The Hybrid Cloud

By: Indranil Chatterjee, Sr. Vice President of Products, Sales & Marketing, Enea Openwave

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Indranil Chatterjee
Indranil Chatterjee, Sr. Vice President of Products, Sales & Marketing, Enea Openwave

The cloud has attained new heights. Large numbers of enterprises have turned to online cloud services operating across multiple data centers, both on premise and in the hybrid cloud. However, competition is fierce as tech giants that dominate enterprise cloud also moving in on LTE and 5G.

Mobile operators do have some important advantages over the web hyperscalers. Many enterprises have a deep-seated resistance to the way the tech giants have traditionally targeted, isolated and locked-in customers. Many prefer a neutral third-party, such as a telecom operator to offer a comparable, hybrid cloud that optimizes access across AWS, Salesforce, Azure and the rest, while delivering best-of-breed solutions. It provides the latest and greatest functionality in a timely manner – and operators can gain a competitive advantage.

Gaining a competitive edge requires operators to leverage the low latency and dynamic service enablement of 5G at the same time as promoting the hybrid-cloud approach that the overwhelming majority of enterprises want. The cloud data management solution, Stratum does exactly this. Stratum’s capabilities include being operational across data siloes whether the customer has one data center, multiple data centers or multiple clouds. It has already been deployed by two of the world’s largest mobile operators in North America and Europe, together covering over 260 million subscribers. Stratum provides complete flexibility to manage cloud data with no vendor lock-in and handles structured and unstructured data.

Hybrid cloud – the silver lining

As we head into the 5G era, many operators have good reasons to consider hybrid cloud solutions. For a start, hybrid cloud is foundational to enabling 5G private enterprise networks, which are among the early use cases for 5G.

Hybrid cloud deployments allow for increased flexibility for varying provisioning requirements. They also enable a faster, more agile approach to data availability, enabling operators to partner with others and share relevant data instantly. This is proving particularly valuable in shoring up the mobile edge computing (MEC) partnerships that hyperscalers are also racing to secure.

While multi-cloud solutions can deliver more flexibility and better value, operators need to be mindful of the challenges inherent in such environments. Mobile operators should ensure they retain the ability to update data models and retain control of the data. Efficiency is key when it comes to resource orchestration and data replication across multiple environments. Avoid being tied to any one specific vendor. Thanks to 3GPP’s Release 16, vendor lock-ins should soon be a thing of the past, thanks to 5G.

Once in a generation opportunity

5G represents a tectonic shift for operators and presents a strategic and business opportunity like never before. Mobile operators have advantages over the dominant cloud computing platforms, but a coherent approach to data management is critical. Hyperscaler hybrid-cloud environments can enable innovation and scale but should also be considered from the perspective of data management, orchestration, APIs and long-term operation. There are important lessons to consider when deploying hybrid cloud environments and choosing partners and for mobile operators the stakes couldn’t be higher.