What does it take to survive ‘in the cloud’?

Most enterprises are familiar with this scenario: they purchase expensive software applications for installation on-site. They deal with a cumbersome and time-consuming installation process.

Have a substantial IT department to deal with rollouts, support and maintenance of such applications. Know that the product is limited to the features inherent upon purchase. And, of course, face the challenge of ever-growing demand for storage capabilities.

Storage limitations that slow down the application and take away from the advantages of performance, immediacy and reliability of an in-house application.

So what is changing according to the proponents of the Cloud? Through cloud services, licenses are cheaper. Updates are done on a regular basis while installation and on-site maintenance are reduced dramatically. New functionality and updated databases are immediately available to all users.

Flexible infrastructure capacity caters for fluctuation in workload. And more importantly, employees can use many more applications on their mobile devices as they take up much less space. And some of the numbers around Enterprise Cloud Adoption are very impressive.

So what are the challenges for communication service providers to enable this life up ‘on’ the Cloud? They have to develop a new cloud business ecosystem that integrates computing, storage and network connectivity resources while allowing pay-for-use models to monetize their offerings.

A range of business demands have to be met like performance, reliability, security and reasonable bandwidth costs, to name just a few. It is about implementing relevant SLAs that guarantee the connectivity performance of business-critical applications.

To respond to this trend, communication service providers have to be able to accurately recognize applications. So they can prioritize critical applications and maintain a specific level of quality of experience (QoE), especially in a congested network.

They need to improve and control the video QoE along with saving  mobile radio infrastructure by using caching and optimization services and differentiate between the QoE of  premium and  regular users.

The Cloud is all about high-quality, speedy, reliable and secure connectivity – a chance for service providers to really put their network at the center of the Enterprise Digital Lifestyle.

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22 Apr 2013, 11:06 a.m.

To meet the criteria of performance, security and reliability, businesses are best to avoid public clouds as although these appear to be the cheap option, information and communications can be lost if IP services go down. But what other option does that leave? A private cloud is great for those larger enterprises that have the money, but what about SMEs?

Hosted hybrid models ensure a company will always be able to access information by offering the best of both public and private cloud networks: infrastructure operated by the vendor is deployed on a company’s local network with voice and data kept on the premises ensuring continued access and security, while the logic and routing is in the public cloud and offers the public cloud price model.

Dave Paulding, Regional Sales Director UK, Middle East & Africa, at Interactive Intelligence