Cloud enablement

Cloud Watch: Optical Loves Cloud, Too

Remember when Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison dissed the "cloud computing" term? Sure you do; it was a couple of weeks ago. (See 'Larry Ellison Just Doesn't Get It'.)

Unsurprisingly, that's done nothing to deter the flow of cloud news, even in a week when everybody's supposed to be watching the Mobile World Congress or the Olympics. Here's the latest word from the clouds:

  • ADVA Optical Networking wants to prove a WDM company can do "cloud" things, too. The latest card for its FSP 3000 system is being pitched as a way to provide connectivity into the cloud. (See ADVA Taps Cloud Apps.)

    The card switches Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and InfiniBand at speeds up to 10 Gbit/s, spitting them all out through one WDM port. The idea is to cut latency by avoiding protocol conversions, says Jim Theodoras, ADVA's director of technical marketing. All three protocols are switched on-card, avoiding a trip to a separate switching blade.

    ADVA announced the card on Wednesday but has been shipping it for awhile. Theodoras won't say how long; the card's first customers don't want ADVA giving up any information about the deployments.

  • Service providers are getting interested in cloud-based telephony, according to the new Heavy Reading report, "Cloud Telephony: The Battle Over SMBs." (See Cloud Telephony Is More Than Hot Air.)

    That interest comes from the number of alternative service providers that are bringing different levels of cloud telephony to the fore. The report profiles and contrasts nine of them.

    "At a time when carriers are seeking ways to differentiate their offerings and improve customer loyalty, cloud telephony seems a natural avenue for them to explore," analyst Denise Culver writes in the report.

    The fun part is that, like a lot of things in this sector, "cloud telephony" has no universal definition. In the report, 8x8 Inc. (Nasdaq: EGHT) dismisses it as the "latest buzz phrase" for Internet-based telecommunications, while Aptela Inc. goes all out with the cloudy acronyms, calling it a combination of platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS).

  • HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) introduced its Cloud Design Service today. The name is apt: HP will look over a customer's data centers and come up with a cloud blueprint and an implementation plan, complete with cost estimates.

    As CRN reports, it's a sequel to HP's Cloud Discovery Workshop and Cloud Roadmap Service and part of the company's push to offer cloud services to enterprises that aren't so sure about the cloud.

  • Ellison's rant was about the starstruck way people talk about "cloud." He says the concept is nothing new. Even so, Oracle wants its share of the cloud and is reaching out to customers in a series of Cloud Computing Forums. They've begun in Europe and Asia; the first North American session is February 23 in Los Angeles.

    TechTarget reports that the reception has been mixed. Some customers don't see what's different from Oracle's current offerings; others are suspicious of vendor lock-in.

    Other missives from the clouds:

    — Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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