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
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone in...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, described how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launching ...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...