Core capabilities for IaaS

Ari Banerjee/Heavy Reading
17 Nov 2011

It is clear that operators are looking to the cloud as a new business channel and hope to fill any gaps left by the established cloud providers, such as Amazon and Google. The established providers, having had issues with disruption of service, leave some skeptical and looking to a cloud provider that may have closer ties to the network and a better grasp on security, scalability, QoS, service management and performance monitoring.

So for telcos infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is definitely the lowest-hanging fruit. Obvious expectations from telcos are that IaaS must be ubiquitous, always available, have low latency and have a high level of reliability and QoS.

This service, tapping a telco's connectivity infrastructure and skills, promises to deliver a new revenue opportunity that will compensate for the inevitable decline in telephony revenues, as millions of people across the globe start consuming virtual infrastructure across networks.

This article looks at the core requirements for IaaS, as identified by service providers that are rolling out IaaS services, along with the infrastructure capabilities that need to be in place to achieve those requirements.

Scale. Process automation and management tools need to support hundreds and even thousands of companies, and potentially millions of end-users, and also provide the highest levels of customer visibility, control and end-to-end assurance.

Converged network and IT capacity pool. Virtualization and service management tools need to span IT and network boundaries, so that the pool appears seamless and both servers and network work together to support end-to-end user and application SLAs.

Self-service and on-demand capacity. A customer portal that gives customers visibility into and control over "their" virtual IaaS environment. Process automation and management tools to enable customers to turn infrastructure resources up/down in software, on demand, without needing to dispatch a technician to provision more capacity is also critical.

High reliability and resilience. Automated distribution of applications across the virtualized infrastructure (LAN and WAN) for resilience and SLA management.

Integrated BSS/OSS. Automated IaaS management and operational processes to support flow-through service provisioning, rating, settlement, etc.

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