Singapore Cloud Summit Blog, Day2

Day Two, 21 November 2013

Debate Session IV: Public/private/hybrid Cloud – choosing horses for courses
Introduced and chaired by David Coyle, Managing Vice President, Gartner

Panellists: James Walker, President, Cloud Ethernet Forum; Tawhid Rijwanur Rahman, General Manager – Service Planning, PDD, Technology, Grameenphone; Doug Wills, Senior Director, Product Marketing, JUNOS & SDN Juniper Networks

Coyle opened the first debate of Day Two by presenting Gartner’s latest research into CIO attitudes to cloud computing. He said that 55% of CIOs believe that all applications and operations will be cloud-sourced by 2020. He said that hybrid cloud is where most organisations are heading, with private and public clouds working together. He said that hybrid cloud allows CIOs to pick and choose best location for each project but noted that the journey will not be easy. Among the challenges are inelastic pricing and a lack of people skills in the enterprise.

From the panel, James Walker said that organisations want to use cloud for test & development of new projects, and cloud applications they don’t want to bother running on their own infrastructures. He said that, surprisingly, banks have been among the heaviest users of public cloud as it allows them to test applications such as trading algorithms. They are however wary of leaving traces of that data for their competitors to find. The advantages of public cloud for financial services companies is that they can spread risk across multiple datacentres and set up discrete projects that can be started then destroyed quickly and easily.

The panel shared their experience of cloud usage. Rahman said he saw telcos offering a mix of public and private cloud services, including machine-to-machine. Wills said cloud was being used for as an elastic resource for high performance computing and drug testing, and in the oil and gas industries.

Offering cloud strategy advice, Walker said organisations needed a clear idea of the value of their data, and to build hybrid clouds you need APIs in order to join private and public cloud and make automation easier. Rahman said customers needed to think about regulatory aspects as well as technical and business issues. He said people are still scared of changes that cloud enables, such as virtual desktops. He advised companies to start small and not build using a big bang approach.

Wills said cloud computing can drive efficiencies that are otherwise limited by on-premise storage and compute infrastructures. He said that the previously separate IT teams – such storage and networking – are consolidating and shrinking for cost reasons, enabled by the growth of single pane management consoles.

For the future, Rahman said IT teams needed to work on new skills, such as business simulations and virtualisation. Walker said that people skills are changing as the network is now seen as a key part of the datacentre, and that the cloud means greater focus on application performance.

Wills said that business needs to focus on analytics, where some companies such as Google are very advanced. He noted that Amazon spends more in a month on infrastructure than most service providers spend in a year.

Debate Session V— Emerging Cloud-based business models
Introduced and chaired by Mayank Kapoor, Industry Manager – Data Centre and Cloud Computing, Information & Communication Technologies, Frost & Sullivan

Panellists: Bernie Trudel, Cloud CTO, Cisco; Tawhid Rijwanur Rahman, General Manager – Service Planning, PDD, Technology, Grameenphone; Teddy Ko, AVP, Cloud and Data Centre services, PCCW; Amit Sinha Roy, Vice President, Marketing & Strategy, GES, TATA Communications; Chris Rezentes, Network Planning Lead, South Asia, Verizon

Kapoor opened the debate talking about IT trends, including the increased pace of innovation; appification; cloud; social media; and a shift in the functions of IT. The key trends are the shift from products to services; greater collaboration; smarter systems.

Talking about how cloud has driven change, Rezentes said his company has undergone big changes such as more vertical groups. He said his company is looking to connect with other cloud providers.

Roy announced that Tata Communications now has a formal collaboration agreement with PCCW in order to connect the two organisations’ users and provide new services. Rahman said his company is offering the cloud using datacentres in places such as Iceland.

Trudel said cloud computing is disruptive, and that the growth in cloud traffic is three times higher than that for traditional datacentres. He saw the cloud as an innovation engine, for example analytics as a service for enabling Hadoop clusters. He saw a role for telcos as being IT delivery engines to marry system integration skills with their network assets. Ko said his company is encouraging small companies to share resources.

In terms of cloud case studies, Trudel said the health industry is using machine-to-machine connectivity in the cloud, also that even core banking services are going to the cloud. Roy said that the travel industry is adopting cloud, and that location-based services are being adopted by end users.

Debate VI: Cloud, SDN, NFV – now let’s talk benefits
Introduced and chaired by Clement Teo, Senior Analyst, Asia Pacific, Forrester Research

Panellists: Bernie Trudel, Cloud CTO, Cisco; Erik Papir, Worldwide Director of Technical Marketing, HP; Leigh Wade, Director, Strategic Business Development, Asia Pacific, Infinera; Nan Chen, President, MEF; Executive Vice Chairman, CENX; Sakri Rifkin, General Manager – Network Architecture & Technology Planning, Telekom Malaysia Berhad

Teo opened the discussion talking about telcos’ challenges in the cloud. He said the problem for telcos is a lack of visibility of what cloud users are doing, as a result of the growth of over-the-top providers such as Facebook. He said however that telcos were experimenting with cloud and SDN but that SaaS and IaaS are respectively the first and second largest cloud services by revenue. He said that speed of implementation and deployment of new projects are key drivers for enterprises towards the cloud.

Rifkin said his company is deploying cloud, modernising, and eliminating legacy systems, with SaaS and IaaS its most popular cloud offerings. He said that SDN was still in its preliminary stages, with TM looking to explore how it works with virtualisation, which brings its own challenges. SDN presents challenges too, including a lack of standard interfaces, control over network routing decisions, network visualisation & management, and packet inspection & forwarding.

Chen offered a definition of cloud computing as consisting of the network plus datacentres; he said the network is key for cloud and datacentre interconnectivity and that Ethernet needs to be instantly available for cloud performance and service delivery.

Eric Papir said SDN is a journey, and is about allowing the real-time provisioning of services such as quality of service.

Trudel agreed that SDN is a journey and that OpenFlow is just one of the stopping places. He said the cloud needs the marriage of the network to cloud services so that a service such as 3D rendering could be close to the point of need. He said said the key is understanding the data location and type.

Leigh Wade said people forget you need network layers zero and one to work, and for SDN or NFV to work, fast data transfer needs the controllers to understand what’s happening on the WAN. Trudel said that to take advantage of NFV, one of whose benefits is the ability to bring bare metal servers online fast and to migrate virtualised distributed applications, you need to have network programmability and visibility.

Papir said that the benefits of SDN and NFV will blend in time so 1+1 will indeed equal three.

Rifkin said NFV can reduce capex and SDN then allows the automation of new service delivery. He said opex containment needs a common infrastructure platform for all applications but that organisational challenges need to be addressed.

Wade said that backbone network capacity can be virtualised. Trudel said that commoditisation is always there, and makes it hard to innovate and Papir said that HP’s commitment to open standards brings a risk of commoditisation.

Chen said the MEF is figuring out a way for service providers to standardise to modernise operations support systems (OSS).

Answering a question from the floor, Trudel said the laws of physics will force the industry to find a way to balance the need for hardware and/or software, pointing out that hardware still matters, and needs to be distributed from end to end, from data origin to the end user.

Special presentation: Nan Chen, MEF President
Chen handed out the MEF’s 2013 Asia-Pacific Carrier Ethernet Awards:
Best Wholesale Ethernet Service – SingTel
Best Marketing – PLDT
Best Carrier Ethernet Business Application – Tata Communications
Service Provider of the Year – Tata Communications

NetEvents Editorial Director Manek Dubash then closed the plenary session of the event.

Click here to download press resources from the Cloud Summit including presentations and transcripts.

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