As service providers move into the world of New IP software-based networks built on virtualized functions, they want the benefits of an agile, flexible, efficient network to extend all the way into the telco data center -- the physical environment where new virtual functions will operate.
Indeed, the New IP world is fundamentally changing how the industry thinks and operates, all the way down to the data center, noted Ashwin Krishnan, Head of Products, Software Networking Business, Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) during his keynote at Light Reading's Telco Data Center Summit in Dallas.
Not Faking It
Brocade's Krishnan said his accent is 100% real ... just like the New IP.
Just like networks, telco data centers are in the midst of a substantial transformation. New suppliers and new solutions are coming to market hoping to address a new realm of requirements from design to sustainability to energy cost. In addition, new challenges like increasing demand for content, the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G are coming to light and introducing questions around storage requirements, location of functions and competitive advantages.
To put some perspective behind the importance of telco data centers when it comes to delivering content in our social, mobile world, Krishnan talked about Facebook . Facebook optimizes for the 8% of photos driving more than 80% of its traffic. This 8% gets the fastest access right by storing them in "hot storage," he says. The rest of Facebook's billions of photos only need warm or cold storage -- rarely accessed, but still taking up space.
The rise in demand for content is happening so fast that "even people with tons of experience building boxes" are struggling with NFV, he said. "You have to unlearn everything. I'm unlearning things every day. I have two decades of experience, but it's no longer relevant ... the point is there is a gap that is where customers are today and where they need to get."
To transform to meet customer demands, Krishnan says data center operators must first understand that there is a gap. "You have to understand where you are and adopt the way that's relevant to you. You'll end up constantly learning."
Krishnan also said that he has learned that there are three real vectors -- agility, value, price. "We have not seen a single customer able to optimize for all three at the same time. You want to pick the two you think are the most relevant to you," he said. "If you try to do all three at once, it's a hard gap to close. We haven't seen a single customer pull that off."
Krishnan also stressed the importance of ecosystems and working together to help meet customer demands and transform networks and services. "All of us are in the same boat as vendors and providers," he said. "It comes down to the fact that there are lots of ways to get to where you want to get -- you have to understand your choices," he said. "Once you know them, it makes the journey easier. If you don't know your choices and you get taken in by rhetoric, you'll fail and not even know it."
— Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Editor, The New IP