The cloud becomes truly ubiquitous
2014 is the year on-demand network services will align with on-demand cloud compute and storage services, to deliver a truly ubiquitous service experience for the end user.
To date, the predominant cloud services have been SaaS, PaaS and IaaS - Software-, Platform- and Infrastructure-as-a-Service, that enable enterprise IT and consumer applications and content to be virtualized and delivered from cloud provider data centers.
The network will continue to be the key ingredient that ties everything together, providing guaranteed performance to the spectrum of XaaS cloud services and a backplane across the data centers for dynamic delivery of applications.
For consumers, the cloud has finally become mainstream. The ongoing popularity of tools such as Apple’s iCloud and the close integration of cloud based services into operating systems such as Microsoft Windows 8, along with increased smartphone and tablets adoption, will confirm the cloud as an essential aspect of everyday life in 2014.
The 'Telco Cloud' will start to take shape
2014 will also see the ‘Telco Cloud’ emerge, enabling the virtualization of telecom services delivery and processing functions, alongside existing XaaS (anything-as-a-Service).
Operators deploy a variety of network appliances (load balancers, deep packet inspection devices, broadband access gateways and the like) each responsible for the delivery of various network functions such as wireless, broadband Internet, enterprise VPN and so on. Some of these are business-oriented while others are consumer-oriented. As a result, some are heavily utilized during the day but not at night, and vice versa. At the moment network service providers must deploy sufficient capacity for each appliance type, for each service silo and in each metro area to handle the local peak demand, meaning high operational expenses and extremely inefficient use of capital assets.