Entering the cloud fray

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1 ebook Entering the How telcos and service providers can build successful cloud strategies in an evolving market DEPLOYMENT STABILITY SCALABILITY COST EFFECTIVE

2 2 Is this ebook right for me? This ebook addresses a dilemma that s peculiar to IT and telecoms providers targeting the enterprise sector: you need to deliver reliable, massively scalable cloud services that you can back up with SLAs, but without incurring prohibitive software licensing costs. If you re involved in the strategic, commercial or technical decisions currently facing such businesses, this ebook is for you. It explains how, with the right partner, open source cloud infrastructure can offer you a third way: the ease of deployment, stability and scalability you need, without the runaway licence costs you don t. THE RIGHT PARTNER OPEN SOURCE CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE OFFERS YOU A THIRD WAY

3 3 An industry disrupted by the cloud In a shifting market, the traditional revenues of telcos and service providers are under threat. Voice revenues are at an all-time low, while high wireless data costs are impacting margins negatively. As an additional challenge, many enterprises are moving low-value workloads and applications to public clouds such as Amazon, eroding traditional managed hosting revenues. To overcome these challenges and remain profitable, telcos and service providers must build cloud computing into their service delivery strategies. This makes it possible to launch new cloud-based IT services that drive additional broadband traffic over their networks, helping them increase core revenues and access new commercial opportunities.

4 4 The cloud makes it possible, for example, to deliver new compute and storage services, launch new machine-to-machine (M2M) services such as automated asset management and deliver converged communications and IT services backed up by enterprise-grade SLAs. Many providers are also brokering third-party cloud services to their customers, providing hot-swapping between cloud providers based on business rules for cost and performance.

5 5 It s not about whether to adopt the cloud. It s about which cloud to adopt. If you work in the telecoms or IT service provision sectors, your business is ideally positioned to capitalise on the many commercial opportunities the cloud offers. You may already own or control the networks needed to connect your customers with cloud services, and have the skills and experience to deliver end-to-end data security and governance. Critically, while public cloud providers offer lower compute and storage prices for start-ups, established enterprises still require the more robust services and SLAs of a telco or service provider. The wide-ranging opportunities of cloud-based delivery mean the question for telcos and service providers is no longer whether to adopt cloud-based delivery strategies, but how. Successful cloud deployment depends on a number of factors, from an operator s choice of cloud technology, to engaging the right deployment support and technical support from cloud experts. In this paper, we discuss how to build a successful cloud strategy and how open-source technology can help. Specifically, we discuss which opensource technology is best for building telco and service provider clouds, introducing the next generation of open-source cloud, preintegrating all the infrastructure, systems, tools and services telcos and service providers need.

6 6 Meet the authors Chris Kenyon Senior Vice President, Cloud Sales & Business Development Mark Baker Product Manager, Ubuntu OpenStack Chris is responsible for the commercial success of Ubuntu in both public and private cloud. He is responsible for Canonical s direct and channel business around Ubuntu Openstack as well as Canonical s global partnerships with the likes of IBM, HP, Cisco, Dell, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure. The Canonical Telco Cloud practice has been involved in hundred s of OpenStack projects. Mark is tasked with making sure the development of Ubuntu OpenStack is driven by the needs of its users in the enterprise and among service providers and mobile network operators. This necessitates close involvement with the management and development of OpenStack. Follow Mark on Follow Chris on

7 7 Contents The objectives of a succesful cloud strategy 08 Choosing the right cloud infrastructure 09 Achieving open-source cloud success 13 Conclusion 15 About Canonical 16

8 8 The objectives of a successful cloud strategy To maximise margins for cloud-based services and provide the greatest possible value for stakeholders and subscribers, you need to minimise the cost of your cloud-computing infrastructure. As well as building the cloud on commodity hardware and low-cost software, every element of service delivery must be automated to reduce management costs, from resource provisioning and service orchestration, to usage monitoring and billing. Your cloud infrastructure must also be carriergrade by definition: capable of delivering the high levels of performance, availability and security today s enterprise customers demand. It should also be highly resilient, properly supported and totally secure, with logical separation of customer systems and data in the multi-tenant environment. To support the IT and communications requirements of enterprise customers, cloud infrastructure must be extremely flexible and able to handle any kind of application or workload. Your customers need the power to scale resources up and down on demand to meet the fluctuating requirements of their own customers and end users, paying only for the resources they use. CARRIER GRADE SECURE SUCCESSFUL CLOUD STRATEGY SUPPORTED

9 9 Choosing the right cloud infrastructure The pitfalls of proprietary clouds Many proprietary software vendors offer packaged cloud solutions that are fast and simple to deploy. Yet most are expensive for telcos and service providers in terms of both licensing and support, making it practically impossible to achieve the margins needed to deliver services profitably. Proprietary cloud technologies carry a number of other risks, including: Vendor lock-in Any business deploying proprietary cloud infrastructure may be tied into costly forced software upgrades. In addition, proprietary technologies invariably limit the flexibility of any cloud strategy, making it difficult or impossible to migrate workloads to other private or public cloud platforms in the future, even if it would otherwise make commercial sense to do so. Inability to scale due to high software costs One of the major issues with proprietary clouds is that additional licenses are required to add new physical and virtual servers to the environment. This increases the risk that the cloud will not be able to scale cost effectively to meet the needs of hundreds, or even thousands of enterprise customers in the future.

10 10 Costly, inflexible support contracts In a mission-critical enterprise environment, effective cloud support is a key success factor. However, support agreements with proprietary cloud vendors are typically highly inflexible and expensive, requiring all machines across the environment to be supported under the vendor s terms. This may increase costs and impact margins on cloud services. Limited cloud features Proprietary cloud software evolves quite slowly, with only a small number of developers working on new code. This means that new functionality is typically only delivered with new releases of software, and that customers may be kept waiting for the features they request and need. High hardware costs Some proprietary cloud technologies are only certified for a small number of hardware platforms. This limits your procurement options: low-cost commodity hardware may not be available to support your choice of cloud software which often means higher overall hardware costs

11 11 The benefits of open-source cloud technologies Service providers can mitigate these risks by choosing to deploy open-source cloud infrastructure. This provides a number of key benefits, from lower infrastructure costs and comprehensive cloud feature sets, to regular updates delivered through a coordinated, worldwide development effort. Open-source technologies are also able to give service providers the scalability they need, enabling them to add servers to their environments at will with no additional licensing costs. With no licenses to buy, and no proprietary software to update and maintain, operators can maximise margins on cloud services and ensure that their cloud business is profitable from day one. Open by nature as well as name, the best open-source cloud infrastructure uses de facto industry standard APIs, giving service providers the flexibility to port workloads between different private and public cloud platforms at will. By building flexibility into their cloud strategy in this way, open-source technologies help service providers adapt their clouds seamlessly to meet changing business needs. Yet another benefit of open-source cloud technology is certification for a wide array of hardware. The best open-source offerings can be deployed on all brands of servers, and support different technology architectures, including X86 and ARM. FLEXIBILITY TO PORT WORKLOADS BETWEEN PRIVATE AND PUBLIC CLOUDS

12 12 Open-source cloud-building challenges While open-source cloud infrastructure has clear flexibility and cost advantages over proprietary alternatives, deployment of open-source clouds can be complex and time consuming. Specialist technical skills are needed, for example, to deploy, integrate and manage different open-source cloud components and interfaces. What s more, this complexity can make migration from the lab into full production a daunting proposition. Some of the challenges associated with open-source cloud building include: Integration requirements with multiple, disparate components needed to build a comprehensive, production-ready cloud solution Extensive testing to ensure seamless scaling from test clouds to live operations Lack of a comprehensive toolset to automate cloud deployment processes, from bare metal provisioning to service orchestration which increases complexity, manual administration and overall costs Manual development and deployment of security policies to ensure customer systems and data are protected in the multi-tenancy environment Lack of enterprise-class support, with users left to rely on community help and documentation not an appropriate level of support for mission-critical enterprise applications The manual work typically required to build and deploy open-source clouds can jeopardise hosting providers cloud strategies and increase time to market. There is also a risk that cloud services will not translate well from the lab into production and that they will ultimately fail to meet customers expectations.

13 13 Achieving open source cloud success To overcome the challenges associated with deploying open-source clouds, you need the right mix of infrastructure, tools and enterprise-class support. The result will be a production-ready, open-source cloud environment that is engineered specifically to meet the needs of operators. This should pre-integrate: Enterprise-class cloud infrastructure Telcos and service providers need cloud infrastructure components that can meet enterprise-class requirements for availability, performance and uptime. One example of such infrastructure is Ubuntu OpenStack, the leading cloud infrastructure platform based on open source project OpenStack, which provides all the compute, storage and network components needed to build a production cloud, allowing for end-toend service automation, seamless scalability and high availability configurations. A stable, full-featured operating environment To ensure success, you need to build your cloud on a stable, secure, open-source operating system that is synchronised with the underlying cloud infrastructure, both in terms of development and release cycle, to ensure all the latest cloud features are supported. It helps to choose an operating system with a strong cloud heritage such as Ubuntu.

14 14 Innovative cloud deployment and configuration tools Tools like Juju and MAAS will speed up the process of configuring bare metal servers, deploying and orchestrating OpenStack cloud components, and deploying and orchestrating individual workloads and applications in the cloud. Cloud monitoring and management tools To maximise margins on cloud services, monitoring and management processes must be highly automated. Tools for managing cloud infrastructure centrally through a single, centralised console like Landscape will help here. Deployment and technical support services You need end-to-end deployment support and ongoing technical support for their open-source cloud projects. The Ubuntu Advantage cloud support service gives telcos and operators 24-hour access to our skilled cloud support engineers, who are there to resolve technical issues quickly and effectively, maximising uptime for your services. Subscriptions include access to Landscape, Canonical s cloud management platform, as either a hosted service or a dedicated server in your datacentre. Ubuntu Advantage subscribers also have access to the world s leading experts on Ubuntu and Ubuntu OpenStack.

15 15 Conclusion Service providers around the world are investing in cloud strategies and infrastructure to increase revenue-generating traffic on their networks and bring new cloud-based services to market. When it comes to deploying cloud infrastructure to support these services, many operators are attracted to open-source cloud technologies, which offer very low cost of ownership, seamless scalability and full service automation. Despite the benefits of open-source cloud technologies, however, there is still a perception that open-source clouds are complex and time consuming to deploy and manage, requiring specific skills which may not be available in your organisations. To help telcos and service providers overcome this obstacle and deploy open-source cloud infrastructure quickly with minimal risk a new generation of open-source cloud is needed. This should pre-integrate all the infrastructure, software, tools and services required to build a successful cloud strategy from day one. For more information on the issues discussed in this paper, or to find out more about the next generation of open-source cloud for telcos and service providers, please visit ubuntu.com/cloud For a free, no-obligation consultation, please call , or Alternatively, you can request more information at ubuntu.com/cloud/contact-us

16 16 About Canonical Leading telcos and service providers depend on Canonical to assist, guide and support them in making the most of their production cloud offerings. Based on our experience of helping seven of the top 10 operators deploy production clouds, we have created tightly integrated cloud technologies that minimise deployment risk and speed time to market. As an integrated element of the Canonical/ Ubuntu proposition, Canonical supports every stage of cloud deployment, from design and implementation, to ongoing technical support. We provide telcos and service providers with an efficient, production ready and cost effective route to the open-source cloud. Ubuntu pre-integrates all the infrastructure, software, tools and services that telcos and service providers need to achieve cloud success. With a tried-and-tested reference architecture and deployment methodology, we can help operators deploy clouds faster, and ensure that cloud services meet customers requirements for performance and availability.

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