Cloud Services

Analyst: AlcaLu Could Have a Cloud Hit

Heavy Reading analyst-at-large Caroline Chappell believes Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has taken a step in the right direction in terms of addressing the cloud services enablement needs of communications service providers (CSPs).

The vendor last week unveiled its CloudBand offering, which has been tailored to the specific needs of network operators, allowing them to take advantage of the flexibility and cost controls that technologies such as asset virtualization can offer while at the same time offering cloud services to their customers. (See AlcaLu Unveils Its Carrier Cloud Play.)

"I think this hits a lot of the right buttons with carriers -- they want to develop a differentiated cloud from other public cloud providers," notes Chappell, who has just completed a Heavy Reading Service Provider IT Insider report (soon to be published) on the role of standards in the carrier cloud services market.

"Alcatel-Lucent's cloud solutions help carriers achieve a number of value-added trusted capabilities, such as: bringing cloud and connectivity together through its IP VPN stitching capability; high availability and SLA management; higher levels of security … and the ability to aggregate a broad portfolio of cloud-based services," notes the analyst.

"I'm particularly impressed by Alcatel-Lucent's support for business policies that can be applied to individual applications, so that carriers can allow end-users to specify the performance requirements and location constraints for each application," notes Chappell in an email to Light Reading.

"This level of control will be a big comfort factor for enterprises and really help to differentiate carriers as cloud providers," she adds. "The CloudBand Management System portal gives carriers and their customers visibility of the performance not just of individual virtual machines in their virtual cloud, but all the connectivity underneath that contributes to the overall performance of their cloud. This puts a lot of management power into the hands of the users, possibly more, in many cases, than they've ever had before within their own private infrastructures! So again, this gives enterprises confidence and makes carriers more trusted."

Others chasing carrier cloud gold pot
AlcaLu is clearly not alone among the major network equipment providers (NEPs) in its efforts to develop Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) offerings that can meet carriers' cloud services enablement needs, but it looks to be a step ahead of the likes of Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Nokia Networks and NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701), which are certainly active in the market but have yet to unveil a product as targeted as AlcaLu's. (See MWC 2011: Ericsson, Akamai Get Jiggy, Cubio Does Cloud-Based Messaging , NEC Eyes Clouds in Europe and Telefónica Gets Cloudy With NEC.)

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), meanwhile, has a number of targeted offerings and a slew of key partnerships in the cloud technology space that have made it the front-runner among the NEPs in terms of carrier engagements. (See Cisco Purchase Could Bring Self-Service to Telcos, Cisco Turns Up the Apps Delivery Dial, CA, Cisco Team on Virtualization and BT, Cisco Claim Cloud Coup.)

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) also have significant cloud ambitions, but appear to be focused more on the needs of enterprise customers. (See ZTE Sets Cloud Sales Target, Huawei Buys Out Symantec, Huawei's Enterprise Vision Gets Cloudy and Huawei Unveils Cloud Strategy .)

For more on the carrier cloud, see:

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

digits 12/5/2012 | 4:48:16 PM
re: Analyst: AlcaLu Could Have a Cloud Hit

I can't imagine that other major vendors that have networks knowledge and managed services capabilities won't step up with something very or at least vaguely similar.

The questions are -- who, what and when?

ita090370 12/5/2012 | 4:48:02 PM
re: Analyst: AlcaLu Could Have a Cloud Hit

The questions are -- who, what, when and how?

ALU is cutting R&D engineers... is this real cost reduction?

Yes, it is but it sounds like having pain in a feet and cutting his own leg.

GOOD LUCK BEN from ALU site in Genoa, ITALY.


cm10654 12/5/2012 | 4:47:59 PM
re: Analyst: AlcaLu Could Have a Cloud Hit

Cisco is now so far ahead with its HCS Cloud solutions for service providers and they are not competing with the SPs (unlike Microsoft).  Their ambition is to help SPs win the cloud battle against MS Lync 365, HP, Google, etc.

Cisco bring the complete package for the SP with:
+ integrated UC apps (including Microsoft integration)
+ UCS (data center) optimization for UC
+ integrated, end-to-end management and automation (best in class ecosystem)
+ solution architecture (certified and tested with integrated dial plan)
+ plus the strength of their enterprise sales force now pushing customers to the SPs (the biggest carrot).

Cisco has been developing it's cloud strategy since 2005 with HUCS (which was too early for the market), but with HCS they have hit a home run with all the momentum around Cloud.

I can't see Alcatel's efforts making much of an impression at this late stage, even with European SPs.


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