How telecom is shifting its strategy to support cloud computing

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Cloud computing has fundamentally expanded the realm of possibilities organizations can accomplish with technology. While a lot of focus has been placed on the cloud technology and data architecture advancements, the underlying telecommunications infrastructure is also seeing a shift in strategies to support the latest trends in cloud computing.

Cisco Systems, Inc., known for its hardware infrastructure deployments, is helping drive this shift. Ian Wells (pictured, left), distinguished engineer, cloud and platform services at Cisco, and Jerome Tollet (pictured, right), distinguished engineer, Chief Technology and Architecture Office, at Cisco, are two of the company’s team members spearheading this initiative.

Wells and Tollet spoke with host Stu Miniman (@stu) and guest host John Troyer (@jtroyer), of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, during OpenStack Summit in Boston, Massachusetts. They discussed their technical perspectives on virtualization and cloud computing. (*Disclosure below.)

Transitioning to virtual infrastructure

Of all the advances in telecommunications infrastructure, the most important technology for advancing cloud computing is Network Function Virtualization, according to Tollet. “NFV is becoming a first-class citizen for this community. At the beginning, people were kind of ignoring NFV, it was all about cloud. Now it’s becoming quite the opposite,” he said.

NFV is the term used to describe the virtualization of functions that historically have been physical hardware used for things like intrusion detection and routing. As the adoption rate for NVF rises, so does the demand for more features, which can create bottle necks in development.

“On the networking side, it’s always, ‘I’d like more functionality.’ You’ll hear people talk about service chaining. MPLS [Multiprotocol Label Switching] comes up quite regularly, which is really integration with the rest of the service provider network,” Wells said. “We have a ways to go to really address the kind of general purpose model that would suit everyone.”

Tollet also brought up a very interesting point about the redundancy and overhead associated with a completely virtualized system.

“Think in terms of two containers sitting on the same virtual compute node. Why do you need to create a packet? Why do you need to do crypto? Why do you need to do virtual LAN when the two applications are sitting on the same compute node?” Tollet said. “We have imported into the virtual world all of the concepts we have used in the physical world … now I think we can do something a bit more efficient … .”

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s independent editorial coverage of OpenStack Summit 2017 Boston(* Disclosure: Cisco Systems Inc. sponsored this OpenStack Summit segment on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE. Neither Cisco Systems nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE