Welcome!

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Java IoT, Linux Containers, Open Source Cloud, @CloudExpo, SDN Journal

Containers Expo Blog: Article

Network Virtualization – Who Will Prosper and Who Will Not? | Part 2

Virtualization means that everything will run on commodity hardware – the same as the rest of the commercial world

In my last blog, I looked at the evolution of technology as we move to virtualization. What will this new development mean for business models, industry developments and industry players?

Virtualization means that everything will run on commodity hardware - the same as the rest of the commercial world. No proprietary equipment, just generic devices and servers running software. Who will build the data centers? Probably the same set of companies that build data centers for everyone else. That is, not necessarily network equipment companies or phone companies.

Who will write the software? Presumably the network equipment companies, at first. But the cost of entry into a software-driven industry is much lower than the cost of entry into a hardware-dominated industry. Mass-producing software is far less expensive than mass-producing hardware, so new players will rapidly emerge and some of them will prosper. Just as likely, some of the existing players will not. An industry with thousands of large, medium and small companies has different dynamics than an industry dominated by a few giants.

Will communications service providers (CSPs) get into the software business? They understand how networks work, and the move to virtualization provides a new playing field in which CSPs stand as good a chance as any of creating new, reliable and secure software. Why shouldn't the CSPs work together in a sort of almost-open-source movement, share their products and services and reap the financial benefits?

And then who will design the networks and do the network capacity planning? Ultimately, the network will do most of that itself. Just as it is possible to write code that writes more code according to rules, it is possible to write code within the network that not only manages the traffic, but identifies when and where new capacity is needed, and installs itself in the newly activated devices. Where do those devices and servers come from? Anywhere; they are generic, standardized and commoditized.

Who will create network capacity by actually placing the building blocks in position? Some humans may do this, or maybe robots, but they don't need to work for the phone company. They could work for a sub-contractor or one of the companies that today we think of as equipment vendors. Or perhaps that is a whole new industry, in the same way house builders don't have to make bricks, or be architects, real estate agents or landlords. They just build and sell.

So who will actually own the network assets? It could be anyone, even a company that has no actual end users as customers. Virtualization, and all that goes with it, will make it possible to own network assets, and to offer those assets as capacity for others to rent. That capacity could then be used by whatever CSP needs it most at the time, and is willing to pay for it.

CSPs will both own and rent capacity, or rather their automated agents will do so on their behalf, guided by rules that will be developed initially by human coders, but which will evolve and be optimized by more software. And the fact that all network capability can be addressed by anyone with access means that we could end up with a rich network of niche relationships, with services appearing and disappearing like twinkling stars.

Users of the network today are somewhat imprisoned: they have limited choices of service providers and services. It may be in the interests of CSPs to keep it that way for a while, but ultimately the capabilities of the technology will create a completely new type of customer. The Internet has shown us the model: people can go almost anywhere they want to. But let's not confuse "The Internet" with "The Network." The global telecommunications network is bigger than the Internet, and actually contains it. It is this larger, all-containing global network that is being virtualized by network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN). Soon the flexibility and power created by this move to virtualization will spawn all sorts of new services driven by whoever wants them and is willing to pay their share for capacity. The Internet as we know it will be just one particular mode of networking. NFV and SDN can, and probably will, lead to a multiplicity of Internet-like services, both competing and collaborating, with different purposes and philosophies. Some of those exist just now, in the form of commercial, governmental and academic intranets, but we should expect more when anyone can address the network, define the necessary capabilities and use them as needed. These individuals can also sell them to others with any type of charging arrangement: charging for time or for capacity used, by content consumed, or subscription by the hour, the year or the second. And if you need a content delivery network, you can rent space on those built by others, independent of other business relationships you might have. Or you can build one yourself.

So monthly bills? Well, remember the hansom cabriolet? It's cute, but not what we need today.

What other business processes may soon become outdated? Let us know on Twitter.

More Stories By Esmeralda Swartz

Esmeralda Swartz is VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud, BUSS. She has spent 15 years as a marketing, product management, and business development technology executive bringing disruptive technologies and companies to market. Esmeralda was CMO of MetraTech, now part of Ericsson. At MetraTech, Esmeralda was responsible for go-to-market strategy and execution for enterprise and SaaS products, product management, business development and partner programs. Prior to MetraTech, Esmeralda was co-founder, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Lightwolf Technologies, a big data management startup. She was previously co-founder and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development of Soapstone Networks, a developer of resource and service control software, now part of Extreme Networks.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
Creating replica copies to tolerate a certain number of failures is easy, but very expensive at cloud-scale. Conventional RAID has lower overhead, but it is limited in the number of failures it can tolerate. And the management is like herding cats (overseeing capacity, rebuilds, migrations, and degraded performance). Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for the HGST Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, discusse...
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Tintri VM-aware storage is the simplest for virtualized applications and cloud. Organizations including GE, Toyota, United Healthcare, NASA and 6 of the Fortune 15 have said “No to LUNs.” With Tintri they mana...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of So...
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, showed how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningful f...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...