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More Infrastructure Support for CyberCarriers

Written By: A. Turner
Published On: June 27 2000

More Infrastructure Support for CyberCarriers
A. Turner - June 27, 2000

Event Summary

On May 31, 2000, Lucent Technologies' NetworkCare Professional Services and IBM Global Services announced an alliance to help an emerging group of service providers, called CyberCarriers, deliver next-generation network-based services to enterprises and consumers.

The alliance, combines IBM's expertise in integrated technology solutions, especially data center planning, design, integration and technical support, with Lucent's expertise in planning, design, integration and technical support of complex, carrier-grade network infrastructures.

The announcement is the first step in a CyberCarrier initiative by Lucent Technologies to help ensure design and delivery of end-to-end network and Internet data center solutions for CyberCarriers.

CyberCarriers are service providers who offer a combination of high speed networking and data center services, including servers, storage and network transport, to Application Service Providers, Internet Service Providers, web hosting companies and others. Those companies in turn sell services, such as hosted e-mail or e-commerce to enterprise and residential customers.

Lucent has also developed a CyberCarrier Reference Architecture which defines the network and data center elements required to deliver services. The architecture, a blueprint for building end-to-end CyberCarrier networks, is the framework for the services alliance.

The alliance will draw on the CyberCarrier Reference Architecture in developing customer solutions. The companies will take advantage of multi-vendor products to fulfill customer requirements. Offerings will include these solution areas:

Business Planning Solutions: develop business and technology strategic road maps that help CyberCarriers enter and expand into new businesses, and grow revenues

Platform and Application Management: develop and support platforms and applications that help ensure rapid expansion of markets such as e-commerce, unified messaging and hosting

Engineering Solutions: best practices for selecting and deploying high-performance, high availability solutions in networking hardware, software and transport services in order to speed network applications to market

Security Solutions: security for continuous e-commerce applications, as well as threat monitoring, intrusion detection, and firewall management through 7 x 24 remote security operations

Performance Solutions: desktop-to-server performance assessment services and instrumentation tools to tune data centers and networks to meet Quality of Service (QoS) metrics, service level and application level commitments

Site Operations and Facilities: build, operate and manage CyberCarrier network operations centers, data centers, network facilities and local or remote network maintenance centers to keep a network running at peak performance

Solution Integration: prime contractor project management covering all components of a multi-vendor CyberCarrier solution

Market Impact

Booz Allen & Hamilton, the management and technology consulting firm, estimates CyberCarriers could spend $133 billion on data center and network infrastructure improvements during the next three years, about half of that for professional services.

The IBM and Lucent alliance confirms the Telecom industry's endorsement of the Application Service Provider model. The move to establish infrastructure mechanisms to support data center and network offerings is not new. In February, AT&T announced their "Ecosystem" (see our article: "AT&T's Ecosystem") which offers companies a suite of solutions from AT&T, Cisco, Sun, Hewlett-Packard, EMC and others. In May, MCI announced their "generation d" initiative to help companies develop and enable their "e-capabilities." (see our article: "MCIWorldcom: It's not an age, it's an attitude"). With Lucent, AT&T and MCI offering infrastructure initiatives CyberCarriers have more choices in this evolving market.

User Recommendations

As stated in our previous articles, these offerings are attractive. Each carrier offers a unique mix of partnerships/alliances which include marketing opportunities, hardware solutions and network architectures. Application Service Providers (ASP) and Internet Service Providers (ISP) have more choices.

Understanding the needs of your organization and the offerings of each program is tantamount. Most obvious is the need to identify your organization's relative strengths and utilize one or more of these companies to bolster your service at its weakest point.

In an era where "web tone" (much like "dial-tone") reliability is a strict requirement, these organizations have assembled unique offerings to support many types of companies. We recommend identifying the specific needs of your organization, determine how well each infrastructure offering satisfies your entire solution then use the data to compare and contrast. While one company may best fit your solution they may only satisfy a percentage of your overall needs. Negotiate wisely.

 
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