Communications technology giant Alcatel-Lucent has plotted a future direction for the cloud specifically in terms of software-defined networking to ensure that the networks keep up with advances in the data centre.
The company this week launched its new Nuage Networks internal venture, which has developed an open software-based solution to address data centre network constraints that could limit cloud adoption.
The Virtualised Services Platform (VSP) will allow organisations in the areas of healthcare, banking, utilities and other webscale organisations to scale their cloud offerings and provide instant, secure connectivity to multiple companies.
Trials of the Nuage Networks Virtualised Services Platform begin in April in Europe and North America. Trial customers include UK cloud service provider Exponential-e, French telecoms service provider SFR, Canadian telecoms service provider TELUS and leading US healthcare provider, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Worldwide commercial availability is planned for mid-2013.
Networks need to keep up with cloud
Alcatel-Lucent’s new CEO Michel Combes said that while cloud is flourishing, the network isn’t keeping up – it has high capacity, but it’s not flexible enough to make use of that capacity.
Network provisioning still requires detailed technical planning, manual configuration and complex systems and processes to connect customers to compute and storage resources. SDN helps solve this problem and IDC forecasts the worldwide SDN market will grow from US$360m in 2013 to US$3.7bn by 2016.
“ We are very well positioned to help telecom and cloud service providers build large scale cloud infrastructure and services, opening up new revenue opportunities for our customers and ourselves,” Combes said.