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Telcos and “On Demand” Computing

Telecom
Author: Mark Dixon
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
3:27 am

Ten years ago, while employed by Oracle, I worked on a project where we tried to convince the large North American telcos to act as Application Service Providers (ASP) and host Oracle applications for their customers.  We proposed that the combination of existing telco data centers, network connectivity, business customer base and billing infrastructure provided an ideal foundation for such services.  At that time, we didn’t get much traction with the telcos, but Oracle went ahead and launched their own ASP service, now known as "Oracle On Demand.”

Now, as Sun awaits acquisition by Oracle, it is interesting to see telco participation in what we now term “Cloud Computing.”  On Monday, AT&T announcedSynaptic Compute as a Service(SM), its latest innovative global cloud-based service, designed to give companies of all sizes simple on-demand access to scalable computing capacity.”  Ironically, the press release was entitled, “AT&T Unveils Network-Based ‘On Demand’ Computing for Companies of All Sizes.”  I’m not sure what Oracle might think of AT&T’s use of the “On Demand” term.

AT&T is working closely with Sun to use the Sun Cloud Open Cloud Platform, Sun Cloud APIs, cloud reference architecture and design expertise to create an environment to make it easy for developers to build and deploy value-added services.

"Sun is committed to helping our customers and partners deliver public and private clouds that are cost effective, open and interoperable," said Dave Douglas, senior vice president, Cloud Computing, Sun Microsystems. "AT&T’s network and operational excellence coupled with Sun’s Open Cloud Platform and Sun Cloud APIs delivers a revolutionary cloud offering. We’re excited to be working with AT&T to bring an enterprise-class, highly scalable offering that delivers choice and flexibility to market."

The trend towards cloud computing marches on.  I think we will see more telco participation in this market. We have long accepted utility telephony services from telecom operators.  Offering computing utility services is a logical next step.

 

One Response to “Telcos and “On Demand” Computing”

    Good point. Not much of this is completely new. However, we have done wonders from an incremental innovation perspective. Solutions are indeed much better, faster, cheaper.

    Cloud <- OnDemand <- Mainframe

    Our industry is maturing toward utility compute in a similar pattern to most other well known utility models. That said, we must all keep in mind the mature systems management processes developed over that past 60 years.

    Our biggest challenge with Cloud is to remind ourselves this isn’t really new. Lessons learned were expensive. People first, supported by policies implemented using process driven methods.

    Shame on us if we blindly repeat past mistakes.

    Comment by Brian Baird on November 19, 2009 at 7:50 am

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