In cloud, lies opportunities for carriers. What traditional cloud has not been able to achieve, carrier cloud has all those ingredients to deliver. What makes carrier cloud different than traditional public and enterprise clouds?
First few words about what is public and enterprise cloud? Public Cloud are designed on the concept of “ Scale Out” i.e. as applications and users grow, more processing power and storage is needed, this necessitates adding more servers to cloud. These are commodity servers, so building and expanding network in this way is neither expansive nor time consuming. The resilience is always brought in by software and not hardware; in fact hardware is even dubbed as “Designed-for-failure”. Enterprise cloud, on the other hand, is built on the concept of “Scale up”. Processors and Storage capacity in cloud are upgraded rather than “added” as in public clouds. Since many enterprises are using legacy software which are not designed for the usual “Scale Out” concept of public clouds, therefore such enterprises opt for enterprise cloud which is least disrupting and does not need any forklift upgrades. Resilience, here, is based on hardware rather than software.
Public cloud models have been successful and are here to stay but still work on the “best effort” model. Other than giving rudimentary SLA ( if any) , they do not provide strict SLA based on guaranteed bandwidth, latency, QoS , downtime penalties and above all guarantees on security of data. Carrier clouds give all these and much more: In addition to strict SLA, high QoS and minimum latency they give opportunities for developers to develop applications based on open APIs. For example mobile operators can provide online gaming and multi-play services and develop more applications for their customers based on their carrier clouds. Fixed operators can give VPN services with strict SLA to its customers.
Carrier cloud services can open up new opportunities for today’s carriers. With the industry deliberating on going towards “Network Virtualization”, carrier cloud can be a stepping stone for this virtualization. Carriers, today are better positioned than public cloud operators to give premium cloud services. They are close to customers. Their POPs are not far away from end users; which ensure minimum latency. They have operation teams in place with established maintenance procedures thus making sure their customers get best support for their services. In short, they can ensure that missing piece of today’s Public clouds: the SLA.