Len Padilla, NTT Europe Q&A: Giving control of the network to the customer

08 October 2014 |

On the back of today’s announcement from NTT Communications, Capacity caught up NTT Europe’s VP of product strategy Len Padilla to learn more about the service.

What changes has NTT Com made to its enterprise cloud platform?
We have added a few new features to our enterprise cloud platform, which are going to start allowing customers to manipulate network components through the portal.

The governing idea is taking the same level of customer control and automation that we have on the compute side, and letting them have that on the network side.

What control does this offer customers of the network?
There are three specific things we are doing. The first is enabling customers to manipulate the global VPNs on the private NTT network. These are the VPNs that connect in to their enterprise cloud environment, and define the routing that governs the traffic flow.

The second is on the public internet side, where we are allowing customers to manipulate and change the bandwidth available to their site on the internet. There are a few different options, from lower bandwidth all the way up to 1GB guaranteed.

The last is the ability to create and manipulate virtual networks within the cloud networking environment. So customers will basically be able to change and manipulate the VLANs which stitch together the different interfaces of the servers or keep them apart.

So it is giving more power to the customer to tailor the cloud service to their requirements?
Exactly. Until now, the network side has been a lot more static in many cloud environments. So adding networks and VPNs, or changing the connectivity to the internet or the virtual networks within the cloud data centre, it involved people and time. It was taking many days to make all those network changes. We are reducing that from days to minutes, via the portal.

What other benefits is it bringing to customers?
On the one hand it’s bringing straight agility. They are no longer having to request those network changes, it is instant. A lot of our customers operate a hybrid cloud model, and have some things on their own premises or in co-location. And so the ability to manipulate the VPN, for example, gives them the ability to tie together all those elements of hybrid computing on their own time scale.

On the public network side it is about scaling to meet the technical requirements. So if they have a retail side, and they are expecting a lot more traffic, they can obviously increase this accordingly. And likewise, when that event is over, they can scale back and control their costs.

Does this move tap in to the SME market at all?
I think the financial side is definitely interesting to all sizes of customers, especially the small ones. What we have heard from our customers in the past is that the ability to pay for everything as you go is attractive, but a surprise bill isn’t. This provides the ability to cap costs and have predictable billing.