Big networking cos. band to solidify the cloud

Wed, 12/09/2009 - 7:25am
Brian Santo

Some of the heaviest hitters in network computing, joined by two huge banking customers, have banded together to try to accelerate the adoption of cloud services.

The group is called the Enterprise Cloud Buyers Council (ECBC). It was announced by the TM Forum, an industry group focused on business effectiveness for the communications and media sectors.

The list of companies that have signed on include some of the biggest service providers and equipment suppliers in the industry: Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, BT, CA, Cisco, EMC, HP, IBM, Nokia Siemens Networks, Telecom Italia and Telstra. Microsoft is also a member, as is Amdocs.

Banks are already among the biggest customers for cloud-based services. The two involved in the group are Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Deutsche Bank.

The ECBC’s goal is to understand the needs of the largest global cloud buyers and ensure any impediments to the uptake of cloud technology are removed, the group said.

“Cloud computing has the potential to have a significant influence on enterprise IT in the type, quality and price of the services we create and consume,” stated Sean Kelley, global CIO for Deutsche Asset Management. “But a number of challenges remain."

Joe Wojtal, vice president of operations and systems development at Cisco, agreed. “The advent of cloud computing has created many opportunities for service providers and technology suppliers alike, yet the notion of managing large-scale multi-tenancy in the cloud presents a variety of challenges,” he said. 

These include:

  • Common cloud services product definitions
  • Cloud security issues
  • Cloud-to-cloud interoperability, data portability and APIs
  • Service provider benchmarking
  • Buyer-demand forecasting
  • Federated cloud stores
  • Cloud service-level agreement process management
  • Cloud network performance and latency issues

The ECBC will seek to understand the needs of commercial cloud services buyers, set strategy and launch specific work programs. All work on specific projects will be done collaboratively within the broader ecosystem, with the buyers providing guidance and best practice requirements.

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•  AT&T hits 2M-customer milestone for U-verse
•  AT&T: Tighter control of cell data usage ahead
•  Big networking cos. band to solidify the cloud
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