Service providers now cloud providers

Cloud providers

The role of the service provider has been shaken up thanks to the impact of cloud computing.

So believes Ken Cheng, vice president of the service provider products division at Brocade. During the company's Tech Summit Day in San Jose, the executive said service providers were now cloud providers. Whether they liked it or not.

"Communications service providers are evolving to cloud service providers," he said. "They are well positioned, have the network expertise, the enterprise install base and service level experience."

Cheng claimed cloud computing "affords the opportunities" of new revenue streams for providers, whose traditional fixed line service profit is in decline.

However, it isn't as simple as the old service providers changing tact. Instead, they have to take on the new competition, according to Cheng.

"We have also seen dramatic growth of over the top services typically provided or delivered over existing broadband infrastructure by non-traditional providers, which intensifies competition in the industry," he said.

"Communications service providers can no longer simply deliver pipes. They have to look for new flows of revenue."

To this end, Cheng saw more and more providers offering up their existing infrastructure to a customer base increasingly looking for online services rather than physical products.

His remarks were made as the vice president revealed Brocade was working on a new router for the edge of service provider's data centres, unsubtly titled a "Data Centre Router."

This product will merge the roles of an edge router and border router to manage traffic in a multitenant environment and give more options for cloud service level agreements (SLAs) within the data centre.

It will be available in the second half of the year.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.