Converging cloud and connectivity

Ulrich Kohn
data center

Growing IT networks with the cloud

In the past, I was forced to limit the size of my mail folder. Now those days are gone. The relative costs of storage versus manual deleting have changed. Today it’s cheaper to keep information rather than spend the time deleting it and occasionally experiencing issues with lost data. What’s more, it’s now easy to rapidly expand storage and compute capacity by allocating it to resources in the cloud on demand and in real time. All you need is a fast and secure connection to the data center. 

From static to exchange traded cloud resources

Such allocation of cloud resources can happen instantly. And different cloud service providers can be used to minimize cost. In the future, cloud resources will be traded at storage and compute exchanges. This creates a challenge for the connectivity network. It needs to align with changes in real time, adjusting the bandwidth of connections as well as the connectivity pattern for best access into the cloud where resources were bought.

Connectivity networks need to become agile

Today’s connectivity networks for business customers combine static MPLS connections and best-effort IP connectivity; this combination is frequently referred to as SD-WAN. Future connectivity networks will leverage cloud technology in the connectivity network, namely SDN, in order to use a common resource allocation mechanism in the cloud and the connectivity network. Central control based on a comprehensive understanding of all available network and cloud resources is the most efficient approach to optimized resource utilization.

What’s more, innovative packet network technologies will also move from the cloud into the public network. Purpose-built switches will become replaced by bare-metal switches empowered with carrier-grade network operating systems for scaling networks at lower cost while satisfying operational requirements. 

Faster services for the cloud

The disaggregated packet network in combination with virtualized compute and storage resources with a common SDN-control are becoming the foundation of future business service offerings. For low-latency services, an additional component will become essential. With compute resources also being integrated at the edge of the connectivity network in close proximity to the customer, low-latency services can be offered. NFV and uCPE are the technologies which enhance the value of the connectivity network.

Complexity is countered by openness 

Convergence of cloud and connectivity leads to software-centric public networks. With SDN, NFV and network operating systems, new technologies and competencies need to be mastered by the technical and operational teams. Operational efficiency improvements must not be compromised by higher operational cost. We need new software technologies that are implemented in an open and standards-based way.

Develop the network path to success

The highly rewarding path to network efficiency and new service offerings needs to be carefully planned. A good approach is learning from companies which have already successfully pioneered those innovative technologies. ADVA is the first company delivering NFV-based uCPE applications in live networks. It’s also been an SDN leader for many years and is an innovator with carrier-grade network operating systems. We’re ready to be your technology partner and help you move towards converged cloud connectivity.

To find out more, please join us at SDN NFV World Congress in The Hague from October 14.

Ulrich Kohn

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