The Role of the Network in Cloud Service Delivery: Building it Right


No matter how companies consume cloud services — either as software, platform, infrastructure or applications — service delivery will continue to be essential to the success for all Cloud Service Providers (CSPs).



Enterprises are turning to the cloud more than ever, and that trend is accelerating. According to Gartner, cloud infrastructure and services will make up the bulk of new IT spend by 2016. The firm believes nearly 50% of large enterprises will be deploying hybrid cloud architectures by the end of 2017. IDC reports that spending on public IT cloud services should surpass $107 billion in 2017.

IDC expects public IT cloud services to drive 17% of overall spend on IT products, and nearly half of all growth across five technology categories: applications, system infrastructure software, Platform as a Service (PaaS), servers and basic services.

No matter how companies consume cloud services — either as software, platform, infrastructure or applications — service delivery will continue to be essential to the success for all Cloud Service Providers(CSPs).

The quality of service delivery has direct implications on a number of parameters:

  • USER EXPERIENCE This is probably the most critical aspect of successful cloud service delivery. After all, if the user does not have a good experience, the service will not be successful.
  • APPLICATION PERFORMANCE How well does the application perform? Are there issues with latency, access or usability?
  • ADDRESSABLE MARKET Cloud suggests a geography-neutral model. The service provider should be able to reach a wider market, and take advantage of more revenue-generating opportunities, constrained only by service scalability and performance capabilities.
  • CUSTOMER ACQUISITION AND RETENTION User experience, application performance and reach all play into customer acquisition and retention, and impact churn.
  • REVENUE Scalability, reach and ease of consumption all affect service adoption and, ultimately, profitability.

To optimize performance in each of these areas, users and buyers should source their cloud-computing needs with reliable, flexible, scalable, secure CSPs. CSPs must, in turn, make informed choices when building out their cloud delivery infrastructure, so that they can serve their customers more effectively.

In this paper, we examine key business and technology considerations for CSPs, and how CSPs can optimize their service delivery strategy. Specifically, we will discuss the role of the network in cloud service delivery, and the importance of proximity to improving user experience, application performance, reach and revenue.

Introduction  3
Cloudy With A Chance of Proliferation  4
Change Brings Challenges  5
A Closer Look At Proximity  7
Why Proximity Matters So Much  8
User Experience  8
Application Performance  8
Addressable Market 8
The Four Classes of Applications  9
Make It Reliable and Secure 9
Interconnected Cloud Advantage 10
The Bottom Line Is Your Bottom Line 11


Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) operates a global interconnection platform of more than 200 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers in 52 markets in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific. Our mission is to protect, connect and power the digital economy.
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