Connections +
Feature

Brightness in the clouds

The cloud is spreading sunshine to the entire ICT industry, be it telecom service providers, telecom equipment manufacturers, structured cabling vendors, networking equipment manufacturers and data centre hosting organizations.


May 1, 2011  


Print this page

The cloud is spreading sunshine to the entire ICT industry, be it telecom service providers, telecom equipment manufacturers, structured cabling vendors, networking equipment manufacturers and data centre hosting organizations.

As Tim Wilson notes in this issue’s cover story, the rapid growth in 10 GbE deployments in the data centre has made the cloud more viable than ever, with providers able to offer cost-effective performance and better compliance for uptime and disaster recovery.

To describe it as revolutionary is not inaccurate for a seismic shift is currently underway. Speaking at the Ericsson Business Innovation Forum 2011 at Stanford University in early May, Douglas Gilstrap, senior vice president and chief strategist for the Swedish multinational, said the future of computing revolves around three diverse ingredients: mobility, broadband and the cloud.

“You cannot have a great cloud experience unless you have great mobile broadband,” he added. “You need good and fast quality pipes to make it work. It is all about putting quality and service around the infrastructure.

“Between the mobility, the good quality broadband and access to the cloud, you are going to have so many different applications. There will new things coming down the road for different industries that we cannot even foresee yet. It’s going to be exhilarating …”

The revolution that Gilstrap referenced is occurring in both the corporate and consumer space.

At the Forum (full coverage of the event will appear in the July/August edition of CNS), a study was released that found consumers increasingly relying on cloud-based services to perform everyday tasks.

“The switch to smart phones is leading to mass Internet usage and a shift in behavior, attitude and usage among consumers,” the authors of the study stated.

“Internet everywhere has become a prerequisite and is no longer an option. Mobile broadband is not only for fun and entertainment, it is more and more becoming a necessity. It is a natural part of our lives for keeping in touch with family and friends and being up to date at work.”

Gartner, meanwhile, released a report in late April that found that the US$820 billion IT services market is changing quickly and dramatically as cloud computing and offshoring become mainstream. The research firm said in a release that senior executives of organizations need to take steps to “manage inherent risks and unexpected costs during the cloud services revolution.

“During the next few years, market dynamics will determine whether cloud-enabled outsourcing will be the demise of traditional outsourcing, if it will lead to the convergence of services and products currently marketed as a services, or if it will result in next-generation outsourcing.”

Cloud computing is also going to make the world a greener place.

According to Pike Research senior analyst Eric Woods, its growth will have a significant and positive effect on data centre energy consumption.

“Few, if any, clean technologies have the capability to reduce energy expenditures and greenhouse gas production with so little business disruption,” he says. “Software as a service, infrastructure as a service, and platform as a service are all inherently more efficient models than conventional alternatives, and their adoption will be one of the largest contributing factors to the greening of enterprise IT.”

The firm is forecasting that data centres will consume 139.8 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity by 2020, a sizable reduction of 31% from the 201.8 TWh consumed last year.

That in itself is impressive.