Expects manufacturing and logistics sectors to be greatest adopters of cloud services
Cautions enterprises to 'proceed with stealth' in deploying cloud
HAVING recently announced the global availability of Enterprise Cloud, its virtualized Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering, NTT Communications has an aggressive expansion path in place to achieve its internal goal of becoming a global leader of ICT services by 2015.
In an email interview with Digital News Asia (DNA), Steven Neo (pic), executive director of the Global Business Solutions Division at NTT Singapore, said that in order to ensure the demands of global clients are met, the company has been expanding its infrastructure to improve delivery and operation capabilities.
“We expect robust growth to continue and have also been extending our geographical footprint to enable us to meet the increasing demands of our customers in the region,” he said.
“We currently have more than 140 data centers globally, of which more than 100 are located in Asia Pacific, so as to better cater to the growing needs of multinational corporations looking for a regional delivery platform in Asia Pacific to support their business expansion,” he added.
In line with these growth plans, over the past two years NTT has also opened additional offices in Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and some parts of Greater China.
When asked about its footprint in Malaysia, Neo said that the company has had a presence in Malaysia since 2002, with three data center facilities in Cyberjaya.
The latest is Cyberjaya 3 which is carrier neutral and built to a Tier III standard and adheres to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) design principals and standards for the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).
Neo said that the country’s strong infrastructure, large talent pool and good governmental support for infrastructure development were some of the factors which contributed to the decision to base some of its data center facilities in Malaysia.
“In addition, with Malaysia’s lower electricity rates and stable infrastructure, we felt that our Cyberjaya 3 data center would be an ideal remote back-up and offshore site for multinational companies setting up regional offices in Asia Pacific,” he said. The company has also built an NTT Com-operated annex building to provide customers the convenience of an on-site office space.
Stealth mode for SDN deployment
NTT’s Software-Defined Networking (SDN)-based Enterprise Cloud was initially launched via data centers in Japan and Hong Kong in June 2012. SDN is touted to reduce the cost of administering a network and increasing the speed and flexibility of its implementation.
However issues have been raised by analysts, such as the lack of open standards and the current status of having no clear definitions of exactly how SDNs are implemented.
According to Roy Illsley, principal analyst with Ovum, SDN has not even made it into the early adopter stage yet and while the technology in theory exists, more work on standards and communications is needed.
“At this early stage, the big challenge is to not get locked in or to select the wrong approach as the market will move very fast over the next two to three years,” he said. “It will take that long for the approaches of SDN to mature before customers have the confidence to implement the technology.”
When asked for his take on the issues concerning SDN, which forms a core component of NTT’s cloud offering, Neo concurred that SDN is still “in its evolutionary stage.”
“A word of caution to enterprises is to proceed with stealth. We have the relevant expertise and capability to offer and manage what is feasible at this stage of the technology,” he said.
He added that NTT’s network infrastructure and SDN enable users to adjust bandwidth transfer speeds and quicken transfer rates when performing data backup to another cloud data center.
The global telecommunications player seeks to position itself as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all enterprise cloud requirements, which he said goes with being able to deliver “utmost simplicity of operations and reliability through a single portal, without sacrificing performance.”
Some of NTT’s clients are already using the Enterprise Cloud platform, with Neo highlighting one in manufacturing which realized dramatic results after integrating systems, that had become scattered as a result of rapid globalization, to the cloud.
“After the integration, the client went from 1,700 servers to 500 servers and 500 virtual machines; from 200 locations with an on-premise system to 50; and from 20 network carriers to one,” he claimed, while declining to name the client involved.
Target clients for NTT currently comprises enterprises which seek enterprise-grade performance and security, together with flexibility for customized hybrid solutions; customers which require a service provider with a global presence; and commercial companies whose regional hubs are based in Singapore and are looking to consolidate their needs.
Neo also shared that the company foresees verticals such as manufacturing and logistics as being the greatest adopters, with others including the automotive industry and application providers.
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