08-26-2011 04:35 PM
I was interested to see the latest news in the race for service providers to transform themselves to become cloud providers, when Verizon announced it will acquire CloudSwitch yesterday. Verizon’s purchase of software developer, CloudSwitch is just the latest example of carriers bolstering their cloud artillery. For Verizon, this acquisition comes just eight months after their acquisition of cloud computing specialist, Terremark Worldwide Inc. I believe this move will lead to further validation that telecom cloud providers have the ability to offer secure, reliable, and streamlined services based on their existing network infrastructure; overall making their cloud offerings more appealing to enterprises than those of their web based competitors.
For service providers the next challenge will be integrating these cloud technologies with their current business and more importantly with their current network. At the heart of any service provider’s cloud solution is the network, and how they leverage and upgrade that network to deliver new services will be their greatest asset of them all. In order to do this, service providers will need to look to their network vendors as strategic partners to facilitate the development of specific cloud services. Through this type of joint service creation, vendors can help service providers transform and scale their network quickly and cost-effectively to offer high-value services that their enterprise customers will actually adopt, ultimately meaning a faster time to revenue for the provider.
The way Verizon is positioning this move will definitely appeal to their enterprise customers. Basically, CloudSwitch’s software creates a layer between the enterprise and the cloud provider enabling applications and data to seamlessly move between all types of cloud networks; whether they are public, hybrid, or private. For any enterprise worried about being locked into one type of cloud, this concept sounds pretty good. Actually, it is beginning to sound like what the cloud is supposed to be all about; the ability to be open, the freedom to choose. At Brocade, we share this vision in our open Cloudplex network architecture, which allows providers and enterprise to pick and choose the best of breed solutions for building cloud-optimized networks. With the public cloud market for enterprises still in its early stages, it is imperative that they have the ability to move to the cloud how they want to, and by having an open network infrastructure this will increase that desired agility.
So, what do you think of this move by Verizon? It is certainly a step in the right direction, but do you think it is significant enough to accelerate the move to the cloud for enterprises? If not, what do you think the key missing pieces are for telecom providers to make the jump to become cloud providers?