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Solutions NEC

Building Cloud

Cloud is not about platforms, it' s about people, services and solutions. While SaaS services will run on a "Platform as a Service" (PaaS), other solutions like digital signage, Desktop as a Service (DaaS) and Connected Home need much more than PaaS, they need servers, devices and a new business model. On the telecoms infrastructure side, we have many industry standards and blueprints on which to build a network, but IT oriented services are driven more by the carrier and their customers. So when NEC works with customers on Carrier Cloud, we design the service together; including the business model, service roadmap, platform, support and operations. To achieve Carrier Cloud, you need to visualize and automate cloud services operations. It is also important to virtualize the network and to control the network' s paths and flows dynamically.
A Carrier Cloud solution has at least the following key elements:

- Inside the datacenter
- IT Platform (IaaS)
- NGN core infrastructure
- OSS for cloud + network
- Cloud Service Platform (PaaS)
- SaaS applications
- Call center & helpdesk
- Datacenter operations
- Outside the datacenter
- NGN access and transport
- Gateway equipment
- End-user terminals & devices
- IT consulting
- Third party management

Building Cloud

In Figure 4, we can see the logical structure of the Carrier Cloud – the heart of several value chains beyond pure telecoms. In the center we have the core IT platform (servers, storage and IT networking) and the network core with its policy control, IMS and service
switching functions. Thirdly we have our cloud + network OSS allowing the integration and fulfillment of carrier borne cloud services.

Our Idea of the "Carrier Grade" Cloud

Utilizing this core is the Cloud Service Platform. Its role is to provide the facilities required by SaaS applications so they can operate and thrive within the cloud. The most important function is the marketplace. It allows customers to buy service licenses, give feedback on services, get expert help from the community and move data between applications. This is a different level of functionality than earlier ASP models which ran hosted software licenses in separate silos.

Other more basic functions of the Cloud Service Platform include single sign-on for all services, and a charging gateway that accepts charging events from SaaS applications. The PaaS hosts APIs which allow the SaaS service to access the secure database, message passing and multi-tenant IaaS capabilities of the core IT Platform.

SaaS Applications

Revenue generating applications are hosted on the Cloud Service Platform. These are typically provided by third party ISVs wishing to provide services to the carrier's SME subscribers. They could be hosted on another cloud but a carrier's attractive traffic and hosting prices, an SLA and the carrier's brand should win them over.

NGN Transport and Access

The quality of cloud services is only as good as the network delivering the service. QoS, stability and security are the carrier's primary weapons when competing with Web 2.0 clouds.

In some countries, carriers are looking at LTE hot zones as the key to providing cloud in central business districts, where customers are highly mobile. In some developing countries, this will be the primary broadband access service.

Lighter cloud based services such as SaaS can be used successfully over lower broadband speeds provided by DSL and HSDPA. Heavier services such as DaaS require more bandwidth. A single user can normally use DSL or HSDPA to support a DaaS session when out of the office, but it may not be feasible to have many users sharing the same connection.

As we move from an era of "best effort" to "as promised", more bandwidth will either have to be managed on a per flow basis or within fatter virtual pipes, dedicated to commercial cloud traffic. Transport networks that are service and user aware will have an advantage in delivering cloud. This awareness has to permeate every layer of the transport since higher level policy control systems can only really work when they receive the bandwidth they expect. In the future, NEC believes that OpenFlow™ technologies will unify the telecoms transport and datacenter's IT network. OpenFlow brings an unrivalled awareness and communication between the network and the application management layer.

Cloud Connected Devices, Gateways and Terminals

Home Gateways and femto cells are the critical link between the cloud, home and SME domains. Now users can stream media in their house from anywhere. They can access media libraries in the cloud or remotely control home electronics and appliances such as personal video recorders and digital picture frames.
Machine to Machine (M2M) can be commercial or consumer in nature but millions of cloud devices will need to be connected and controlled, each within their own unique cloud business process. From smart cars to e-book readers, set-top boxes to electricity meters, each one will have their own business model, charging model with embedded traffic charges and roaming policies. This list continues to grow.

Supporting Cloud Services

For most SMEs, IT is not their core purpose and cloud unchains them from IT, allowing them to focus on customers. In the Carrier Cloud model, the carrier takes the responsibility for their IT support needs. Ideally each user within a customer should be able to call one number and receive help on any of their SaaS subscriptions.
Limiting calls to nominated representatives may have individuals questioning if economies made on in-house support are valid. Remember that in cloud, applications will increasingly share data and interact, so most applications cannot take a silo approach to support. Problems will often happen at the border between services as data is shared between applications. Over time, a scalable way
to manage cloud application support will need to be implemented as the cloud portfolio expands.

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