Cloud enablement

EENY 2010: HP's Weinman Says Clouds Are Inevitable

NEW YORK -- Ethernet Expo Americas 2010 -- The world is inevitably moving to robust and flexible services, delivered by highly reliable networks, and priced on a per-use basis, Joe Weinman, who leads the Communications, Media, and Entertainment segment for HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ)'s Worldwide Industry Solutions, told the Ethernet Expo crowd today.

That will drive the "need for a much more flexible, fungible, dynamic robust photonic-mesh optical transport layer" that will displace the Internet as the main delivery vehicle for cloud services, the former AT&T exec argues.

"I've used the Internet a couple of times, and it seems to work nicely," Weinman quips. But as enterprises cope with unpredictable peaks in demand for computing and applications such as gaming require ever more sophisticated computational support and bandwidth, cloud services will be the only cost-effective means of meeting future needs.

Building computing infrastructure to handle peaks creates excess capacity, which is costly, but failing to meet peak demand produces lost revenue, Weinman says, and strategies to address that such as virtualization or traffic shaping don’t solve the problem. On-demand cloud computing services can address that issue, either in a pure cloud solution or a hybrid approach.

But the industry also must provide solutions for "dynamic migration of data from enterprise into the cloud," Weinman says, since it makes little sense to have immediate access to servers but delayed access to critical data. "What you really want is an infinite amount of bandwidth for an infinitesimal amount of time on a pay-per-use basis."

As for pay-per-use strategies, they aren't an "evil plot" by network operators, but actually a user preference, he argues. All but the heaviest users will inevitably gravitate to pay-per-use, because it makes economic sense, says the former AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) exec, who headed global portfolio strategy and business development for that carrier, shaping its cloud strategy before leaving for HP this summer.

Weinman's keynote speech followed encouraging words from Stan Hubbard, senior analyst and Ethernet expert with Heavy Reading and conference chairman for Ethernet Expo Americas.

Hubbard reminded the crowd of between 700 and 800 assembled in New York that telecom networks, which were a big part of the economic problem at the turn of the century, are now a major part of the solution.

"Telecom operators are in the driver's seat as key to productivity gains in the macro economy," Hubbard says. "Network operators are collectively sitting on fiber/copper-based oil field."

For all the focus on applications, those may come and go while the network "stays and grows over time," Hubbard says. "It's what drives information-based economies and keeps the world connected."

The need to build highly reliable and secure networks that are interconnected and capable of reaching the largest number of locations will fuel a greater push to Ethernet, Hubbard says.

"We are the underlying infrastructure that will drive the economy forward," he says.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Ethernet Expo Americas 2010, Light Reading's eleventh Ethernet event, designed to meet the information needs of service providers and enterprises that are working out what next-generation services and applications to deploy, and what infrastructures will help them do this in the most cost-effective and productive manner. To be staged in New York, Nov. 2 & 3, admission is free for attendees meeting our prequalification criteria. For more information, or to register, click here.

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