Data Transfer Project could cut AWS cloud dominance – Equinix

Amazon’s cloud business, AWS, might be romping ahead of the pretenders in the market share rankings, but the progressing Data Transfer Project could see this lead eroded and the rise of more niche players.

In most sub-sectors of industry, the first to market usually commands a significant market share once the segment has been normalised. The vendor has an established business model, brand and customer base, however this dominance is usually eroded through competition over time. AWS’ position is standing the test of time, though Sachin Sony of Equinix believes the Data Transfer Project could lead to the end of this strangle hold.

“Interoperability between cloud environment will not only be beneficial to customers, but will open up opportunities for more niche providers to establish market share,” said Sony.

“Customers are now dictating the terms, changing the status quo. This is largely driven by the exponential growth in data, especially with IoT and big data, with customers now becoming the dictators on what cloud environment should look like.”

The Data Transfer Project is a collaboration between various organizations to build a common framework with open-source code that can connect any two online service providers, enabling a seamless, direct, user initiated portability of data between the two platforms. In short, it creates interoperability between the provider’s cloud environments to simplify the migration of data between one service and another.

Right now, migration is difficult, which has led to the dominance of the major cloud players. Companies like AWS secure a contract with an organization, but as migration is so difficult, customers are compelled to scale up with the same service. Customer retention becomes simpler, as the options to move are time consuming and expensive, meaning the larger organizations can spend more time securing more customers, who will grow, repeating the cycle.

While it does not sound like the end of the world, because of the difficulties in migrating data, niche service providers struggle to establish themselves. Sony suggested improving interoperability will allow for more resilient multi-cloud environments, where the hyperscale players can be used for more generic activities, and the niche players for more tailored and mission critical business processes. It might also encourage more organizations to transition more data to the cloud.

“When enterprises started moving to the cloud it was a great way to cut costs,” said Sony. “But companies did not think this through.

“When you go to a cloud based environment, you are making yourself captive of that vendor. It’s a very risky business model as it creates a single point of failure. When there have been outages, or the business expanded into new areas where that provider isn’t, complications arise. These organizations need diversification in their cloud environments. They need interoperability.”

Of course, whenever the customer starts dictating terms the big vendors tend to resist, and AWS is not an active contributor to the project at the moment. Why would it want to contribute to something which would destroy its dominant position in the industry? However, Sony thinks it is only a matter of time.

Interoperability is an attractive prospect for the customer as it offers security, resiliency and agility. Cutting costs is not the sole objective of the cloud-orientated business model anymore, therefore customers will look elsewhere at the expense of a couple of dollars should a provider not offer interoperability. It’s only a matter of time before AWS is forced into line.

This is not to say this project will cost AWS money. In theory, it should encourage more organizations to migrate data and more mission critical processes to the cloud, resulting in more business. But, this will be more business for everyone. Interoperability takes cloud from a specialist service to more of a commodity. The specialism will be creating unique and tailored environments, a service which will be offered by the smaller emerging players.

This project and the trend of interoperability will not cost AWS money, but it might cost it market share.

DT stretches the ‘world first’ claim pretty thin

Deutsche Telekom has claimed it has achieved a heavily qualified world first alongside partners Intel and Huawei, demonstrating interoperability in an operator lab.

With the jostling and chest pumping only getting louder and stronger ahead of next weeks’ MWC bonanza, it can only be expected operators and vendors will be looking for every column inch available. Interoperability is not necessarily a world first, but add on the ‘operator lab’ qualifier and all of a sudden DT are pioneers, venturing into the unknown digital worlds. Over the next couple of days perhaps you should expect to see the following world first announcements:

  • NR interoperability while everyone was wearing a watch
  • NR interoperability on Thursday afternoon
  • NR interoperability with a dog in the room

The test itself was based on Huawei’s 5G commercial base station and Intel’s third generation 5G NR Mobile Trial Platform (MTP), taking place in DT’s Bonn lab and then verified in Huawei’s Shanghai labs. The test validated various fundamentals of the 5G 3GPP NR standard including synchronization, coding, frame structure, and numerology components underlying the interconnection of the NR-compliant terminal and network.

The test configuration used by the trio is based on the largest C-band cell bandwidth defined by the 5G NR standard. It also incorporated Massive MIMO multi-antenna and beamforming technology enabled by the standard framework.

“After delivering leading contributions to the 3GPP’s work on 5G standards, Deutsche Telekom, Huawei and Intel moved swiftly to jointly achieve implementation progress through standards-based interoperability testing,” said Arash Ashouriha, SVP of Technology Innovation at Deutsche Telekom. “The successful testing in our 5G:haus operator environment is  another significant step on the path to 5G ecosystem maturity and early 5G commercialization.”

“The success of this testing in Bonn shows that Deutsche Telekom, Intel and Huawei continue to work closely to drive the commercial readiness of 5G NR,” said Yang Chaobin, President of Huawei’s 5G product line. “As the standard continues to be updated, Huawei will continue to work with all parties to step up additional interoperability tests and promote the 5G industry maturity process, and to welcome the arrival of the entire industry digitization.”

Nokia and Qualcomm boast about 5G NR device interoperability test

Nokia and Qualcomm have announced they have successfully completed an interoperability trial in the 3.5Ghz and 28Ghz spectrum compliant with the global 3GPP 5G NR Specification.

The trial made use of a commercially available Nokia AirScale base station and device prototypes from Qualcomm, making use of both traditional spectrum and the much hyped millimetre-wave frequencies, and is claimed to be some of the first steps towards the 5G dream. Consumer-ready 5G smartphones are not available yet, but we suppose it is a good thing to know they will work when they are available.

“The successful completion of an end-to-end interoperable connection based on the global 5G NR standard is a significant step on the path to launching 5G NR commercial networks and devices starting in 2019,” said Cristiano Amon, President of Qualcomm. “We look forward to further collaboration on standard-compliant field trials with Nokia and global operators on the path to commercialization.”

“These tests by Nokia and Qualcomm are important to the progress of 5G,” said Marc Rouanne, President of Mobile Networks.

“Importantly, they demonstrate how we have quickly applied the 3GPP Release 15 specifications that were set in December, and using our AirScale base station – which has been shipped to more than 100 customers – together with a prototype Qualcomm Technologies UE. Now, we can look forward to commencing standards-based, over-the-air 5G NR trials with operators.”

The tests took place in Nokia’s 5G centre of excellence in Oulu, Finland, and should form the basis of another round of trials to verify 5G NR technology over the next couple of months. While this is another incremental step in the race to 5G, the jostling is starting to get serious. It won’t be too long before 5G services and networks are available in United States, China, Japan and Korea.