All roads lead to the cloud

All roads lead to the cloud

John C. Tanner  |   April 20, 2012
Telecom Asia
You know by now that the "cloud" has become the hottest topic in the telecom business. But while most telcos "get" the cloud at a macro level, they have their work cut out for them - not least because "the cloud" means different things to different service providers (and their customers and partners), depending on where they sit in the value chain and how prepared they are to invest in the transition from the telecoms world to the IT world in which the cloud is conceptually based. Even when narrowing the scope of the discussion to carriers focused on developing data centers and cloud infrastructure, there are many choices to sort through, and each comes with its own challenges.
 
Consequently, Telecom Asia - in partnership with Ciena - conducted a survey in January 2012 to assess how Asia's telecoms players are sizing up the cloud and developing their cloud infrastructure/data center strategies and roadmaps, and the barriers they see in their way. And the results largely confirm that, of the multiple paths available to developing cloud infrastructure (in terms of strategy, spend, connectivity, pricing models, sales models, etc,) telcos are essentially exploring as many as possible.
  
Ethernet rules
 
When telcos plot out their cloud infrastructure strategies, they have three options available to them: they can build from scratch, they can lease from wholesale providers, or they can do a combination of both.
 
For now, at least, telcos appear keen on the latter option: almost half of respondents said they were taking a hybrid build/buy approach for their cloud infrastructure solution. Of the remainder, slightly more (close to 29%) said they were building their own infrastructure, while 22% were turning primarily to wholesalers.
 
In terms of capex plans for cloud infrastructure and data center consolidation, an equal number of respondents (32.8%) said they were investing either 5% or less of capex in cloud infrastructure or data centers in the next one to two years, or between 15% and 30% in the same time frame (see chart, left). Another 22.4% or respondents put their expected cloud infrastructure/data center capex investment at between 5% and 15%, and the remainder (almost 12%) set the figure at more than 30%.
 
We asked respondents to rate the popularity of various connectivity options for cloud infrastructure, and while the numbers were spread rather widely, one clear trend is that Ethernet rules the cloud. Ethernet over E1 or DS3 was rated the most popular option by the numbers (close to 40%), with 10/100-Mbps Ethernet tied for second (at 34.5%), and 1-Gigabit Ethernet third (just over 32%).
 
The least popular connectivity choice: STM1, STM4 or STM16 PPP Packet Over SDH/SONET, with just 13.5% of respondents rating it the most popular. Comparatively, Fiber Channel (any rate) is more popular than Packet over SDH/SONET at 24.1%.
  
Dhaval Vora from Elitecore understands the benefit and uniqueness of Wi-Fi offload in Asia and why it is so important

Frontpage Content by Category with Image

One in four people can’t use the toilet without the handset