Cisco to enhance Cloud offerings to Indian telecom operators

Telecom Lead India: Networking giant Cisco is stepping up
its presence among the Indian telecom operators by offering more Cloud
services. Cisco says majority of Indian mobile operators have already started
adopting Cloud.

 

Cisco revenue from the APJC region increased 10.5 percent
to $1.72 billion in Q2 FY12 from $1.56 billion in the Q2 FY11. For the second quarter
ended January 28, 2012, Cisco’s revenue from its wireless and service provider
video business has increased to $418 million and $1.01 billion respectively on
y-o-y basis. Cisco is strengthening its Cloud presence among Indian telecom
operators. Santhosh D’souza, vice president – Technology, Data Center &
Cloud Computing, Cisco Systems India & SAARC, talks about Cloud
opportunities. Here are the highlights of the telephone interview.

 

What are the key differences between interest of Indian
and overseas operators for Cloud infrastructure?

 

There is enormous interest in Cloud Computing amongst
Indian telecom operators. Opportunities can be explained by analyzing a couple
of factors and two use cases. Let us assume that there is demand in the market
for cloud services. Who can then fulfill this demand?

 

Operators who possess the end to end connectivity
infrastructure are essential for delivery of potential cloud offerings.

 

Another factor is the ability of SPs to effectively deal
with problems of scale and service availability.  Mobile subscriber base
in July 2007 was around 200 million and in June 2012, this count reached 930
million. In other words, SPs have dealt with approximately 5x growth in 5
years, and the corresponding strain on their IT infrastructure. A related fact
is that SPs maintain mature architectures and processes to track usage and bill
customers based on usage.

 

Beyond this are two other reasons: one market facing and
the other internal. The need for differentiation and higher value means that
basic voice and data services are being complemented by infrastructure and
application services. The maturity of infrastructure/app service creation and
delivery technology & processes allow telecom operators to naturally add
cloud services to their portfolio.  

 

The internal reason is the need to achieve high levels of
efficiency and cost avoidance in their IT architecture. The astounding growth
we referred to earlier has resulted in resource sprawl and management
complexity. Using Cloud Computing internally to introduce consolidation,
virtualization and automation therefore makes sense for operators.

 

What are Cisco offerings?

 

Cisco provides technology, architectures, services and
vibrant ecosystem based solutions for Cloud Computing. Cisco also has a range
of managed service offerings in the collaboration, rich media, network, and
utility computing spaces that SPs can easily incorporate into their service
catalog and deliver additional value to their customers. Cisco’s portfolio of
technology and services in this space is collectively called CloudVerse.
CloudVerse basically combines compute, networking and storage resources within
the DC, connects one cloud to another, and delivers consistent and rich user
experience to end users of these cloud services.

 

Foundational technologies that power CloudVerse are
Unified Computing and Unified Fabric products. The UCS range of x86 blade and
rack mount systems exploit the unification of compute, network, storage access
elements with virtualization to deliver infrastructure that is easy to
provision, simple to manage and seamless to scale. The Unified Fabric products
combine low latency 10 Gigabit Ethernet media, support for multi-protocol
traffic (IP LAN, Fibre Channel, iSCSI, NAS) and embedded policy based
intelligent network services to provide a great network platform for Cloud
Computing.

 

How enterprises are leveraging cloud solutions?

 

Enterprises are beginning to employ a two-pronged Cloud
Computing strategy. One approach is to experiment with and evaluate public
cloud services by deploying non-mission critical applications that process data
which is not sensitive. A parallel effort is to re-engineer their existing
internal IT architecture, transforming it by incrementally incorporating cloud computing
technologies.

 

Indian telecom operators can play a role in both.
Building a public cloud service catalog with offerings that target non-mission
critical sections of an enterprise caters to the first need. By creating a
Virtual Private Datacentre offering, telcos can offer to host, manage and
transform enterpises’ IT infrastructure in a contained secure environment while
enhancing the infrastructure with Cloud automation and management technologies.

 

Has Cloud taken off in India?

 

All business sectors and segments are embracing Private
Cloud technologies. The efficiency, agility and automation that cloud
technologies offer are too valuable to ignore. Public Cloud Services are being
adopted, and the demographics here are a little different. Individual
developers and start-ups are widely employing public cloud infrastructure, be
it IaaS or PaaS. This demographic has undergone a boom – several ideas never
saw the light of day earlier because the costs of acquiring the IT infrastructure
to convert the concept to a product or service were prohibitive. Utility
pricing of compute, storage and development environments have encouraged more
people with ideas to cost-effectively develop and deploy products/services.
Small and medium enterprises often face the challenge of trained man-power and
versatile skill-sets to manage their IT architectures. Using a Public Cloud as
much as possible addresses this challenge to a large extent.

 

 

India government is serious about Cloud. Cisco views?

 

The Indian Government, IT nodal agencies, service
providers and technology vendors in India like Cisco have made significant
progress across the spectrum around Cloud Computing. First of all, it is vital
to provide all citizens access to any e-enabled services. Inexpensive end user
connected devices – be they mobile phones, handhelds or tablets – fulfill this
requirement. Secondly, a comprehensive policy will evolve that facilitates the
adoption of cloud computing in general, and addresses a cost-optimal and comprehensive
government IT infrastructure to host and deliver e-Government services. Toward
the achievement of this over-arching framework, several agencies are working in
concert with the IT industry to conceive and deploy projects that test
concepts, deploy infrastructure and validate designs.

 

IP and Cloud are the two big focus areas for Cisco. How
they are superior to competition?

 

We build products and technologies that are uniquely
differentiated in every space that we cater to.  But beyond that, we
believe our single biggest strength and differentiation lies in our ability to
anticipate enterprise and consumer demand transitions and adapt our offerings
to deliver value to those who will exploit the transitions. We create solidly
validated architectures based on our products and those of our ecosystem
partners, and our customers find these architectures easy to integrate, simple
to manage and seamless in their ability to scale.

 

In the IP space for example, a big challenge (and
opportunity) has been the transition of network traffic from being
data-dominated to rich media dominated. An equally big challenge has been the
transition of static consumers to always-connected consumers. Finally, the
infrastructure has had to cope with the proliferation of access devices.
Cisco’s IP NGN delivers a comprehensive architecture, combining several Cisco
products to create a platform that effectively responds to all these
challenges. Similarly, the CloudVerse framework unites differentiated compute,
storage access, networking, virtualization, automation, and service catalog
products into a single platform for Cloud deployments, be they public clouds or
private clouds.


https://mail.google.com/mail/images/cleardot.gif[email protected]

 

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