In terms of delivering network service the coming year will probably see more change than any time in recent memory thanks to not only faster networking equipment, but also the emergence of software-defined networking (SDN) architectures that promise to make it a lot easier to manage not only the network, but also the entire data center.
To help partner take advantage of those opportunities Juniper Networks this week revamped its channel programs to include a broad range of support services and new cloud offerings that solution providers can now additionally resell. According to Glen Tindal, CTO for the global service provider sector at Juniper Networks, there are five likely issues that cloud service providers of all types and classes that will drive the need for those offerings in 2013:
Cloud-to-cloud acquisitions will cause integration woes: If one cloud company acquires another, their cloud architectures are likely to be completely different and their content mediums or formats will be inherently compatible. The business models of the two organizations may be synergistic, but it will be essential to make the companies operate seamlessly.
Ease of content integration will inhibit cloud-to-cloud acquisitions: Acquisitions of like companies make sense when the pieces easily fall into place. But even if cloud companies seem like a good fit on the surface, their content file format interoperability/compatibility may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Standardization of cloud-content format will solidify: Content synchronization could be big business, but someone needs to make this content interoperable across cloud providers. As standardization begins to take place new companies specializing in these capabilities will begin to emerge.
Regulations to ensure security will emerge as a critical factor for cloud customers: There is a great deal of highly sensitive intellectual property and personal financial information in the cloud. Cohabitation of this content may be prevalent today but the next logical step is to secure this information based on its relative importance.
Not all cloud content will be treated equal: Best-efforts delivery of cloud based content and/or services cannot remain the standard model. Different customers require different service levels for various forms of content delivery, ranging from consumer HD video to latency-sensitive, business-critical applications. Expecting all content to be transported in the same manner isn’t realistic. We will start to see more service delivery pricing options that deliver varying ranges of Quality of Service across more cloud providers.
Whether your organization builds or resells cloud services Tidal says it’s pretty clear that cloud computing will reach significantly higher levels of maturity in 2013. As part of that process the key to controlling the cloud in 2013, says Tidal, is clearly shifting to the network level. To help solution providers gain control over that key Ingram Micro this week announced that Juniper networking gear will now be featured in its East and West Coast Solution Centers. Additionally, Ingram Micro, which Juniper this week gave its Distributor of the Year Award, is now offering Juniper’s channel partners configure-to-order (CTO) services for select Juniper Networks MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers. At the same time, Juniper this week at its partner conference detailed its SDN strategy and new licensing terms, which for the first time now includes the ability to transfer software licenses across Juniper products.
Great change almost always brings with it new opportunities for the channel. Clearly, cloud computing is about to enter a new phase that will bring with it more changes to the network level than any time in the past decade. That creates a unique opportunity across the channel spectrum that solution providers can’t afford ignore.