Press & SP Summit, Phuket Day 1

Why I believe in an Open Cloud Environment
Keynote presentation by James Walker, President of the Cloud Ethernet Forum (CEF) and Vice President, Managed Network Services, Tata Communications

Walker opened the proceedings with a keynote speech around the open cloud. He highlighted the latest cloud trends, including research showing that, for the first time, more workloads will be run in the cloud in 2014 than in traditional datacentres.

However, what’s needed is control and integration, which is difficult when there are, for example, over 400 cloud providers in the US alone. Each has its own set of APIs, interfaces, provisioning and methodologies. There’s little consistency when consistency across cloud providers is what’s required, he said.

That’s what the CEF is for: to provide consistency across service providers. He noted in passing that there should be consistency in legislation too, as some laws are contradictory: legally, you can’t store data about individual Canadians outside Canada, yet all info about Singaporean residents must, legally, be available anywhere. In the case of a Singapore-resident Canadian, whichever law a service provider elects to abide by, the other will be broken.

Conference Debate Session I—Cirrusly needed – an Open Cloud Environment
Introduced and Chaired by Adam Dodds, Research Manager, IDC

Panellists: Kevin Buckingham, General Manager of BT Compute, Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA), BT Global Services; James Walker, President, Cloud Ethernet Forum & Vice President, Managed Network Services, Tata Communications; Mr Passakorn Hongsyok, Department Director, International Business, UIH – United Information Highway Co., Ltd; Steve Chappell, Executive VP of Sales and Marketing & Chief Operations Officer, Wedge Networks

Dodds set the scene for the debate with a range of statistics: cloud services in APAC will be worth $15b by 2017, although different countries are at different points in the adoption cycle. Some 60% of APAC organisations are using two or more cloud services but for 28% of organisations, cloud providers have not met expectations. Some 34% of APAC organisations spending are currently allocating 10% of their IT spend on cloud but this will rise to 37% in 2016.

The panellists then outlined how cloud services were being used: Chappell described how one healthcare provider uses multiple cloud providers to deliver security services, and how SPs are providing security for SMEs. Hongsyok described how one big bank in Thailand is using Google for its email services.

The panellists then talked about how they approached the cloud. Walker said he liked the idea of a cloud bus that everyone knows how to use, so the services sit on top allow providers to differentiate.

Buckingham described how BT looks at the entire customer business and develops a strategy for moving to the cloud.

The panel then discussed cloud security, and how cloud servce take-up was slower, and more basic in Asia-Pacific than in Europe. Hongsyok said that security is not just about cloud, as enterprises have problems retaining security officers.

Conference Debate Session II—Transforming the Telco network
Introduced and Chaired by Tom Mowat, Principal Analyst, Analysys Mason

Panellists: Mark Showalter, Senior Director of Marketing Communications, Infinera; Gint Atkinson, Vice President – Network Strategy & Architecture, KVH Co., Ltd; Jon Vestal, Vice President, Product Architecture, Pacnet Global; Ming Kiat, Director, Business Product Engineering, SingTel; Mr Passakorn Hongsyok, Department Director, International Business, UIH – United Information Highway Co., Ltd

Mowat opened the debte by pointing out that 37% of telco revenues now come from mobile data. He also demonstrated that smartphone penetration will increase globaly, so driving competitio from OTT players such as Google and Facebook, some of whom are now starting to lay their own fibre networks.

Talking about changes drivers for change in telco networks, Atkinson said that OTT players and providers are all using datacentre services, which represented a huge opportunity.

Kiat noted that different customers have different needs. For example US and European customers are more advanced than APAC customers, so it is a challenge to meet both sets of requirements. He said that as a consequence, SingTel is investing in SDN and looking at how to make money out of it.

Hongsyok said his company has private links to enterprise customers but that these are affected by events such as natural disasters like floods, and by political instability. He sad that customers moving from SDH to MPLS, and that UIH is selling wholesale Internet access to adjacent countries such as Laos and Vietnam.

Vestal said there was a need to move old telco procedures that have been around for 100 years to modern digital technologies while still delivering services. Enterprises want to tie apps into the network more tightly, he said.

Showalter said cloud operators are building own networks as these are strategic assets. He is also seeing a shift by web scale operators with no legacy infrastructure which allows them to change their business models quickly.

Look forward, Showalter said he saw SDN starting in the datacentre, with apps now network aware, making carrier internal networks more efficient.

Vestal said he saw enterprises building disaster recovery facilities only needing bandwidth once a week for testing, so SDN made it easy to bring up the network quickly, providing bandwidth on demand, tailored to the application.

Atkinson said he sees demand for high latency connections for financial trading, enabled by SDN.

Kiat said that customers want flexibility, they are getting very granular billing from the likes of Amazon, so his company needs to change to compete. Customers want fast backup, network bandwidth tailored for the application, such as voice calls. SDN in the WAN remains a big challenge.

On the challenge from OTT players, Kiat sad that they just enable users to watch a video and users don’t care about the delivery mechanism. Hongsyok said telcos need to become systems integrators and talk to OTT players. He said Facebook will soon have its own fibre network in Thailand so we now need to talk to them. “It’s a different ballgame,” he said.

On SDN, Vestal said SDN allows us to decouple interface between application and the network, resulting in better bandwidth utilisation and customer service.

Showalter said SDN is about offering a richer experience to the customer not lowest cost/bit. It’s about helping to develop new services, allowing the telco to try new services even if they fail. Telcos don’t want to have to wait for hardware vendors to update their systems before they can launch a new service, he said.

Conference Debate Session III—Is SDN ready for the Enterprise?
Introduced and Chaired by: Hugh Ujhazy, Analyst – Business Network and IT Services, Current Analysis

Panellists: Erik Papir, Director, Global Technical Marketing, HP Networking, HP; Jon Vestal, Vice
President, Product Architecture, Pacnet Global; Amit Sinha Roy, Vice President, Marketing &
Strategy, GES, Tata Communications

Ujhazy opened by asking who is the buyer of SDN the enterprise, and whether SDN in the enterprise is a waste when bandwidth is so cheap. Vestal said SDN allows you see across the network so its gives transparency to the enterprise.

Roy said the key question is whether SDN can save infrastructure costs.

Vestal said that there’s a cost of support too – the apps team can now control network bandwidth which allows them to shorten time to resolution, and have to go not head-to-head with the network team.

Papir said HP is a top-level sponsor for OpenDaylight, which reinforces its commitment to open standards.

Talking about managing multiple application demands for bandwidth, Vestal said that from an OpenFlow perspective, the challenge is access to controlling the network. He said Pacnet has customers who can force levels of authorisation to changes of the network configuration.

Roy said that SDN helps you protect the network using access control.

Asked who will pay for SDN, Papir said that usually a network upgrade involves more money for hardware. With SDN, new applications allow you to monetise the network, giving as an example HP’s smart shopper application for retail using in-building location services.

Vestal said that it will be carriers who pay at first but enterprises will see the advantages of paying in the longer term.

Roy said that it depends on the service – in the datacentre, the colo renter pays.

The panel also discussed whether SDN is an all or nothing proposition, with agreement that it can be incrementally introduced, and security, on which topic Papir said that SDN allows you to for example redirect internal hackers into an active honeypot by detecting packet flows.

Special Guest Speaker Presentation by Nathan Bell, Global Head of Products, Telstra Global
The Changing ICT Landscape for businesses – Driving Multiple Strategies

Bell said that Asia-Pacific is the powerhouse of business growth ut that those doing business in Asia need multiple strategies for multiple regions/countries. Competition is evolving rapidly, he said and businesses need to adopt a culture of adaptability and be prepared to fail.

How does Telstra do it? It has modularised its components such as its billing system, which was easily replaced by another, with no fear involved.

He said Telstra is moving to business process virtualisation and that cloud helps customers connect to its network globally using third party services. He foresaw an integrated cloud and telecoms infrastructure.

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