It seems like all we hear about these days is “the cloud”; music in the cloud, photos in the cloud, video in the cloud, backup in the cloud. But what does all of the cloudification mean for traditional service providers and their traditional suppliers?

I work at ADVA Optical Networking where we have a strong line of products in optical transport, optical performance assurance, Carrier Ethernet, synchronization and virtualization. The ADVA Ensemble virtualization solutions are a recent addition to the product line, and they bring the power of the cloud to the telco world. We can now use the cloud to deliver the cloud.

When we stepped back and looked at the bigger picture, we realized that even our traditional business is being driven by the cloud, and supports the cloud. Here’s how I see the cloud driving the network:

Connecting to the cloud: Customers need high-speed, ubiquitous connectivity to reach data centers. Connectivity starts with the access and mobile networks, extends to the traditional telco network and certainly includes connectivity between data centers.

Extending the cloud: Operators are now extending the cloud beyond the traditional macro data center. For example, the Dallas-based provider of customized data center services, DartPoints, is extending the cloud to its customers by building micro data centers. In addition to the DartPoints approach, the industry is also driving toward placing the cloud into the access network through the introduction of network functions virtualization (NFV). With NFV we can leverage cloud concepts to replace traditional networking appliances with software running on open servers. Applications include virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE), virtualized content delivery networks and virtualization of the mobile network (e.g., mobile edge compute).

Assuring the cloud: Mission-critical applications require assurance to guarantee adherence to service level agreements. In particular, there needs to be assurance solutions for connecting to the cloud. That assurance is missing in some of today’s public or hybrid cloud applications because of the inability to monitor and manage connectivity performance between and among the cloud elements. 

We’re All About The Cloud

At ADVA Optical Networking, we have products and solutions that enhance service providers’ abilities to connect, extend and assure cloud deployments. Below is an illustration of our view of how all this hangs together.

As shown, the cloud is at the center of our portfolio of hardware and software products:

Connecting the cloud: Connectivity starts with cloud access based on our leading-edge Carrier Ethernet portfolio along with our advanced synchronization solutions. We go from there to cloud interconnect based on our advanced DWDM transport equipment and new products optimized for data center interconnect (DCI). 

Extending the cloud: With our Ensemble portfolio of software solutions, we give operators the ability to fundamentally change how they deliver services. Our Ensemble Connector provides an open and performance-enhanced virtualization solution for the access network, customer sites, mobile networks and augmentation of existing networks. We provide a carrier-class NFV orchestration solution to control all this. Finally, our hardened hosting solutions enable virtual CPE and micro data center applications while maintaining carrier-class performance and reliability.

Assuring the cloud: Assurance is the enabler for carrier-class services. Our portfolio provides a wide array of assurance solutions, ranging from physical verification of fibers, to Layer 2 service management and on to end-to-end security offerings.

Bringing It All Together

While our applications fulfill a meaningful role in the larger context of the cloud, this is only the beginning. With our Ensemble software products, we’ve further integrated and elevated our solutions set. There are exciting developments underway to unite the management and control of the physical transport (Carrier Ethernet, DWDM and DCI) with ADVA Ensemble for virtualized solutions, making it even easier to use the cloud to deliver the cloud! 

It’s an exciting time to be in the cloudification business. I’m looking forward to this transformation and to watching how service providers innovate. I predict lots of interesting twists and turns as operators bring new services to market this year.