Traditionally, enterprise information technology operations have been a server-centric affair, says James Urquhart, enStratus VP. With cloud computing, that changes to an “applications-centric” model. That obviously has business implications for application, computing technology and communications service providers.

In the traditional model, enterprises buy servers, operating systems and apps, then connect those servers to the wide-area IP network. In a cloud environment, enterprises often supply only the unique data,
configuration metadata and policies.

That also illustrates one practical implication of the way computing operations have evolved under the open system interconnect model, namely the separation between functions. The way apps get developed and used normally requires and includes the ability to separate “network” from “app” from middleware that mediates between the two. What cloud boils down to for the enterprise

That can represent either a new revenue opportunity or lost revenue opportunity. Obviously, cloud computing infrastructure (data center operations) is a new revenue opportunity. On the other hand, cloud computing also creates the possibility of widespread “over the top” application consumption.

Even for service providers that do not operate cloud computing services or facilities, cloud computing necessarily creates additional demand for broadband access and quality of service features.

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