Cloud Services

5 Things that Changed Cloud in 2011

8:25 PM -- "Cloud" has gone from hot to hype to happening in the space of two years. So the trends in the cloud arena are much more practical and much less theoretical (i.e., sexy). But they still exist.

Here are some notable shifts for cloud in 2011 that will continue to play out during the next year.

"Commodity" is no longer a dirty word. Telecom service providers launched their assault against cloud pioneers, such as Amazon Web Services Inc. and Rackspace , by touting everything they added to cloud, implying that enterprises wouldn't dare trust their applications and data to cloud services that lacked the five-nines of telecom offers. But commodity clouds continue to thrive, despite AWS outages, and telecom providers are looking to offer their own commodity cloud services -- expect more of those in 2012.

Cloud becomes part of the portfolio. Managed services existed before cloud was identified as a concept, and they aren't going away. Will cloud-based services become part of the managed service portfolio or vice-versa? Who cares? Service providers will have to be able to offer a full range of managed, hosted and on-demand cloud services that meet the needs of different businesses, different applications within the same business and different types of data within the same application. Oh, and they'll have to keep all that simple.

Network services will also be "on-demand." Telecom service providers are beefing up the bandwidth they deliver to and between data centers, in anticipation of cloud services expansion. But that bandwidth will have to be delivered more dynamically to match the on-demand nature of cloud services. That kind of thinking works against the notion that cloud becomes a driver of bandwidth that is purchased in the traditional way -- high volume at lower cost on long-term contracts -- and also could create interesting debates around SLAs. All of that will lead to the major challenge for 2012, which is:

Cloud services will put major new demands on back-office systems. OSS transformation has been largely driven in the past by the need for job cuts and cost reduction, but delivering more flexible, on-demand services at high levels of reliability will put new pressures on how service providers manage their networks and back-office systems, right up through to billing and customer service. The need for end-to-end delivery is one reason we're seeing major vendors, such as Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), offer cloud solutions that address many of the network service delivery and integration issues -- provided, of course, that service providers are willing to place their eggs in one vendor basket. The need for multi-vendor approaches is likely to lead to:

The development of standards around cloud. Early discussion of standards has centered on end-user needs, such as the enterprise wish not to be locked into a cloud provider, but there is also growing interest on the service provider end to begin to commoditize pieces of the cloud puzzle. That means standards development. We'll see a lot of talk about standards in 2012, but results may take longer.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

rhr 12/5/2012 | 5:45:54 PM
re: 5 Things that Changed Cloud in 2011 Brookseven, apologies for the late response: what do you mean by 'lights out management' and how does it relate to ARM-based servers?
rhr 12/5/2012 | 5:44:31 PM
re: 5 Things that Changed Cloud in 2011 Looking into servers a bit more, the advent of the ARM is a significant development although 2012 is perhaps too early to see its impending impact.

Marvell already offers server silicon while Calxeda and AppliedMicro are developing 32-bit quadcore and 64-bit up to 32-core devices, respectively.-á

Already the business model of ARM is starting to spawn lots of entry point designs. Intel, which recognises the shift to low power designs, has the ATOM. But even if early-mover server vendors like SeaMicro with its cluster-in-a-box SM10000 has adopted a 512-core design using the ATOM, there is no reason why in future it cannot also adopt the ARM. The x86 architecture is about to face serious competition on its home turf.
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:44:28 PM
re: 5 Things that Changed Cloud in 2011


Lights Out Management...in Dell its called a "DRAC".  It allows us backdoor access to a server even if the OS/RAID/DISKS have all completely failed.  It is one of many things required to make a data center server.  That way I can do disk repairs and reboot/manage servers that are in Europe from the US.  The other vendors have equivalents of this.  Basically a board with a built in OS that can boot locally, run a console/web service and let us poke around/fix a machine without local console access.

ARM...as I said there are no actual server lines out there that compare to the x86 lines from Dell/HP/IBM etc.  To get there, they will need some hardware OEM like one of those to adopt a full line of products.  Today, I can get ARM/MIPS/Cavium type things in 1U appliances.  What I need are Blade Centers/Big Raided boxes/1Us/2Us...all at different price performance models with hardware warranty packages and add-ons.  It is certainly possible that somebody will build them, but nobody has to date.


paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:45:30 PM
re: 5 Things that Changed Cloud in 2011 Two comments: ARM won't matter until there is a full server line (like Dell) with lights out management available. I am unaware of anyone even thinking about this. Carol (sorry for the poor formatting) I think the BYOD movement would be my #1 on this list. Thank you for bringing this stuff to LR.

rhr 12/5/2012 | 4:45:30 PM
re: 5 Things that Changed Cloud in 2011 Further to your comment about standards, it is notable how much networking standard activity there is within the data centre. And cloud's impact on networking will not stop there, with ALU's CloudBand being one of many developments to expect regarding metro/ long haul networking and the cloud. Also will ARM and its low power CPU cores start to impact the traditional server market?
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:45:29 PM
re: 5 Things that Changed Cloud in 2011


Is your statement around the idea of the ability to telecommute more effectively?  Videoconferencing, Audioconferencing etc are pretty simple even without the cloud and that helps eliminate office to office travel.  I think customer/vendor visits are not going away anytime soon; though a lot of meetings are being held with Webex/GoToMeeting already.  Again, SaaS really not Cloud.




Paolo_Belotti 12/5/2012 | 4:45:29 PM
re: 5 Things that Changed Cloud in 2011

I share your analysis on the different trend you wrote about. However, I am still a little surprised about the lack of attention of the community around other ‘practical trend’. In particular, I see practical application built around the cloud regarding the organization of the office travel. Cloud is allowing Companies (of any size) to rethink their organizational models of the travel and this trend is matching some huge ecological challenge. I am expecting to see much more of this in 2012. 

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:45:26 PM
re: 5 Things that Changed Cloud in 2011

"urban territory organization"  What the heck is that? I googled that phrase and got nothing of any value.

I get the concept of reducing office equipment (not sure that this is either positive or negative environmentally as basically the same equipment is just located somewhere else) via service offerings.

If you are talking about telecommuting, again - I am not sure that this is really a cloud issue.  My sister has been telecommuting for years over broadband (which seems more the issue than the cloud).



Paolo_Belotti 12/5/2012 | 4:45:26 PM
re: 5 Things that Changed Cloud in 2011

Hi Seven,

 I was referring to a concept much wider than Videoconferencing.  It is more related to all cloud technologies (Iaas, Paas, Saas and others that will come or will be defined) that are reducing reliance and requirements in office technology and play in this way an important role in the new urban territory organization that big ecological challenges will impose.

I take this chance to wish you a great 2012. 

Paolo_Belotti 11/30/2012 | 7:34:00 PM
re: 5 Things that Changed Cloud in 2011

Dear Seven,

Thanks to take the time (and effort) to read my ‘enigmatic’ reply.
I apologize for the bad term ‘"urban territory organization’. I have still problems in translating french (and italian) terms in English in a limited context. 
This concept Is linked to the concept of  ‘
Territoire : contenir l’extension périurbaine et relocaliser les activités humaines ‘  expressed by Nicolas Hulot in his ‘Pacte Ecologique’.
As to the concept of telecommuting, I guess I am quite close to the though of Al Gore as expressed in his speech ‘24 Hours in Cyberspace’; probably, a reference to a practical –and commercial-  case  can help more than a definition (believe me, I don’t want to do free advertisement))  http://www.intevirtual.com/

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