- Making the Internet and private data networks faster is still going to be a top priority in 2013
- Security remains of paramount importance for any data service
- Data centre and computing infrastructure become more tightly integrated and embedded with network infrastructure in 2013
Looking back at what happened in 2012, the highlights of the year within the enterprise network and IT service industry include consolidation such as the acquisition of Cable&Wireless Worldwide by Vodafone, the march towards fatter pipes with 100G launches, and progress on the part of carriers to become cloud-based IT providers and cloud service aggregators. Network security remains very high on the agenda, with two providers reporting daily attacks and hacking at major events, namely BT during the Olympics and Interoute supporting UEFA in the Euro 2012 event. However the most impactful initiatives are in the building of new generations of cloud-ready data centres as an intrinsic part of the network to fuel the desire of service providers to claim a stake in the cloud IT service market.
These trends are not likely to abate as we move into 2013. If anything, we expect ongoing focus on all the above, with strong activity from service providers to build out global cloud data centre footprints, and wider availability of higher capacities to more geographies. The drive to make the Internet and private data networks faster is not limited to the core with numerous projects underway throughout the world to deploy fibre to the curb, cabinet, or home. BT Wholesale for example has sped up the timeline for the rollout of Superfast Broadband, which is progressing hand in hand with Openreach’s deployments. Openreach was handed GBP 2.5 billion by the BT Group to make superfast fibre broadband available to two-thirds of the homes in Britain by the end of spring 2014. The most interesting development in 2013 could be carriers deploying computing and Web server infrastructure throughout their data cores to create platforms for delivering IT-as-a-Service. Here the OTTs, Web portals, SIs, and applications developers have the opportunity enjoy owning the relationship with the customer giving an advantage. Examples include Amazon Web Services, Google, and HP. However the service provider community still has a number of ace cards to play, including ownership of the network POPs and the access that provide the supporting pillars for fast and effective cloud infrastructure. The telecom operators also have very solid reputations for providing security. These strengths should result in strong corporate service proposals based entirely in the cloud underpinned by full control over the network and the credibility to manage sensitive and mission critical enterprise applications in private and hybrid VPNs on behalf of the large enterprise.