VIDEO INTERVIEW: As mobile operators look to re-architect their networks to make them more agile and scalable, John Roese (pictured), CTO of data storage giant EMC, said doors are being opened for IT specialists.
“[Mobile operators] are deriving a lot of new technologies to build this next-generation framework from non-traditional sources, like the enterprise IT world where EMC has historically come from,” he told Mobile World Live in a recent interview.
Championing IT-as-a-service, Roese said there are only two things that will really matter for mobile operators in the future when it comes to network architecture – the actual infrastructure to support the mobility of users, and clouds where services are centralised.
“By centralising services you reduce the burden on the infrastructure by running most of the compute centrally,” he said. “You don’t have heavyweight apps on a mobile device – you have access to very complex and sophisticated cloud-based apps that are living in these data centres.”
In the past, said Roese, networks were pretty much about delivering connectivity at high speed. “But now, going forward, [networks are] looking to understand where customers are and what they are doing, and to present new services,” he said. “All of that requires the monetisation of information over an infrastructure.”
Roese argued that EMC, along with its associated companies, was well-placed to build the “complete IT stack” for mobile operators.
Aside from EMC, which is focused on data storage, VMware – a virtualisation company specialising in software-defined data centres – is part of EMC’s so-called ‘federation’. Other EMC ‘federation’ members are RSA (security architectures) and Pivotal (big data analytics).
“It’s a loosely coupled collection of companies that work together to build the complete stack but gives the flexibility [for customers] to choose best of breed,” said Roese. “If you tightly couple too much you lose the flexibility to adapt to the future.”
All four companies, said Roese, are “largely independent” and are free to pursue their own partnerships.
VMware demonstrated that freedom in spectacular style when it agreed in January to buy mobile security company AirWatch for $1.54 billion. “The deal gets us very heavily into mobile,” said Roese.