The emergence of carrier cloud has created a race between the world's biggest network equipment vendors, triggering a series of strategic acquisitions, investments and reorganizations to support network-centric cloud services, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading Service Provider IT Insider, a paid research service of Heavy Reading.
Big Vendors Race to Establish Carrier Cloud Leadership examines the evolving infrastructure for carrier cloud and how five key network equipment vendors are positioned to address it. It describes emerging cloud concepts, including unified cloud management, network "cloudification" and service clouds, and dissects network equipment vendor strategies and the threats they face as this market matures.
"'Carrier cloud' is a term being championed by network equipment providers to differentiate clouds delivered to end-users by telcos from the cloud infrastructure supporting services offered by non-network facilities-owning cloud providers," says Caroline Chappell, Senior Analyst at Heavy Reading and author of the report. "It is an emerging and evolving concept that is not yet fully defined. Carrier cloud enables telcos to leverage their network ownership to differentiate their cloud infrastructure from first-generation data center-centric clouds, both in terms of economics and features."
The end goal of carrier cloud is for operators to own a high performance, highly available and secure, yet low cost cloud infrastructure on top of which they can float what NSN has dubbed "service clouds," Chappell explains. "At this point, the network can be completely merged with IT-based data center cloud to create Wave 3 of carrier cloud. The Wave 3 vision is evolving fast and major network equipment vendors are scrambling to understand and support it," she says.
Key findings of Big Vendors Race to Establish Carrier Cloud Leadership include:
Carrier cloud represents a large opportunity for telcos to leverage their networks as a basis for differentiating themselves from first-generation, data center-centric cloud providers.
Second-gen cloud will see operators unify the management of data center and network (core and access) resources to provide more secure and QoS-enabled versions of existing cloud services.
The race is on to support the third wave of cloud, based on network "cloudification" and "software-defined networking" infrastructure. This final stage of IT/network convergence is potentially highly disruptive to operators, network equipment and B/OSS vendors.
Ericsson and Huawei trail Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco and NSN in the development of second- and third-generation cloud.
Big Vendors Race to Establish Carrier Cloud Leadership is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (six issues) to Heavy Reading Service Provider IT Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900 (single-user license).