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New global industry association to solve Cloud service provider friction

21 Nov 2013

A new global industry association was launched earlier this year to tackle a whole pile of inter-operability issues between cloud service providers.

As more and more customers have either hybrid cloud and/or split services between multiple cloud service providers the need for this inter-operability is paramount.

While it’s only early days 11 high profile organisations signed up for the launch in May 2013 and since then a further 10 members have joined.

While the group solves issues for service providers, a number of the members are the vendors and datacentre operators supplying those service providers for example HP.

The group can no longer be considered fledgling when the quality of it’s member base being taken into account. Service providers members include CoreSite, Equinix, PCCW Global, Telx, Tata Communications and Verizon. While vendor members including Alcatel Lucent, Avaya, Ciena, Citrix, Cyan, Ericsson, HP, Huawei, Juniper, Spirent & Wedge Networks.

Often within these groups, it can even be about bringing application developers together with network engineering’s to select and commit to standards.

“The Forum’s mission is to help cloud service providers, carriers and enterprises to support cloud services more easily, quickly and economically.” Says James Walker, VP Network Services at Tata Communications.

“Networks are seeing a number of major transitions under the pressure of mobility and the move to cloud services,” Walker said.

“Now the explosion in machine to machine (M2M) communications promises the fastest growth ever in connected devices, with 73% of devices being mobile or M2M by 2017.

"Unless the industry – vendors, service providers and OTT providers included – really work together to define global standards and address these challenges, then cloud computing could fall victim to its own success.”

Working groups are already being established under the following Five Fundamentals:

• Virtualisation

• Automation (VM’s, Storage, Networking etc.)

• Security Guidelines

• Network programmability (including ONF)

• Cloud Analytics

“There is something here that touches every major cloud stakeholder – including large user organisations,” added Walker.

“We have started selecting suitable members with the drive and expertise to head working groups in these five areas.

"If companies believe their future will be dependent on getting these issues in line, now is their chance to join the CEF and help shape the future of Cloud services.

"As the MEF came to define the $50billion Carrier Ethernet services market, so the CEF can shape tomorrow’s $200billion Cloud services market.”

The new forum is affiliated with the global standards body MEF. “Solutions from the CloudEthernet Forum will increase demand for Carrier Ethernet services –aligning it closely with the MEF’s objectives and mission to accelerate the adoption of carrier-class Ethernet globally,” says Nan Chen, president of the MEF.

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