Carrier Ethernet for the Cloud
Industry Consensus: Carrier Ethernet Best for Delivering Cloud-based Services.
Here at Carrier Ethernet News, we strive to solicit the most reputable and knowledgeable industry experts as contributors to our feature series. As we close out our four-part series on Carrier Ethernet delivering Cloud-based services, we’re pleased to have gotten fantastic input from some individuals recognized as being influential in their respective fields and we are thankful for their time and contribution. So, as we move forward, it’s worthwhile to recap some of the highlights from the Cloud features written by our regular contributor Joan Engebretson over the past month.
We kicked off the Cloud Series with an interview by interviewing Margaret Chiosi, executive director of Ethernet and Optics at AT&T Labs, as well as the leader of the Metro Ethernet Forum working group on Carrier Ethernet in the Cloud provider market, who provide details about the MEF’s goals.
Chiosi says the MEF’s Carrier Ethernet in the Cloud Provider market has three goals. One is to create a reference framework and terminology for how Ethernet as a Service (EaaS) supports cloud consumer access to the cloud provider. Another is to identify any MEF standard that may need refinements for this market. The third is to review the MEF framework with cloud standards bodies and cloud product vendors to determine whether it fits in with the cloud standards framework, as well as to understand any gaps in the MEF standards.
Our next two pieces came from Informa analyst Camille Mendler, who has been keeping close tabs on what 100 or so service providers worldwide are doing in the cloud market, and says they’ve already invested $8 billion in 2011 pursuing this market. She also says Carrier Ethernet is likely to play an increasingly important role in supporting carrier cloud offerings.
“We’re looking at what telcos are doing in the cloud space and seeing services that implicitly and explicitly link Carrier Ethernet with the cloud,” she said.
Mendler also sees future opportunities for Carrier Ethernet, citing that service providers have great opportunities for Carrier Ethernet in the cloud services market and that those opportunities could be even greater if service providers would make some key enhancements to their Carrier Ethernet offerings.
According to Mendler, service providers “haven’t made the liquidity of the connection match the liquidity of the cloud.” Once service providers begin to address this problem, Mendler says they would recognize that Carrier Ethernet is the logical choice to meet enterprise customer requirements for bandwidth that can flex up and down.
CEN rounded out the Cloud Series with an interview with Andy McEwan, head of point-to-point product management for UK-based Virgin Media Business who says Carrier Ethernet connectivity to support cloud services is a booming area for the company. “We see huge demand from customers to connect to data centers and from data center operators,” McEwan comments.
When providers of cloud services look for connectivity to their data centers, “Carrier Ethernet is usually the first service they request,” he says. “The reason is all about bandwidth and the capability to scale bandwidth and deliver great chunks of bandwidth at a cost-effective price point.”
That sort of flexibility could become increasingly important to customers that use Carrier Ethernet to connect to cloud services because of the nature of cloud services; a thought echoed by Informa’s Mendler who says “the ability of cloud services to dynamically increase or decrease the storage and infrastructure capacity available to a business is likely to cause businesses to ask why they can’t have the same flexibility on the connectivity side.”