The server side of cloud computing already offers IT managers a large degree of flexibility. Enterprises can use self-service options and APIs (application programming interfaces) to customize server functions. However, network managers have far less control over network connections between users and cloud-based servers, according to Len Padilla, vice president of product strategy at NTT Communications.
With its upgrade to Enterprise Cloud, which has been live for about two-and-a-half years, NTT wants to change that. The upgrade lets network administrators increase or decrease the available bandwidth of connections to the cloud service, depending on the amount of traffic they expect at a given time. They can also set up VPNs among different sites on a self-service basis, according to Padilla.
"The big advantages with this are agility and speed," Padilla said.
The platform has had since its inception a network layer based on the OpenFlow communications protocol, which allows for a good deal of flexibility. Until now that flexibility has not been passed on to users.