.
Nonetheless, Barney expects to go beyond that by building 20 "enterprise-class cloud nodes" in 2014 around the world. These will be used to enable other providers to facilitate cloud services and allow Global Cloud Xchange to provide its own. "We go past 1,800 data centers today, but we're only in 75."
He didn't reveal the planned locations of the nodes, but he did say announcements will start to come in a few weeks. He also said Global Cloud Xchange had its best opportunities in markets with fewer providers, like India and Saudia Arabia.
He also suggested that the industry is changing the way it builds data centers, and Global Cloud Xchange will be a part of that. "You can no longer store information in downtown New York. It's too expensive."
So increasingly enterprise data centers will take a distributed approach, with the servers in the front in big cities and massive storage farms in back the suburbs. Global Cloud Xchange intends to announce its plans for "forward data centers" in the coming weeks.
All this is in service of building toward a future where networks and services are all based on SDN. "We're probably about halfway there. The process could take another 5-10 years."
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading