Cloudifying the network

If you believe that the cloud’s only partially along the way to being a huge, huge market, and I do believe that, the challenge for us at Colt is how do we make the network part of the cloud.

It’s a shared environment, it’s a paid by the drink, and business models in the past for networks have not been set-up that way. I would come to you as a customer and say, “Okay, you need this kind of capacity, you need it for three years and then you’re going to pay me so much per month,” that doesn’t fit in a cloud environment and I think that’s where the introduction of software defined networking (SDN) capability, and some of the things that we’re doing in that area starts to change the model.

When I have the capability to change my interface to you and how you work with the network, there’s more interaction from you into the network, less people intensive activity and it’s more where you can sit down and say, “Okay, I want do this tonight, I want to do this tomorrow,” or, “I want to have it application driven,” so the network becomes more of a variable cost, it becomes more of a tool that you use based on your business needs.

That’s where our network is going and that’s why software defined networking (SDN) and some of the things that we can do with that capability now and as we build it out in the future will start to, as I call it, cloudify the network.

It makes the network part of a cloud solution so that it can be embedded in the cloud products and can operate as more like a cloud solution than a typical nailed up point A to point Z, for three years at X thousand euros or dollars or whatever per month, it now becomes a variable cost solution and it changes the business model for companies like Colt as well and I think in a very good way.

We have already started on that journey – and as I said, Cloud itself is only partially along the way – we are already seeing success with our Dedicated Cloud Access offering, and there will be more to come this year with our on demand services. Our first announcement in that area was our 1Gb Always commitment – check that out 1Gb Always to see where we are headed.

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