Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blueprint: 2015 and the Rise of the Multicloud Enterprise

by Chris Sharp, Equinix VP of Cloud Innovation 

Those enterprises deploying hybrid and multicloud infrastructures will be the ones to watch in 2015 and beyond. According to Gartner, global cloud adoption is expected to reach $250 billion by 2017, with 50% of enterprises having hybrid clouds.

It’s exciting to be in the center of this skyrocketing market, along with our pioneering cloud partners and enterprise customers who are leading the way in hybrid and multiclouds migrations. Earlier in 2014, we introduced the Equinix Cloud Exchange, which automatically enables the provisioning of one-to-many virtual, cloud connections on-demand.  The Exchange’s unique hybrid and multicloud interconnection capabilities have compelled leading platform providers Google Cloud Platform, Cisco Intercloud and IBM’s SoftLayer to come onboard.  They join AWS and Microsoft Azure and our expanding ecosystem of more than 450 cloud service providers (CSPs) in bringing cloud services to a growing global market.

From our vantage point, we can clearly see how the cloud industry is lining up to expand its footprint and forever change the IT landscape. Here are some critical trends in 2015 that we believe are making cloud more integral than ever in how companies conduct business well into the future.

The number and types of cloud services embraced by enterprises will rise

Responding to ever-increasing pressures to reduce costs while increasing productivity, enterprise IT departments will sharply increase their adoption of cloud services, definitively shifting the balance from client-server to cloud-delivered applications. While it is currently assumed that most enterprises use 30 to 40 cloud services, most applications continue to be delivered on-premise. By the end of 2015, most enterprises will have the majority of their data storage, backup, disaster recovery and business intelligence applications delivered by CSPs. A recent survey by Dimensional Research, showed that 77% of IT professionals are planning to deploy to multiple clouds within the next 12 months.

Hybrid cloud will be everywhere 

From the Fortune 500 to small and medium enterprises, companies in every sector and every geography will embrace hybrid cloud architectures and service delivery. Hybrid cloud strategies offer businesses the best performance at the lowest cost, whether users are accessing collaboration applications via the public cloud or performing disaster recovery via a private cloud within a multitenant data center. Finding a company using only client-server applications could be extremely difficult by the end of the year. However, there will always be those cases where making the change to cloud does not make technical, business or “political” sense.

Global expansion will be driven by the cloud from now on  

High-growth enterprises, driving increased revenue through globalization, will increasingly turn to cloud services, regardless of geographic location. Why build expensive and expansive data centers and applications worldwide and hire the local IT support staff needed to run them, when you can lease them from a growing pool of global providers? Why commit CAPEX when there’s much more cost-effective OPEX solution? Global cloud deployments speed time-to-market, keep costs low and maintain consistency of providers and services. In 2015, CIOs at winning companies will commit to the cloud and never look back.

SaaS will be demanded 

CIOs will require SaaS delivery of the applications they need as a foundational element of RFP development and application selection criteria, eschewing on-site deployments. Winners in the software industry will recognize that server-based deployments are the exception, not the rule, and will place the majority of their development and sales focus on SaaS.

Self-provisioning cloud services will become the norm 

While cloud services offer clear benefits in terms of cost reduction and increased performance, how companies select, secure and maintain them is in flux. Few CIOs have comprehensive visibility into the hundreds of cloud providers developing applications and other services that can help their companies excel. Smart companies will even outsource the outsourcing of their cloud services. The rise of a new type of uber-cloud provider – with the unlimited ability to access and interconnect multiple cloud providers and the software technology necessary to dynamically and seamlessly provision connections on demand  ̶  will greatly accelerate hybrid and multicloud adoption.

Enterprises will say “Farewell” to vendor lock-in

Companies will continue to adopt a variety of best-of-breed solutions that ensure performance and flexibility, which provide choice and interoperability. This gives both network and cloud service providers who have embraced opportunities to peer with others through third party exchanges multiple opportunities for success. Those who rely on vendor lock-in will be scrambling to re-evaluate their previously successful business models.

Third party multitenant data centers will dominate 

The current trend of businesses (cloud providers and enterprises alike) migrating to multitenant data centers will dominate the cloud landscape. According to the 2014 Talkin’ Cloud100 survey, 86% of cloud providers host their services in colocation data centers. On the enterprise side, Dimensional Research reported that 45% of new cloud-based applications deployed over the next year will be hosted by colocation providers. Multitenant data centers bring more companies closer together to access a vast number of resources, including cloud and network service providers, industry partners and prospective customers. This dense ecosystem allows for vendor neutrality, fast time to market and access, flexibility, ease of service and cost-savings when deploying and consuming cloud services.

Companies will adopt private cloud connections to address security concerns 

Enterprises deploying multicloud architectures will require secure, high-performance private connections that are scalable, on-demand and provide access to multiple clouds using multiple network technologies, across multiple global access points. Dimensional Research reported that 72% of IT professionals note security as a top benefit of a direct connection to cloud providers, recognizing the clear benefits that they provide over access via the public Internet.

Out over the clouds 

Hybrid and multicloud computing are paving the way to a plethora of new markets, such as the Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet; new enabling technologies, such as cloud-based predictive analytics for big data; and many new innovations that have yet to be discovered. 2015 is posed to be the year when enterprises will take that next “giant leap” to the cloud.

About the Author

As the vice president of cloud innovation, Chris Sharp leads the development of cloud services solutions at Equinix. Prior to his role at Equinix, Chris held VP positions at Reliance Globalcom, FLAG Telecom and MCI/VerizonBusiness.

About Equinix

Equinix, Inc. (NASDAQ: EQIX), connects more than 4,500 companies directly to their customers and partners inside the world's most networked data centers. Today, businesses leverage the Equinix interconnection platform in 32 strategic markets across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific.

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Blueprint: Tectonic Shifts in Telco Market Start to Appear

by Lars Mansson, Senior Director of Product Management and Strategy at DigitalRoute

December, with the end of the year approaching, lends itself to both reflection and speculation. Of particular importance is weighing up what will come next. In business, we know that preparation is critical for success; accurate speculation today will enable us to build the right foundation for the sort of impactful future action that leads to long-term success.

Some years see subtle change and incremental progress in the Telco market. Others bring a more radical shift in the landscape. Still less frequently, some introduce a change in the fundamental tectonics of the market. I think 2015 may open the door to the latter.

Why have I reached this conclusion? LTE/4G services are bedding in, and nascent NFV and SDN implementations are gradually picking up speed and will, eventually, redefine the character of the network and its management. Customer experience is fast becoming a trend and a reality to which more than just lip service is paid. Lean approaches to replace and/or complement parts of the legacy IT stack (particularly in BSS) are taking hold.

By 2016, my guess is that many of the commercial drivers we’ve become familiar with in recent years may be consigned to the past. In their place, a new operating model is arriving. 2015 is likely to be the year that a number of dramatic changes related to it take root. Let’s look at them:

Enhanced voice services (a.k.a. VoLTE, ViLTE, VoWIFI, RCS) are going to change the competitive equation for Communications Service Providers. 

The widespread launch of VoLTE services will continue and expand next year and will fuel the pace of industry change. But despite the usual degree of marketing hype, my guess is that operators will still use charging models that are data-centric so the first instances of these services will be imperfectly conceived and executed.

Still, enhanced voice will finally and fully enable CSPs to compete like-for-like with OTT’s and the operator’s advantage will be the control of quality and the ownership of the mobile number (a unique, global way of being reached). Charging-wise, the thing to remember is that enhanced voice will drive more data through the network (video calling, file sharing during calls, etc.) and thus a higher likelihood of customers upgrading their data packages.

There’s an interesting corollary question here, too. It’s this: Will the CSP’s really drive this revolution or will they instead try to follow a wave led by the Over-the-Top players? Though they might be loath to admit it, the OTT’s have innovation in their DNA to a far greater extent than is the case with most CSPs. Either way, though, whoever leads the revolutionary charge the result will be the same to the extent that it will drive data usage in the CSP’s network.

LTE could play out in more than one-way too. For one thing, if OTT players deliver the dominant services then network operators will increasingly find their futures lie in a partner game. Conversely, if the operators become the key providers then next generation Quality of Service will become critical simply to protect, let alone to grow, the value chain.

Whether or not the enhanced voice predominates in 2015 is unclear. That it will start to rise up the agenda, as an issue of central importance I think is certain.

Hand-in-hand with the above, partner enablement (done in a new way) will also become a central issue for Telcos

My guess is that in 2015 operators will have to finally stop hedging their best and the ones that ENABLE partners, OTT’s and MVNO/SP’s will, in the long term, be the winners.

The plain fact is that walled gardens and other unsubtle attempts at protecting traditional territory are dead. They haven’t worked and they’re not going to start working now. Enablement can best be done by smart integrations for OTT partners/MVNOs/SPs in a way that lets them influence the quality of service delivered to the end-customer sitting on the host operator’s infrastructure. This means things like allowing split billing scenarios (most often an end-customer and partner split), etc. The key to success here is once again going to be deploying smart, lean applications as the enabler and not engaging in a massive MVNE (partner enablement) approach that will deliver an infrastructure as dense as existing BSS and OSS together for the host operator to build and manage.

If the two trends above are my focal predictions, I also foresee developments in other areas of the market, among them:

  • Network Cloud hype turns into reality - Network Function Virtualization (NFV) will continue to grain traction though in my view, 2016 is when things will really move ahead with larger, hosted installations managed by the big NEP players running virtualized core networks for many of their operator customers.
  • IT Cloud means “lean will be mean” – more of the lighter ‘agile’ type of applications in BSS/OSS will be installed on a virtualized basis, or in an “IT-cloud” (for instance, mediation, service orchestration/activation, OSS fault management systems etc. all fit into this category).
  • OSS is being reshaped, starting now. The growing focus on CSP customer experience means service monitoring will become precedent over network monitoring. At the same time, a focus on CSP network quality. This means the ability for networks to cost effectively generate and distribute the massive data volumes (streaming session/signaling traces etc.) required for the reshaping of OSS, but without massive investments in probe systems etc.
  • Lean approaches to BSS and OSS are inevitable as more and more operators conclude that buckets/bundled services are best executed and supported when counting is managed close to the network via a very cost effective BSS solution that ideally leverages an application that they have already invested in. 

In the end, 2015 will be a year, I think, for stage-setting even larger changes in 2016. As usual there will be winners and losers on all sides of the market – vendors and operators alike. By 2017, don’t expect the landscape to look much like it does today!

About the Author
Lars Mansson is DigitalRoute’s senior director of product management and strategy. In this role, he is the owner of the company's product portfolio, go-to-market and the long-term development of its products & solutions as well as its product strategy, roadmap and thought leadership. Lars has a background in technical pre sales and was previously a system architect and technical coordinator for mediation systems at Tele2 in Sweden.

About DigitalRoute

DigitalRoute has been providing new approaches to enterprise data management since 1999. Its software platform offers high throughput and provides a unique degree of user configurability, processing all usage and statistical data extracted from the networks, including both billable and non-billable events. Over 300 leading companies worldwide actively use DigitalRoute technology to meet their data management needs, including a number of OEM partners who use our platform as a central part of their own offerings. DigitalRoute is built on the core values of Expertise, Open- Mindedness and Commitment. DigitalRoute is a venture-backed, privately held company with a turnover of 30m EUR in 2013 and a record of profitability since 2005. With close to 200 employees, the company is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden with regional offices in Gothenburg, Atlanta, and Kuala Lumpur.

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Vertical Systems: 3+ Million Carrier Ethernet Ports Worldwide by 2018

Worldwide installations of Carrier Ethernet services, including retail Ethernet services at speeds ranging from Sub-10 Mbps to more than 10 Gbps, will expand to more than three million ports by 2018, according to latest research from Vertical Systems Group.

Some highlights of Vertical's Worldwide Carrier Ethernet Outlook:

  • Worldwide installations of retail Carrier Ethernet services will surpass three million customer ports by 2018. More than one million of these ports will be installed in the U.S.
  • Ethernet providers selling retail services will continue to deliver the majority of new customer ports completely on-net, while relying on multiple wholesale partners to reach off-net customer locations.
  • The projected five year cumulative revenue opportunity for retail Carrier Ethernet service providers exceeds $200 billion worldwide.
  • Carrier Ethernet is growing at double digit rates in every region of the world. Asia/Pacific is the largest market based on revenue, followed by the U.S., Europe, and the Rest of World (RoW) region.
  • Globally, the volume of Ethernet bandwidth has already surpassed legacy data services bandwidth. By 2018, Ethernet will contribute greater than 75% of worldwide business data bandwidth.

Arianespace Launches four O3b Satellites, Completing Constellation

Arianespace successfully launched four Ka-band satellites for O3b Networks aboard a medium-lift Soyuz rocket from the Spaceport in French Guiana. This marked Arianespace’s tenth Soyuz launch from the Guiana Space Center and the third launch for O3b Networks, following the successful launch of the first eight satellites in the O3b constellation in June 2013 and July 2014.

Payload lift performance for this flight is approximately 3,180 kg., including about 2,800 kg. for the four Ka-band satellites, which were produced by Thales Alenia Space for O3b Networks.

The four Ka-band satellites are being directed into an equatorial orbit at an altitude of about 8,000 km, where they will join the first eight satellites. With this latest launch, the O3b constellation is now fully deployed and operational. O3b Networks started commercial service on September 1, 2014.

O3b's constellation provides optimal coverage between 45˚ north/south latitudes, with a minimum of 10 beams per region (7 regions) totalling 70 remote beams per the initial 8 satellite configuration. The satellites are able to deliver up to 1.2 Gbps per beam (600 Mbps x 2). Transponder bandwidth: 216 MHz; 2 x 216 MHz per beam. Because they are medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites, O3b can guarantee latencies of less than 150 milliseconds.  The company says its satellite network is fully capable of enabling telcos to extend their mobile networks into remote and underserved regions.

Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Boingo Launch Passpoint Wi-Fi Roaming

Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Boingo Wireless have activated the industry's first reciprocal Passpoint roaming agreement, enabling their customers to seamlessly connect to secure WiFi networks at thousands of locations, including 25 of the highest traffic airports in the U.S.

Boingo subscribers can access thousands of Time Warner Cable’s Passpoint-enabled hotspots in cities including New York, Austin and Kansas City, with Passpoint roaming access launching in additional cities including Los Angeles and Charlotte in early 2015. Boingo customers already have access to TWC’s more than 60,000 hotspots in major cities across the U.S., per the roaming partnership launched earlier this year.

TWC residential Internet customers with Standard Service and above and all TWC Business Services Internet customers can now seamlessly roam on to Boingo’s “Passpoint Secure” WiFi networks at 25 of the highest traffic airports in the U.S., including Chicago’s O’Hare International (ORD), Los Angeles International (LAX), Austin-Bergstrom International (AUS), and New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark Liberty International (EWR) airports.

The Passpoint roaming functionality allows customers with Passpoint-certified devices and account credentials to experience seamless, secure connections between the two networks with no action needed on their part, simplifying the roaming connectivity experience during holiday travel and day-to-day mobile device use. TWC and Boingo’s Passpoint-enabled hotspots feature powerful WPA2 enterprise-grade encryption technology, providing enhanced security on the go.

“Passpoint technology provides significant value to our customers. Our Passpoint roaming integration with Boingo will keep our users connected to this advanced technology during their travels, helping us provide maximum wireless security to our TWC Internet consumers when they’re surfing the Internet out of home,” said Rob Cerbone, VP of Wireless Product Management for Time Warner Cable.

“The launch of reciprocal Passpoint roaming in the U.S. marks a significant milestone for the wireless industry, but more importantly it makes the best possible WiFi connectivity experience available to even more customers in key locations throughout the U.S.,” said Dr. Derek Peterson, Boingo Wireless Chief Technology Officer. “Our partnership with TWC gives our customers truly widespread access to simple, seamless and secure WiFi in key markets nationwide.”

Comcast Pushes Ahead with 4K Ultra High-Definition

Comcast announced the launch of Xfinity in UHD, a 4K Ultra High-Definition (UHD) On Demand programming app for 2014 Samsung UHD TVs. The app provides access to the full current seasons of TV shows from NBC and USA Network.  The company said it is working to expand its Xfinity in UHD app library across multiple networks.

“Our top priority is providing our customers with the best entertainment experiences, so we are excited to give them the opportunity to be among the first to enjoy current seasons of some of the most popular TV shows in pristine Ultra High-Definition,” said Matt Strauss, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Video Services for Comcast Cable. “Next year, we will not only debut the full Xfinity in UHD catalog across our Xfinity TV Go platforms for all customers to enjoy, but we will begin distributing a new X1 set-top box that will deliver 4K content.”

Sprint to Drop NASCAR Sponsorship after '16 Season

Sprint has decided not to renew its sponsorship of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series after the current agreement expires at the end of the 2016 season.

The sponsorship extends back to 2004 when Nextel signed a 10-year partnership with NASCAR for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.

Ixia Boosts its Network Visibility Architecture

Ixia rolled out a series of enhancements to its network visibility product portfolio, extending the capabilities of its Visibility Architecture.

Updates include:

  • Application filtering technology – Using Ixia’s ATI Processor, administrators are able to select precise geo-tagged application traffic for forwarding to specific monitoring tools. File transfers to suspicious locations or VoIP connections from a branch office with performance problems can be automatically highlighted and directed to the appropriate tools for immediate analysis.
  • New high-density platform – Ixia’s ATI Processor is available in the new NTO 6212 packet broker, which enhances Ixia’s NTO family with application brokering and NetFlow generation in an efficient 48-port 1U package.
  • Advanced packet processing and 100G support – Ixia’s NTO 7300 now supports 100Gb interfaces and 1.8Tb of advanced processing (such as header stripping and deduplication), the highest capacity and density in the industry by a substantial margin.
  • Monitoring of financial feeds – Ixia’s recent TradeView release allows for the monitoring of market data down to the channel level, providing early warning of health issues with channel feeds that can save millions in revenue lost to trading errors.

Red Hat Posts Revenue of $456 million, up 15% YoY

Red Hat reported total revenue of $456 million for its fiscal year 2015 third quarter, an increase of 15% in U.S. dollars from the year ago quarter, and 18% measured in constant currency.