By Erin Harrison
Cloud computing has already transformed the way we live and do business. Consumers like the idea that they can access low-cost applications anywhere, anytime, on any device – and enterprises are moving applications to the cloud to reduce costs and streamline operations.
The movement toward to the cloud gives service providers an opportunity to deliver cloud services from their data centers as a natural extension of the network and hosting services they already offer. According to Alcatel-Lucent’s whitepaper, “Creating the Cloud-Ready Data Center,” with the right infrastructure, service providers can leverage their greatest assets:
- Multiple regional points of presence
- A carrier-grade infrastructure
- A managed network right to the customer
- Existing customer relationships
But to win their share of this new opportunity, service providers need a cloud-ready infrastructure that can both support new service models at the scale necessary to meet demand and operate at an efficiency level that ensures profitability.
However, there are several challenges that come with the virtualized data center, among them are:
- Secure multi-tenancy
- Virtual machine mobility
- Infrastructure scalability
- Storage transport
- Bandwidth and latency
- Unified service management
Service providers looking to adapt and extend their data center assets to support cloud services will need technologies that are similar to those used by their enterprise customers, and they will also face many of the same challenges.
According to Alcatel-Lucent, computer virtualization technologies allow service providers to create multi-tenancy models in their data centers “to ensure the economies of scale necessary to deliver cost competitive, yet profitable, services,” according to the whitepaper. Virtual data centers can be defined for specific corporate work groups. A services approach means that the network is fluent in understanding what is needed to ensure that an application will perform as required.