tw telecom’s Intelligent Network Third Phase Takes Shape: Constellation Platform to Connect Resources to Customers On-Demand

Brian Washburn
Brian Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • tw telecom is gearing up to release its Constellation Platform, promising click-and-connect links to third-party data centers and resident cloud providers.
  • Constellation Platform details are still under wraps, but tw telecom will likely succeed in raising the bar for customers’ on-demand service expectations.

When it comes to cloud services, the largest U.S. incumbent network providers are all-in: AT&T with its Synaptic line of services, Verizon with its acquisition of Terremark, and CenturyLink with its acquisition of Savvis. Many smaller providers by contrast are split on their cloud services approach. Windstream and EarthLink Business are examples of network providers that are developing data centers and cloud services in-house. Sprint’s entry into the cloud has been through a partnership with CSC. However, there are also competitors such as tw telecom and Lightpath that choose to stay away from building and selling in-house cloud services: They would prefer to be impartial agents serving a large audience of third-party data center and cloud services providers. Of these, tw telecom in particular has invested in network tools, with the goal of becoming a more flexible network provider of cloud connectivity. Continue reading “tw telecom’s Intelligent Network Third Phase Takes Shape: Constellation Platform to Connect Resources to Customers On-Demand”

Silver Peak Drives Home Coordination’s Benefits with Data Center Optimization

B. Washburn
B. Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • Silver Peak optimizes loads between data centers by deploying WAN optimization software and VMware integration that reaches beyond vCenter.
  • This is not great news for WAN providers, as the data center innovation treats the WAN as a static commodity.

My last blog addressed the elements of building intelligent networks.  It bemoaned that the managed service elements that could go into end-to-end services visibility and control are a largely uncoordinated patchwork.  Well, it looks like WAN optimization vendor Silver Peak has been thinking along the same lines.  The vendor took a step forward by embedding its WAN optimization solutions inside VMware vCenter.  An IT manager that needs to connect workloads across data centers can access vCenter, select from the list of virtual machines and workloads, and click-to-activate/deactivate WAN optimization for selected applications.  VMware vCenter launches a Silver Peak tab that displays information about the application flows being optimized.  To make this technique work, the company can’t rely on placing hardware everywhere.  Instead, Silver Peak lets customers load its WAN optimization software to run on virtual machines residing at each end of their cloud applications.  Besides getting its application plugged into VMware vCenter, Silver Peak controls VMware’s switching between virtual machines in the cloud, to optimize the connection between Silver Peak’s WAN optimization instance and the targeted application to be accelerated.  Silver Peak is unlikely to remain a lone player for long for this type of solution. Continue reading “Silver Peak Drives Home Coordination’s Benefits with Data Center Optimization”

Providers Face Intelligent Networks’ Vendor Ecosystem: How to Jury-Rig an Orchestra?

B. Washburn
B. Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • The elements of intelligent networking include end-to-end visibility and dynamic control over the cloud, applications, and bandwidth.
  • A smart network will automatically adjust and re-configure itself to meet changing demands.
  • These intelligent network components support a diversity of vendors that aren’t coordinated with each other.

Earlier in July, colleague Joel Stradling and I collaborated on a free Current Analysis webinar titled “2012: The Year of the Intelligent Network.”  An hour-long presentation with Q&A seems just enough time to scratch the surface of this broad and deep topic.  The presentation prompted several interesting discussions, and it’s an area where we will continue to monitor, analyze, and predict the market’s trajectory. Continue reading “Providers Face Intelligent Networks’ Vendor Ecosystem: How to Jury-Rig an Orchestra?”