Virtualizing Networking and the Cloud Corporation

“The truth is, in 10 years, you’re not going to have highly skilled, highly paid people working with networking hardware.”.

via Mavericks Invent Future Internet Where Cisco Is Meaningless | Wired Enterprise |

In a fascinating article (sent to me by Ayesha Khanna – thanks) Wired’s Cade Metz explores the growth of a company which abstracts and virtualises networks through software.

Why is this interesting to me? Because I have argued that as cloud computing moves the data-centre from inside organisations to the cloud we are likely to see cloud ecosystems emerge in which companies integrate cloud provided services to create new forms of potentially more collaborative organisations – something I termed “the cloud corporation”. For example a drinks company and ice-cream company might integrate element of their cloud based EPR systems to develop and sell a new type of iced drink. But achieving this would require relaxations in their security and networking – the cloud based ERP sits in the public internet, and users must leave the corporate network to interact with the ERP.

However virtualising the network suggests the opportunity to dynamically create a new type of  network, flexibly created in software, which integrates elements of the ice-cream, drinks and EPR companies networks into a wholly private -albeit virtualised – network shared between them all. Significantly achieving this would be a simple reconfiguration of the network software of these companies – rather than involving the installation and messy configuraiton of VPN appliances, and various routers etc.  Creating new types of collaborative businesses is thus all about the configuration of cloud-based software… no hardware involved.  One step on the way to a kind of plug-and-play corporate collaborative arrangements.

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