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Cloud forces telcos to evolve: Pacnet

Nurdianah Md Nur | Dec. 10, 2014
Instead of simply providing products and services, carriers should now partner clients to solve strategic business cloud and networking needs, advised Jim Fagan of Pacnet.

NFV allows customers to configure more agile networks by replacing physical hardware with virtual devices. The move to NFV allows us to virtualise router deployment, as well as add new functions and features - such as Wide Area Network (WAN) accelerators or firewalls -  on devices located anywhere in the network. By using NFV, customers can design and deploy a robust and elastic network faster than ever before. In addition, NFV yields substantial reductions in capital expenditure (CAPEX) by eliminating vendor lock-in and costs associated with additional gear and physical travel to /labor within the customer premises. With NFV, everything is done seamlessly and virtually using centrally managed software.

What's next for PEN?
Our plan for SDN is to continue to introduce value added features and services to our PEN platform.  We started with on demand bandwidth and have moved forward into NFV and complex network topologies. From here, we want to integrate SDN and NFV into full service products and features that provide customers the abilities to automatically connect and provision disparate infrastructures and networks. For customers looking to burst into public clouds they will be able to have a "one-click" deployment to Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect as the network and routing and firewalls will be deployed fully configured and on-demand by the end of this year. 

We are also extending PEN into our core transport network. Our recent network upgrade, which enables us to offer 100G across Intra Asia and Trans Pacific network, also allows us to add intelligence to our transport network which gives us the ability to provision virtual networks in the optical layer. This capability will allow us to dramatically increase our overall network resiliency and also automatically reroute traffic in the event of a fault. 

This capability will also allow us to offer large amounts of network, instead of traditional point to point circuits giving customers the ability to utilize the network when and where the data demands it.  Finally, this will allow us to offer PEN to other carriers by giving them ability to create and control a sub-network on our core transport network.

I also hope that other telcos will embrace SDN technology and solutions in the future that may allow us the opportunity to mutually benefit by offering greater scale and reach to our respective customers. 

Besides cloud, what other technologies/trends do you foresee disrupting the telecommunications industry? How should telcos prepare themselves for it? 

Along with SDN and NFV, I believe that big data and hybrid cloud represent the next wave of trends and technologies, making the biggest impact on the telecommunication industry.

Today, more companies are realising the potential in big data. According to the Economist Corporate Network, over 70 percent of APAC executives believe proper use of collected data can improve business performance and operations, create new revenue streams and drive business value. As businesses learn how to leverage the intelligence they've compiled - be it customer demographics, purchasing habits and more -- they will be able to segment and cater to the market more effectively.  Big data means big opportunities for telcos as well. They will play an instrumental role by enabling companies to mobilise information and deliver it in the quickest and most cost-effective way possible via SDN and Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) technologies. In addition to reducing overall processing time for big data, SDN also supports its management, integration and analysis.


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