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Telcos could become the cloud wholesalers of the future, according to Rackspace vice president of technology Nigel Beighton.
Telcos have struggled to forge a role for themselves in the cloud, Beighton claims. However, given time, he predicts these firms will find themselves at the forefront of a new wholesale market.
“Big telcos struggled early on to work out what their place in cloud was. [It was too hard for them] to compete against the likes of Rackspace and Amazon...as [hosting] is not their traditional business,” Beighton told Cloud Pro.
But the involvement of telcos at a wholesale level could enable localised or niche internet service providers (ISPs) to offer cloud services and flourish, which would help the rest of the market to mature.
“The proposition of cloud is you can have as much as you want whenever you want it. If you come to me and say ‘I want 1,000 servers’, your belief is that I will always have it. If you turn up and say ‘I want 1,000’, but I can only give you 500, you will go elsewhere,” said Beighton.
It is this hurdle that has, so far, prevented smaller ISPs from introducing cloud services, as they do not have the necessary capital to create their own datacentres and host their own clouds, Beighton claims.
“The telcos have [started to] realise they can take OpenStack, build a very large series of clouds and then enable a lot of the smaller, specialist players to effectively address their local market. The scale part of the puzzle is taken care of by the telcos who do know how to do scale and have done a very good job of it,” Beighton explained.
“What we have right now is a small number of large companies doing generic services. What makes a mature market in the cloud is having the big guys and the small guys...and that is what OpenStack is starting to enable [through the emergence of the telco],” Beighton concluded.