Cloud Could Face Network Bottlenecks
The topic came up here during a panel titled, "Building the On-Demand Cloud Infrastructure." A lot of attention is being lavished on how to get carriers' back-office and OSS systems primed for cloud services. But there's a network aspect to be considered, too, and panelists seemed eager to talk about it when an audience member brought it up.
That's because they happen to be working on the problem already. Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is working with a couple of carriers on "building dynamic environments for VPN interconnect," said David Frattura, senior director of cloud strategy.
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) likewise has prototype setups running with service providers, where the orchestration layer stays informed about things like network connections and security requirements, said Simon Aspinall, a Cisco director of marketing. He expects Cisco to reveal some of this work during the next 12 months, as the vendor tries to build an environment "where the network is becoming very cloud-aware and the cloud is becoming network-aware."
This leads to an argument that the network, in the case of cloud services, can't be a dumb pipe. Kip Turco, now a senior vice president with Windstream, noted during the panel that this is why Windstream Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: WIN) bought Hosted Solutions (acquiring Turco himself in the process). (See Windstream Unwraps Cloud Strategy.)
All this orchestration could open up some upselling angles, too. "If you're a first-mile provider, and your customer wants to consume 20 virtual desktops ... shouldn't you pop up a window saying that for this period of time, they really should consume extra bandwidth?" Frattura said.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading