Category Archives: Telco Cloud

BT uses Cisco IWAN tech for new SDN namaged service

BT cloud of cloudsBT has launched a new managed comms service that uses software defined networking techniques to automatically optimise network traffic, reports

The BT Connect Intelligence IWAN service will, it claims, cut networking costs, boost app performance and tighten security for clients. It unveiled the Walgreens Boots Alliance as a reference customer, which runs in the UK and 20 other countries. Clients can use IWAN as a bridging stage in its transition to full network function virtualisation and software definition in the cloud, it claims.

BT’s IWAN was created by integrating Cisco’s Intelligent WAN (IWAN) service within the BT Connect portfolio of network services. The new offering is a hybrid of public and private cloud and uses Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology to create virtualised functions such as application performance management and security.

Among the new options offered in this first version of Connect Intelligence IWAN will be a        Virtual Private Network (VPN), fast track application routing, higher rates of app performance and better intelligence on how the network is operating.

The VPNs will be created using MPLS technology and will secure interconnections across hybrids of private and public cloud, as well as fixed line and mobile networks. Meanwhile, despite the powerful levels of encryption set up by the VPNs, information from applications will be fast tracked across the network by the quickest possible route, thanks to intelligence based on real-time network performance. The faster performance of applications will improve productivity and user experience, claims BT. Meanwhile SDN will allow the service provider to gives customers deep insight into their application and network performance, BT claims. The telco claims customers can self-manage their networks through BT’s My Account portal.

The use of NFV and SDN paves the way for a new generation of services that are quicker and easier to set up and change, according to Keith Langridge, VP of network services at BT Global Services. “Customers all over the world can now deal much more effectively with their increasing bandwidth and traffic optimisation demands,” said Langridge.

Matrixx partners with Vlocity for cloud content platform

Cloud Computing color vector illustration.The lengthy gestation period for new products and services from mobile operators could be radically shortened by a new cloud-based service from a team of app software developers, reports

Telco software developer Matrixx Software and cloud apps vendor Vlocity have jointly launched Go Digital, in a bid to simplify the provision of video and music streaming, roaming passes and lifestyle applications for comms and digital service providers. Go Digital is based on the Salesforce platform and combines Vlocity’s cloud apps with Matrixx’s digital commerce platform. Vlocity claims it is Salesforce’s preferred ISV partner for the comms industry.

With comms service providers (CSPs) hamstrung by their clunky legacy platforms, many struggle to execute on their digital agendas, the partners behind Go Digital claim. The new service allows clients to define their own experience, giving them the option to try, buy and manage digital services. Clients can choose from video and music streaming services, track their usage in real-time, make one-click purchases, share selected balances with friends, add roaming passes on-the-fly and consume services in manageable chunks. Go Digital’s founder say they’ve also cracked another problem that has dogged the CSPs, by creating a consistent service experience, regardless of the device or network they use.

Go Digital gives each client a virtual control centre to manage their digital services and it promises service providers a one-click customer experience with multiple payment options for additional mobile services. The solution is immediately available and reference customer include Swisscom, Telstra and Sky Italia.

“Go Digital creates a significant new revenue opportunity that can be rapidly deployed in any carrier or service provider, of any size, anywhere in the world. The possibilities are endless,” said Vlocity founder David Schmaier. Matrixx and Vlocity will showcase Go Digital at February’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

BT Cloud Connect to give customer direct link to Salesforce

BT cloud of cloudsTelco BT is to give its corporate customers the option of a hotline to Salesforce’s cloud service through its BT Cloud Connect service.

The telco claimed it can provide a high performance link to Salesforce’s Customer Success Platform and give customers a more reliable and faster performance from the system, as part of its

Cloud of Clouds programme. BT’s global network connects 200 data centres, 48 of which it owns and operates itself.

The service will be rolled out incrementally from February 2016. The priorities for service roll out will be the US first, then Europe, followed by the rest of the world.

Clients desperately want the cloud to help them manage and access vast amounts of valuable data, but it needs to be made easier for them, according to Keith Langridge, VP of network services at BT Global Services. “Our Cloud of Clouds makes it easier by providing direct, secure and high performance connectivity to the applications. Salesforce is a true pioneer of the technology so this is an important milestone in the delivery of our vision,” said Langridge.

The methods that companies use to connect with the cloud needs to be refined, according to Salesforce’s UK MD Andrew Lawson. “BT is accelerating this shift for its customers,” said Lawson. The addition of Salesforce to its cloud of clouds roster will transform the way BT’s clients can connect with customers, partners and employees.

Intel teams up with NEC on Cloud RAN development

Base stations could get smaller, cheaper and more powerful if a new virtualization project reaches fruition in 2016, reports

Kit maker NEC and Intel Corporation are to jointly develop a Cloud-Radio Access Network (Cloud-RAN) that can virtualize the functions of mobile base stations. The first joint proof of concept trial of Cloud-RAN will run in early 2016.

The partners say they aim to virtualize two major components of the next mobile base station, the Digital Unit (DU) and the Radio Unit (RU), which respectively handle data processing and the sending and receiving of radio waves. The new Cloud-RAN system will separate the DU functions from mobile base stations so they can be run on general-purpose Intel servers with multi-core processors. This means DU functions can be centralised which in turn allows for multiple radio units to be centrally controlled from one general-purpose server.

This re-engineering of base stations boosts their communication performance as they have more precise control of radio interference between the radio units. By consolidating the servers it also cuts the power and space consumption. The upshot of Cloud-RAN should be more powerful base stations that are cheaper to run, according to NEC. Virtualization has been a work in progress for a long time at NEC, said Nozomu Watanabe, General Manager for NEC’s Mobile Radio Access Network Division.

“We have been working with Intel on the virtualization of mobile core networks and customer premises equipment and are pleased to extend our collaboration in Network Functions Virtualization to mobile base stations,” said Watanabe.

NEC is to strengthen its relationship with Intel for the advancement of NFV as the core technology supporting 5G said Watanabe. NEC contributes to SDN and NFV related standards bodies the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), OpenDaylight, ETSI NFV, and Open Platform for NEV (OPNFV). It also the NEC SDN Partner Space programme to promote the development and use of network virtualization technologies.

IBM Cloud to run AT&T’s managed app and hosting

IBMAT&T and IBM are to extend the scope of their 20 year working relationship partnership as IBM takes over the telco’s cloud based networking, application and hosting services.

In a new development AT&T will transfer its managed application and hosting service unit into IBM’s Cloud portfolio. IBM will acquire equipment and access to the AT&T data centres that currently host the services.

The new arrangement is about integrating networks and cloud workloads more easily with each vendor’s IT environments, according to a statement from IBM, which pledged to continue running the managed app and hosting services AT&T provides today. AT&T will continue to provide the security, cloud networking and mobility it currently contributes to the partnership. The two companies will collaborate on creating new services, IBM said.

“Today’s announcement is an expansion of our relationship with AT&T and continuing collaboration,” said Philip Guido, IBM General Manager of Global Technology Services for North America. “With AT&T we’ll deliver IBM Cloud and managed services that evolve to meet clients’ business objectives.”

On Thursday IBM announced details of another collaboration, Project Hyperledger, as part of its involvement in the Linux Foundation. The project brings a number of vendors together to develop blockchain security technology. The objective is to create an enterprise grade, open source distributed ledger framework for the cloud. It also aims to encourage developers to create applications that can use blockchain technology to make cloud based financial transactions verifiable and secure enough to meet strict compliance regulations.

Partners in the Linux Foundation blockchain project include Accenture, ANZ Bank, Cisco, J.P. Morgan, the London Stock Exchange Group, VMware and Wells Fargo.

IBM will contribute tens of thousands of lines of its existing codebase and its corresponding intellectual property to this open source community. Another partner, Digital Asset, is contributing the Hyperledger mark, as well as code and developer resources. R3 is contributing a new financial transaction architectural framework designed to meet the requirements of its global bank members and other financial institutions.

All technical contributions will be reviewed by the foundation’s technical steering committees.

“Blockchain’s distributed ledgers will transform industries from banking and shipping to the Internet of Things,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation, “it needs a cross-industry, open source collaboration to advance the technology for all.”

ItsOn gets $12.5 million funding to take Smart Services into LatAm and EMEA

Itson awardCloud based mobile service provider ItsOn has raised $12.5 million in a Series D funding round led by Delta Partners Capital Limited with follow-on investments from Verizon Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Tenaya Capital.

ItsOn’s technology aims to make mobile commerce a more enjoyable and secure experience through a range of services, content and apps. It currently runs its Smart Services primarily from North America data centres but the cash injection will help it fund regional data centres as it launches into markets in South America, Middle East, Africa and Europe.

ItsOn says it gives mobile customers better ways to buy wireless services and interact with their service providers. Its service is described as a ‘digital transformation platform for wireless operators’ that includes an integrated cloud service, on-device software and a mobile operator interface, the Service Design Center. These three components connect to IT and business systems, so operators can provide better experiences with a faster time to market for services, offers and mobile commerce growth.

Mobile operators desperately need to improve their social skills with end users and that requires a digital transformation according to Kristoff Puelinckx, co-founder at one of ItsOn’s investors, Delta Partners. Puelinckx said ItsOn’s mobile commerce platform is ‘at least five years ahead’ of every other player in this space, thanks to its engagement skills and contextual marketing for new products, services and incentives.

The ‘great digital experience’ is generally lacking among mobile operators, who rely on time-consuming and inconvenient store visits and call centre based cold callers in order to sell new services. Operators have suddenly woken up to the fact that they need to show greater transparency and more compelling service, according to Puelinckx.

Verizon Ventures started investing in ItsOn when it invented a virtual end-to-end carrier IT system, and it poured even more money in when it then created a cloud solution for OSS, BSS and user engagement, said Verizon Ventures director Ed Ruth. “It moved the mobile service market forward and we are pleased to continue investing in ItsOn,” said Ruth. The new system, he says, will help operators sell a lot more services to consumers, SMBs and IoT companies.

“There’s a rapidly growing demand for our technology as wireless service providers face increasing end-user expectations, new opportunities and new competition,” said ItsOn CEO Dr Greg Raleigh.

Riverbed says it’ll make apps respond faster on BT’s cloud of clouds

BT cloud of cloudsBT is to use Riverbed’s SteelHead application accelerator in its global telecoms network to bolster its cloud of clouds strategy.

BT and Riverbed will embed the service at global business hubs in Europe, North America and Asia. Installations are to be made at any location where BT has direct links to major cloud providers and high-capacity internet breakout. The service will be globally available from early 2016 and accessible through BT’s IP Connect VPN from 198 countries and territories.

Steelhead is designed to boost application performance and optimise bandwidth use. As a result customers should get faster responses from BT’s own cloud services and other vendors’ Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings. This partnership is the first time Riverbed technology has been installed into the core of a global telecoms network.

App acceleration and bandwidth efficiencies aside, customers using the new service will have greater control over their applications, a more commanding view of performance across the network and significantly more reliability and security from applications delivered over the internet, says BT.

The new service uses network function virtualisation (NFV) to help customers get a broader range of virtualised functions, such as application performance management and fast access to private and public clouds.

The inclusion of Riverbed helps BT tackle the performance and reliability of applications in the cloud, which have become a big issue for clients, according to Keith Langridge, VP of network services at BT Global Services. “This joint offering with Riverbed is a milestone on the journey to software-defined networks and creates an additional differentiator against our competitors,” said Langridge.

CIOs want the benefits of a hybrid enterprise without the challenges of application delivery that this complex environment creates, according to Paul O’Farrell, General Manager for SteelHead at Riverbed. “Riverbed invented WAN optimization in 2004 with SteelHead and now it’s the leader in application performance infrastructure,” said O’Farrell, “we’re offering an easier on-ramp to cloud computing with BT’s Cloud Connect service.”

HPE to give customer access to IaaS from NTT Communications

HPE customers can now get instant infrastructure as a service (IaaS) from NTT Communications portfolio following an agreement with the Japanese telco’s NTT America division.

The enterprise level service offers public, private and hybrid cloud options, plus NTT America’s professional services including cloud migration, data centre consolidation, managed infrastructure services and disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS).

Demand for IaaS is rising, according to analyst Transparency Market Research which says the $15.6 billion online infrastructure market of 2014 will grow to become a $73.9 billion IaaS trade by 2022.

NTT American will be one of a few global IaaS partners to HPE, said its executive VP of Global Enterprise Services Jeffrey Bannister. Only integration of best of breed technologies within NTT’s own infrastructure can help customers stay ahead of their competition, said Bannister.

NTT Com’s secure network coverage (VPN) reaches 196 countries through a Tier 1 IP network and it has 140 data centres across the world with an enterprise-grade cloud footprint in 14 global markets and a planned expansion to 15.

In August BCN reported how NTT Com launched a multi-cloud connect service with direct private links to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and other top tier cloud service providers.

What was once a disruptive innovation is the new norm as businesses shift to off-premise systems, said Chuck Adams, HPE’s Partner Ready Service Provider Programme director. “IaaS is IT infrastructure without the overhead,” said Adams.

BT offers customers direct connection to HPE’s Helion managed cloud

BT Sevenoaks workstyle buildingBT is to give its IP VPN customers direct connections to Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) Helion Managed Cloud Services.

BT’s service currently uses HPE’s Rapid Connect to bypass the public internet when it connects to HPE Helion Managed Cloud Services. Now the new direct connectivity gives BT customers access to HPE’s portfolio of services when they need to build and consume computing workloads. It gives BT customers more reliable and secure access, better performance and lower latency, according to Keith Langridge, VP of the Connect Portfolio at BT Global Services.

It also simplifies the process of using cloud services, when a lot of companies are coming to terms with a mixture of private public and hybrid clouds, said Langridge. “We have already optimised our network to help customers take advantage of multiple cloud services through our Cloud Connect portfolio of services,” said Landgridge. “By adding direct connectivity to HPE Helion through BT’s global network, customers will benefit from a solution that is consistent, secure and reliable, wherever they operate.”

BT’s direct connectivity to HPE Helion Managed Cloud Services via Rapid Connect is already available in Germany, France and the UK. This will be followed by additional connections at key business hubs around the world. The services are managed by customers through a single service catalogue using BT’s Compute Management System.

Customers want high performance from the cloud, but there is an evolving regulatory and threat landscape, said Eugene O’Callaghan, VP of Enterprise Services Workload and Cloud at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “Our partnership to deliver these services with BT will bring a whole new level of confidence to global organisations,” said O’Callaghan.

China Telecom launches cloud service to Indian market

business cloud network worldThe Indian subsidiary of China Telecom (China Telecom India) has launched a business cloud service to Chinese businesses operating on the India market. The service, it says, will straddle the public private computing divide and cater to demand for hybrid cloud systems.

The new hybrid cloud service offers professional system management, security and disaster recovery, along with 24-hour, 7 days a week customer service in Chinese.

The launch ceremony took place at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in New Delhi, India. With over 100 Chinese enterprises among the audience, the launch of the service was overseen by Cheng Guangzhong, Minister Counsellor of the Chinese government.

“We proudly launch this cloud service in India to provide safe, convenient and quality cloud computing services, helping Chinese enterprises to tackle IT deployment problems in the new era. With this cloud service, we can provide new development impetus and create new opportunities for Chinese enterprises in international expansion,” said Alen Wang, Managing Director of China Telecom India.

This service is part of a China Telecom strategy, The Belt and Road Initiative, to invest in cloud-based resources in the core regions and key countries in Asia Pacific, Europe and America, said Wang. “We are committed to building an ecosystem that fosters win-win cooperation and open collaboration, and we partner with world class players in offering cloud computing products and services to the Chinese enterprises expanding overseas,” said Wang.

Hong Kong based China Telecom now has branches in 26 countries across Asia, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It is now launching its FD LTE and TD LTE 4G mobile networks across China.