"If you have variability [in demand], it turns out that even if the service provider is much more expensive than do-it-yourself ... unpredictability drives you to leveraging on demand pay-per-use, a.k.a. cloud resources," Weinman says. An example would be a retailer that 11 months out of the year uses its own data center but then for one month needs to double or quadruple capacity.
If these services can be accessed via network services that can be bought on a bandwidth-on-demand basis, the economics improve, he says. Businesses can get the network performance they need without having to overprovision bandwidth for everyday use.
Most businesses have a combination of needs, with one group of applications receiving predictable, steady demand while others spike unpredictably or seasonally, leading to Weinman's conclusion that hybrid clouds will proliferate.
Service providers have some work to do in order to support this kind of service tailored for hybrid clouds, he says, despite the fact that appropriate technologies exist. But carriers have to have the back-end tools for billing customer for the services they use. "It's not helpful to have the flexibility but still be charged for the whole amount regardless of what you use," he says. Self-provisioning portals are also needed, he says.
Carriers will respond to this demand, he says, because they themselves need to manage bandwidth. Customers will increasingly want seemingly unlimited bandwidth for more demanding applications, and providers will need to intelligently and dynamically allocate it in order to make the best use of their networks' capacity. "What's required obviously is immense bandwidth, but also in the most cost-effective manner rather than giving the best possible treatment to all data," Weinman says.
"There are a lot of different things you can do that are a mix of endpoint, network and consolidated cloud services. It's going to take intelligence rather than some mythological infinite free capacity to make all that happen. And that's basically the premise; there's a need for intelligence in networks."