In my last article, I discussed hyperconvergence at the network edge—the concept of composable systems and a scalable set of compute, storage, and network access resources. As the networking market often follows the compute and storage market in a broad sense, it would seem some thought around what hyperconvergence in the network itself might look like. What were the components of the hyperconverged system at the edge?
Part 1 - The Composable System
A revolution is taking place at the network edge. In the early days, rack mount computers were purchased in various sizes, mounted, and dedicated to a particular application. Over time, virtualization took hold, as well as the idea of separating storage from the processor and memory with it, leading to a disaggregated solution. Storage was often connected through the network as a Storage Area Network (SAN) or Network Attached Storage (NAS), providing pooled, high efficiency storage for large scale applications. The trend, in recent years, has been towards converged systems, which primarily means moving the storage back into the box, as a device locally attached to the processor’s bus.
What Can Telecoms Learn from the Bayeux Tapestry?
People have been telling stories with pictures since early man painted scenes of animal hunts on cave walls. These stories often recorded military victories, such as in Egyptian hieroglyphs and battle tableaus featuring chariot riding pharaohs, Assyrian palace bas-reliefs depicting monumental sieges, and the war columns of the Roman emperors Trajan and Marcus Aurelius. These were the YouTubes of their day.
The Telecom Industry is Characterized by Ongoing Hype Cycles
Probably more than any other industry sector, the telecommunications market has the habit of jumping from one hype cycle to the next, with only short phases of realism and depression in between. As opposed to other industries, both vendors and customers seem to be participating in this vicious circle - ‘full steam’. Neither side wants to be woken up, let alone stopped.
Some of us may remember the time when long distance calls across the ocean were often accompanied by an annoying delay between the time we finished a sentence and the other party replying. We would say, “We're probably connected via a satellite. I like it better when these calls are routed through an undersea cable.”
In the telecom industry perhaps more than most, change is the only constant. That’s why in this post, I’d like to take a look at the various dynamics in the telecom value chain – and some of the associated trends.
Let’s first look at the telecom ecosystem. In this ecosystem, there are several types of players who hold the various assets:
I am in the market for a new car. I am looking at all the possibilities (and boy, are there possibilities – how am I supposed to make a decision?), weighing the pros and cons of each brand and model, and taking into consideration my budget.
Okay, I’ll admit it – the sight of yet another ‘demo’ at a trade show doesn’t really excite me. And it probably doesn’t excite most attendees either.
But they are sort of a necessary evil. You see, for us solutions vendors, there’s really no better way to demonstrate new functionality or how to do things like provision a service. That’s why we make the investment in resources and time to create something that we hope those in the industry will find, well, at least marginally interesting. (Actually, we’d like you to be really thrilled by them, but hey – we’re realists!)
I never thought I would think of telecom in religious terms, but two discussions I had recently with analysts got me thinking. Analysts make a business of qualifying and quantifying stuff – they define a market, they analyze that market, they measure it, and then forecast it.