Ilissa Miller, CEO and founder of iMiller Public Relations and president of the Northeast DAS & Small Cell Association, discusses how cloud exchanges are changing the way businesses buy and manage their networks assets

Miller believes that the rapid pace of technological innovation is creating a major challenge for companies in how they deploy and secure networks. In-house teams can work very well but are limited due to a work environment that naturally points their focus internally.

On the other hand, external consultants, firms and providers have a significantly clearer overall picture, with a view of the entire global infrastructure landscape. This includes opportunities available to companies, as well as those soon approaching.

External experts also have their ears to the ground when it comes to the latest security initiatives designed to protect company assets. Ensuring a business is utilising the right solutions – whether it be an MPLS network, or more recently SD-WAN or a cloud platform – can sometimes be overwhelming, given the number of factors to consider.

The challenge of choice in network assets

This plethora of choices means that buying and managing network assets has been a huge challenge for companies – those choosing which way to spend their cash have previously had to consider many factors; whether to go direct, through a web hosting provider, an IX operator and network provider, and so on.

Now, says Miller, cloud exchanges ‘take all of these options and bundle them in one location to one platform.’ Through one interconnection, companies can design their network and divide bandwidth into a variety of services.

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It is possible, Miller states, to allocate a certain amount of bandwidth for public internet, private network solutions (even SD-WAN), direct access to cloud services (privately and more securely), ability to peer, direct network connectivity to multiple locations and dynamically change all of this based on customer demand.

She acknowledges that this may sound like a panacea, or a ‘magic wand’, but states that this is not the case. Companies still have to identify the best solutions for their own particular challenges. They also have to learn how to procure solutions more effectively and then continue to manage them in the most efficient way possible.

Cloud exchanges help companies understand their utilisation, network quality, dynamic change capabilities, as well as ensuring provider SLAs are adhered to

It can be easy and tempting for organisations to rest on their laurels and work only with a single provider, especially if they have all of the solutions delivered through a single provider. Miller argues that this can be dangerous as a single provider should never replace continuation of knowledge, additional solutions.

Cloud exchanges as a networking solution

As well as this, it’s important to ensure that the company is always in control rather than the provider. Despite these issues, she maintains that cloud exchanges could be part of a networking solution for many companies.

This is because of the increased visibility, control, and accountability that cloud exchanges provide. This helps companies understand their utilisation, network quality, dynamic change capabilities, as well as ensuring provider SLAs are adhered to.

Speaking on the broader effect that cloud exchanges can have on a company’s digital transformation roadmap, Miller sees the ultimate impact coming down to the experience of the end user. She believes that cloud exchanges will provide end users with more visibility and control in their networks while simultaneously making providers more accountable.

In the broader telecoms industry, Miller sees huge developments. As well as cloud exchanges, software-defined networking (SDN), if it delivers on its promises, can potentially play a huge role in the transformation of network management, and ultimately, can change the way we do business.


CLS_CEEF_Date_DE_2017_CMYKIlissa Miller will be speaking at the forthcoming Cloud Expo Europe, Frankfurt, 28th and 29th November 2017 at Messe Frankfurt. To hear from Miller and other cloud computing experts from around the world, register today for your FREE ticket.