NTT Communications is giving the power of choice to network administrators, releasing an upgrade for its Enterprise Cloud platform that will allow for on-the-fly changes to bandwidth capacity and VPN connections.
The server side of cloud computing already offers IT managers a large degree of flexibility. Enterprises can use self-service options and APIs (application programming interfaces) to customize server functions. However, network managers have far less control over network connections between users and cloud-based servers, according to Len Padilla, vice president of product strategy at NTT Communications.
With its upgrade to Enterprise Cloud, which has been live for about two-and-a-half years, NTT wants to change that. The upgrade lets network administrators increase or decrease the available bandwidth of connections to the cloud service, depending on the amount of traffic they expect at a given time. They can also set up VPNs among different sites on a self-service basis, according to Padilla.
"The big advantages with this are agility and speed," Padilla said.
The platform has had since its inception a network layer based on the OpenFlow communications protocol, which allows for a good deal of flexibility. Until now that flexibility has not been passed on to users.
The upgrade, however, is only a first step. NTT is adding features that users have asked for and will readily understand.
Control over bandwidth and VPN connections are the safest sort of features to give users as they get accustomed to self-service functionality, Padilla said. "Letting them manipulate more advanced quality of service features without understanding them well could potentially be dangerous to their sites," Padilla said.
Future upgrades may give users the ability, for example, to prioritize one type of traffic over another, according to Padilla.
There will be no charge for the new network control features and they can be accessed from NTT's management portal immediately, but organizations will have to pay if they increase the bandwidth.
NTT may not be a household name when it comes to cloud services, but the Enterprise Cloud platform is available in 11 countries and 12 data centers. NTT boasts a one-stop shop for cloud services, offerings its own networks and data centers as well as its cloud platform and technical support personnel.
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