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Cloud Services

XO Courts Cloud Users

XO Communications is making its data services more cloud-friendly, adding bandwidth-on-demand capabilities to its private network services, and improving the ability of its network to support connections to multiple cloud environments. (See XO Launches BoD, Multi-Cloud Support.)

The XO Communications Inc. bandwidth-on-demand (BoD) service is not the industry's first, but the competitive carrier is trying to distinguish itself from its competitors by offering on-demand bursting at committed classes of service. That means customers don't have to use a portal to request additional bandwidth; it is provided as needed when traffic bursts above the subscribed level for those buying 1-Gig and 10-Gig ports. (See The Cloud Propels BoD Growth.)

What's more, that bursting traffic is not restricted to best effort parameters -- the bandwidth is guaranteed. "When you look at the applications that enterprises are starting to move into the cloud, they don't necessarily want a best effort service for those," says Sam Koetter, senior product manager at XO. "So this isn't best effort -- it's carried as if it's your committed rate. And when there is contention on the circuit, your class of service will be honored."

In addition to the bandwidth-on-demand options, XO has added a multi-cloud connection that links its Intelligent WAN (or iWAN) to its own cloud services, to the Amazon Web Services Inc. offering, and to CoreSite's Open Cloud Exchange, which serves as an interconnect to other cloud services.

More cloud service connections are expected in the future, including connections to additional exchanges. XO also has built flexibility into its combination of bandwidth-on-demand and multi-cloud offerings, Koetter notes. Enterprises can knit together their locations with a combination of services: Where the higher capacity 1-Gig and 10-Gig services aren't available or needed, other VPN and VPLS services can be used to access cloud services.

Why this matters
Enterprise CIOs and CTOs understand the value that cloud services can deliver, but have been slower to adopt the services than expected because of persistent concerns about security, control, and flexibility of cloud offers. XO's new bandwidth-on-demand service and multi-cloud network offers are an effort to address many of those concerns and make it easier for enterprises to embrace the cloud. (See Enterprises Not Rushing to Embrace Cloud.)

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— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

Carol Wilson 11/6/2013 | 1:13:19 PM
Differentiating in the WAN XO is trying to carve out a point of differentiation in applying CoS to the burstability of its traffic, and not requiring customers to schedule their use of additional bandwidth. Is that unique in the market?
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