MEF Starts Thinking Cloud
MEF Director Ralph Santitoro, who's a director of market development at Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. , discussed some of the possibilities in a morning talk here.
The MEF has been thinking about cloud standards for some time, and one problem is that there are so many possible things to try to standardize. The prioritization phase is happening now.
"Maybe there are two or three of these where, if you had them, the market would go crazy [and not in a bad way]," Santitoro told Light Reading after his talk.
The MEF hopes to have identified a couple of projects -- whether new standards or augmentations of existing ones -- by its next big meeting, coinciding with Ethernet Europe 2012 the week of April 16.
The importance of Carrier Ethernet to clouds goes beyond the MEF trying to look cool. Some enterprise customers are leery of using cloud services that require data to traverse the Internet. Others are interested in services having predictable performance and latency. Using Carrier Ethernet connections could help in both cases.
One likely theme among MEF standards would be the ability to tie a network service-level agreement and a cloud-provider service-level agreement. They tend to be different deals even though delivery of a cloud service depends on both.
Another key piece could be the ability to call up bandwidth on demand, and have the billing systems reflect that sort of usage properly on the customer's bill. It's one of those old, old ideas that carriers have resisted. But as a few speakers at the Carrier Cloud Forum noted, service providers are being forced to embrace change because of the demand for cloud services.
The MEF plans to publish a paper about all this next week, titled "Carrier Ethernet for Delivery of Private Cloud Services." Part of the hope here is to promote the MEF point of view to the IT and cloud spheres. "A lot of it is just exposure. They don't know the MEF has these services," Santitoro told Light Reading.
— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading