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Alcatel-Lucent's carrier cloud aims to disrupt market

25 ноября 2011

The third way is a term more commonly associated with politics than telecoms – think Clinton in the US, Blair in Britain and Schroeder in Germany – but it is an approach that Alcatel-Lucent appears to be following with the launch of its new cloud service aimed squarely at operators.

The France-based vendor’s CloudBand solution, unveiled last week, aims to marry the best of the public cloud model with the advantages of the private cloud.

The common denominator is the operator’s network, which will be leveraged to deliver what A-L is calling a “carrier cloud”.

CloudBand enables operators to do two things: first, move their own operations into the cloud and, second, market cloud services to their customers.

Key to the whole process is a management system that links the network to the cloud. This system features algorithms developed by Bell Labs that manage the network, computing and data storage elements.

A-L is also proposing “node” hardware specially designed with HP as part of the package.

On the one hand A-L says it means that expensive and time-consuming hardware is no longer required as critical elements can be converted into software and run in the cloud– boldly, it cites Capex savings of up to 80 percent in this regard.

On the other hand, A-L says it provides operators with elasticity to better manage demand for their services according to market need.

“You could certainly say it is a third way,” Guy Shemesh, A-L’s senior director for cloud solution told European Communications. “It has the security of the private cloud with the ubiquity and cost of the public cloud.”

Many telcos are still working out how to move to cloud, according to Shemesh, who estimates that there are “not many” with more than 10 percent of their operations “cloudified” at the current time.

Evidently, we are still in the early stages of the evolution towards cloud but Shemesh believes that most businesses will have 70-80 percent of their operations in the cloud in the future.

“Some are big enough to be able to support their own private cloud, but the majority will use a public cloud via their local provider – it’s simply too expensive to do it by yourself,” said Shemesh.

The problems with the public cloud are well documented – notably security and performance – which is why A-L believes it is onto something with CloudBand. Specifically, Shemesh says no one has performed an automated network connection with the cloud – something CloudBand has its USP.

For end customers, A-L promises that the network-controlled cloud will deliver better security and reliability alongside higher performance.

The challenge for operators is being able to monetize this opportunity. “There is big money to be made in the cloud enterprise space in particular,” predicted Shemesh. “But many operators are not good at selling it.”

A-L, which is launching CloudBand early in 2012, might well have found an innovative cloud solution for operators – a carrier-grade cloud certainly has theoretical advantages for enterprise customers over more traditional IT or internet cloud offerings.

But while operators may need a charismatic leader to sell this new vision, A-L will hope being first to market will give it a clear advantage over its rivals.


Источник: European Communications

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