Network Crunch Could Stymie Cloud Computing
It's an important point, because latency is what killed application service providers (ASPs) a decade ago, before broadband was widely available, he noted.
"Just the little old iPhone is causing the network to be under stress," Willetts said. "There are broadband technologies available if only we'd use them -- deploying fiber instead of copper, and deploying 4G. We've seen service providers sitting on the fence. This will be a tense time, and it could be a brake on cloud computing."
To try to avoid these kinds of pitfalls, the TM Forum is bringing enterprise buyers into one of its initiatives for the first time, in the form of an Enterprise Cloud Buyers Council (ECBC) within the Cloud Services Program. (See TM Forum Seeks Enterprise Help With the Cloud.)
Having enterprise input up front will grease the skids for the creation of cloud-computing offerings that can earn enterprise confidence, said Eric Pulier, executive director of the ECBC and founder of ServiceMesh.
"Absent an organization of the buyers, the suppliers are really guessing," Pulier said. "They will be jockeying for positions and putting forward their ways of doing things. That will leave an industry that will be stunted in its growth because without a way for buyers to avoid being stuck, being locked in, you will only have a marketplace that will evolve over 10 years."
If the TM Forum's Cloud Services Program, with its ECBC, can define services in a way that makes comparison shopping easier -- much as the MEF did for Ethernet services -- then cloud computing is more likely to explode, Pulier said, "because the mandate is so strong and the interest is at a fever pitch."
The ECBC held its first substantial meeting today, with its two founding members -- the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Deutsche Bank AG -- on hand. More members will likely join in coming weeks, Pulier said. He sees new members joining in industry-specific waves, in acknowledgment of the fact that cloud computing needs to be targeted to specific vertical needs.
"We will have one overall group, but within that we will have segments -- financial services, pharmaceuticals, and oil and gas are the early ones, then retail and government," Pulier said. "There is the recognition that while the cloud buyers are competitors, the large portion of their processes are things they don't compete on, like government compliance." By teaming up, members can avoid spending "redundant dollars" on company-specific cloud services, he said.
Players such as Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) are welcome in the TM Forum Cloud Services Program and can benefit by learning more about enterprise requirements and demands with which they may not be familiar, Pulier said.
— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading