Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Greg Schulz, Jerome McFarland

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Java IoT, Linux Containers, Open Source Cloud, @CloudExpo, SDN Journal

Containers Expo Blog: Article

Network Virtualization – Who Will Prosper and Who Will Not? | Part 2

Virtualization means that everything will run on commodity hardware – the same as the rest of the commercial world

In my last blog, I looked at the evolution of technology as we move to virtualization. What will this new development mean for business models, industry developments and industry players?

Virtualization means that everything will run on commodity hardware - the same as the rest of the commercial world. No proprietary equipment, just generic devices and servers running software. Who will build the data centers? Probably the same set of companies that build data centers for everyone else. That is, not necessarily network equipment companies or phone companies.

Who will write the software? Presumably the network equipment companies, at first. But the cost of entry into a software-driven industry is much lower than the cost of entry into a hardware-dominated industry. Mass-producing software is far less expensive than mass-producing hardware, so new players will rapidly emerge and some of them will prosper. Just as likely, some of the existing players will not. An industry with thousands of large, medium and small companies has different dynamics than an industry dominated by a few giants.

Will communications service providers (CSPs) get into the software business? They understand how networks work, and the move to virtualization provides a new playing field in which CSPs stand as good a chance as any of creating new, reliable and secure software. Why shouldn't the CSPs work together in a sort of almost-open-source movement, share their products and services and reap the financial benefits?

And then who will design the networks and do the network capacity planning? Ultimately, the network will do most of that itself. Just as it is possible to write code that writes more code according to rules, it is possible to write code within the network that not only manages the traffic, but identifies when and where new capacity is needed, and installs itself in the newly activated devices. Where do those devices and servers come from? Anywhere; they are generic, standardized and commoditized.

Who will create network capacity by actually placing the building blocks in position? Some humans may do this, or maybe robots, but they don't need to work for the phone company. They could work for a sub-contractor or one of the companies that today we think of as equipment vendors. Or perhaps that is a whole new industry, in the same way house builders don't have to make bricks, or be architects, real estate agents or landlords. They just build and sell.

So who will actually own the network assets? It could be anyone, even a company that has no actual end users as customers. Virtualization, and all that goes with it, will make it possible to own network assets, and to offer those assets as capacity for others to rent. That capacity could then be used by whatever CSP needs it most at the time, and is willing to pay for it.

CSPs will both own and rent capacity, or rather their automated agents will do so on their behalf, guided by rules that will be developed initially by human coders, but which will evolve and be optimized by more software. And the fact that all network capability can be addressed by anyone with access means that we could end up with a rich network of niche relationships, with services appearing and disappearing like twinkling stars.

Users of the network today are somewhat imprisoned: they have limited choices of service providers and services. It may be in the interests of CSPs to keep it that way for a while, but ultimately the capabilities of the technology will create a completely new type of customer. The Internet has shown us the model: people can go almost anywhere they want to. But let's not confuse "The Internet" with "The Network." The global telecommunications network is bigger than the Internet, and actually contains it. It is this larger, all-containing global network that is being virtualized by network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN). Soon the flexibility and power created by this move to virtualization will spawn all sorts of new services driven by whoever wants them and is willing to pay their share for capacity. The Internet as we know it will be just one particular mode of networking. NFV and SDN can, and probably will, lead to a multiplicity of Internet-like services, both competing and collaborating, with different purposes and philosophies. Some of those exist just now, in the form of commercial, governmental and academic intranets, but we should expect more when anyone can address the network, define the necessary capabilities and use them as needed. These individuals can also sell them to others with any type of charging arrangement: charging for time or for capacity used, by content consumed, or subscription by the hour, the year or the second. And if you need a content delivery network, you can rent space on those built by others, independent of other business relationships you might have. Or you can build one yourself.

So monthly bills? Well, remember the hansom cabriolet? It's cute, but not what we need today.

What other business processes may soon become outdated? Let us know on Twitter.

More Stories By Esmeralda Swartz

Esmeralda Swartz is VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud, BUSS. She has spent 15 years as a marketing, product management, and business development technology executive bringing disruptive technologies and companies to market. Esmeralda was CMO of MetraTech, now part of Ericsson. At MetraTech, Esmeralda was responsible for go-to-market strategy and execution for enterprise and SaaS products, product management, business development and partner programs. Prior to MetraTech, Esmeralda was co-founder, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Lightwolf Technologies, a big data management startup. She was previously co-founder and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development of Soapstone Networks, a developer of resource and service control software, now part of Extreme Networks.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
Many banks and financial institutions are experimenting with containers in development environments, but when will they move into production? Containers are seen as the key to achieving the ultimate in information technology flexibility and agility. Containers work on both public and private clouds, and make it easy to build and deploy applications. The challenge for regulated industries is the cost and complexity of container security compliance. VM security compliance is already challenging, ...
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
Enterprise networks are complex. Moreover, they were designed and deployed to meet a specific set of business requirements at a specific point in time. But, the adoption of cloud services, new business applications and intensifying security policies, among other factors, require IT organizations to continuously deploy configuration changes. Therefore, enterprises are looking for better ways to automate the management of their networks while still leveraging existing capabilities, optimizing perf...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
The pace of innovation, vendor lock-in, production sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and managing risk… In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dan Choquette, Founder of RackN, will discuss how CIOs are challenged finding the balance of finding the right tools, technology and operational model that serves the business the best. He will discuss how clouds, open source software and infrastructure solutions have benefits but also drawbacks and how workload and operational portability between vendors...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's [email protected] at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, high-productivity enterprise web applications for any device. SmartClient couples the industry’s broadest, deepest UI component set with a java server framework to deliver an end-...