Unification and Optimization of SP Data Center Assets
In the near term, even without the current global economic challenges, it’s apparent that 2009 was already going to be a year of significant transition for most broadband service providers.A recent assessment from Mike Cansfield at Forrester Research describes how the traditional one-size-fits-all business model in the communications sector is breaking down. Moreover, new ways for service providers (SPs) to do business are emerging, and as a result, strategists have hard choices to make.Legacy Barriers Handicap InnovationCansfield believes that the typical SP operational model is inherently inefficient. Product silos lead to multiple overlapping functions structurally – in terms of people – and can also lead to duplicate IT systems. Any service provider wanting to introduce new services essentially has to build more overlay networks with associated systems – it’s an inherently slow and inefficient process.Current SP data centers today often exist as silos that are separate and fragmented, with each including application, computing and storage resource duplication, resulting in increased complexity, operational and capital inefficiencies. In many cases data centers still use one physical device per application – further increasing duplication and complexity.Provisioning costs continue to rise from the increasing complexity and vastness of data center farms that also require significant manual repurposing to launch new services or implement upgrades, changes, and/or new features.The setup, upgrade, and teardown costs further complicate timely service delivery. Significant Capex and Opex savings can be gained by unifying resource pools and optimizing current and future data center assets.Unification: the Virtualization TransformationIn contrast, unified SP data centers allow a provider to rapidly repurpose common pools of resources, on-demand, lowering provisioning times by up to 90 percent and reducing Capex/Opex by over 20 percent. By virtualizing hardware, a single device can run multiple applications and by further virtualizing the network between devices, complexity can be significantly reduced. Now that’s progress.Cisco Unified Service Delivery combines the power of the data center with the power of the network to transform service delivery and build the foundation for cloud services. This is how a virtual transformation changes everything. Its progressive evolution that unifies, integrates and interconnects service provider’s infrastructure in new ways.With this new model, service provider agility is enhanced, and idle data center resources are minimized – so SPs can do more with less. More haste, less waste. In my upcoming posts, I’ll describe how the strategic application of a highly optimized and integrated SP data center combined with an IP next-generation network can positively impact a service provider’s overall business.By the way, Forrester’s Cansfield concludes his assessment with ten recommendations. In one he suggests that strategists need to ensure that IT is put at the heart of the business – and is not seen as an offshoot of networks. Doing so, he says, will also rationalize and simplify the business and make it easier to manage. We agree, wholeheartedly. Service Providers can no longer think of the data center as an island separate from the network. What do you think? We’d like to hear your thoughts.