Years ago, Cisco had asked the question, “Are You Ready?” Today, the citizens of the world certainly have said “Yes.” Broadband service providers (SP) have seen progressive shifts in user demand. And now, the question seems to be the user’s asking their SP’s. “Are You Ready? – to meet the needs of us users?”
If you haven’t seen the VNI statistics, the results will shock you. SP’s are on the verge of witnessing staggering amounts of network traffic streaming through their networks. You ask, how staggering? Well, it’s akin to streaming 130,000 titles in the Netflix DVD library simultaneously in just one second.
How do you prepare for that upswing in network traffic? Some forward-looking SP’s are already taking preemptive actions – not just to meet needs through upgrades, but because they see an exciting upside opportunity. Consider the example of how Telstra has rolled out a new Content Delivery Network (CDN) in Australia.
In this business, growth is a given. However, the whole notion of what constitutes “high-growth” takes on new meaning when there’s a significant change in user application characteristics. For the SP, the answer cannot be simply larger and faster interfaces. There are new dynamics of traffic patterns and traffic flow that speed alone cannot solve efficiently. So, why has content distribution suddenly become an essential component of SP business strategy? The way we all consume information is rapidly evolving – whether at work, at home, or on the move. The average user, in the course of their day typically:
watches HD video content
uses a smartphone to check email, watch video, connect with friends, and use life assisting applications.
attends a video conference
Spends time social networking or playing games with a friend(s) over the Internet
For an SP, this implies that there will be more video to stream, more devices to connect, and higher expectations from customers on quality of experience.
However, let’s look at the key challenges SP’s face from a network perspective:
According to a recent market study, the total global managed services opportunity will have reached $217 billion by 2014 – with managed cloud services becoming a significant component of growth. Some service providers are still studying the revenue upside, while the most forward-looking ones have already taken decisive action.
We know that innovative service providers are looking for better ways to unify data center and network assets, as they seek to find a profitable path to cloud service delivery.
However, for SPs to succeed they must meet the stringent SLA demands of enterprise customers. In the legacy data center model, that can be a big challenge. Unfortunately, many of today’s applications are provisioned out of data center service silos.
In contrast, a cloud solution that can unify pools of resources within each data center — use a common unified fabric, implement advanced peering to interconnect provider data centers to one another and then join them to an IP NGN — can put service providers on a pathway to profitable cloud service delivery. This is precisely how Cisco’s Unified Service Delivery offers providers a way to change the rules of the game in their favor.
The recession of 2009 has completely changed how businesses view and consume information technology once and for all. Companies looking to thrive in the near and long term have had to take a hard look and cut costs while keeping their competitive advantage intact. Businesses locked down spending to core competencies and looked for ways to outsource non-core attributes of the business. As a result, the adoption of Managed and Cloud Services as a way of meeting IT needs has skyrocketed.
Whilst the economic downturn acted as a catalyst for managed and cloud services it also seems to have fundamentally changed IT buying behaviors. So, as the economy begins it recovery, we will continue to see strong adoption of these new consumption and delivery models.
Having just returned from Paris, France where I had presented at the Cloud Telco 2010 Conference, I could not help but pick up on common themes of Cloud Management and Security and will state that management and security are absolute table stakes when developing a sustainable Cloud-based service architecture blueprint. Further, another theme for discussion was the role of network virtualization (not a new concept by the way) specific to the network infrastructure enablement e.g. multi-tenancy. Architecturally, considerations such as proximity of the network to the data center infrastructure itself as to mitigate latency and ensure the required quality of service when moving virtual machines were also common topics for discussion at these venues. Oh yes, it is no surprise that with the launch of Cisco’s CRS-3, we have integrated the Network Positioning System (NPS), that implements L3-L7 best path for content.
However, in focusing on cloud management there is the notion of “on demand” as opposed to hours, days and weeks. Therefore cloud management autonomic flow-through provisioning may be the norm and will consequently have implications to OSS systems as these move to cloud management architecture as I highlighted at the Cloud Telco 2010 Conference in my presentation last week:
In less than a half decade from now, the IP traffic on the global network will be:
More Visual: 91+% of all consumer traffic will be driven by video
More Collaborative: web-based conference and high definition video conference are driving the growth on the business front
More Mobile: overall mobile traffic will be 39X in 2014 than it is in 2009
More Connected: overall number of consumer devices will reach 12 billion in 2014 – 50% more than what was forecast in 2013
This changing landscape has an impact on providers, regulators and consumers alike, and I’ll cover some of that in the video below. There is a lot more to discover though, I encourage you to see for yourself at our site, the Cisco VNI Forecast.