In a recent Wired blog http://www.wired.com/cloudline/2012/05/cloud-offshoring/, Mike Barton discussed Calligo and how they are bringing its services offshore to the Channel Islands. Mike did a good job of bringing to light the notion that there are some businesses that believe that a service provider doesn’t have to be planted on continental U.S. soil to build and maintain cloud operations.
Recently, I blogged about cloud computing crossing new boundaries and if you read http://www.infoblox.com/community/blog/walls-even-stop-clouds the topic is especially interesting because it caused me to ponder how you might leverage both Software-Defined Networks (SDN) and a cloud computing environment offshore.
From a business perspective, one of the key drivers for deploying SDN is to lower infrastructure costs and the ability of the network owner to easily manage a lower-cost, multi-vendor network—which in large part is what this article is about –ensuring the service is abstracted from the physical network.
The idea of being able to choose your cloud computing provider (the managed service provider you pick) on the fly can create some very interesting business benefits. It would be cool if you could choose the service with simple queries like “lowest price for this application” or “lowest taxes for this service” or even for a mobile app – how about “best revenue per user.” In the case of taxes, businesses look overseas for means to reduce their tax bases all the time. Now think about having that option as an App on your desktop or smartphone.
Having this level of intelligence in the infrastructure to give us the ability to tune based on the business is still in the future but technologies like SDN help get us there. Additionally, I think automated network control is also foundational in this journey of thinking in terms of providing value based business drivers and not based on technology benchmarks, such as latency, packets per second and BGP routes. To make cloud computing benefits better resonate with customers and make them more accessible, service providers would be wise to gain The App Store mindset instead of relying on speeds and feeds.