It is imperative to put forth a word on OPEX. Cloud OPEX can be saved by focusing on one or more of the following issues: energy efficiency, footprint of the solution, optimally loaded CPUs, keeping data in lower-layer format, and availability of resources for traffic churn (capacity planning). There are issues such as security and interoperability that continue to evade a critical mass of support. Another aspect of cloud computing is private clouds vs. public clouds. As the name suggests private clouds are within the privy of an enterprise domain, while public clouds have universal membership.

Conclusions and Future Challenges Clearly, there is a need for a cloud- control- plane that enables greater control over the consolidation-virtualization- orchestration paradigms. We should also acknowledge that cloud computing is possible because of virtualizations in the control plane, the data plane, and the management plane. We should also understand network characteristics that must be preserved, and in certain cases highlighted, when the network is an integral aspect of a cloud. Latency and jitter are of paramount importance, especially when clouds are designed for real-time transactions. What is more important is to create a dual interface (for the user and the network) for application aware communication. The generality of the user demands is an impediment to such a control interface. A user-definable application oriented universal language like UML (but with advances) needs to be rapidly standardized so that applications control the underlying network, not just for passage of data but for more cloud-like tasks such as virtualization, consolidation and orchestration. The control plane must be automated to achieve scale, for which universal acceptance is mandatory. So while cloud computing may be the merger of IT and communications, it would be telecommunication- heavy, following the path of heavy standardization.

This article was written by Ashwin Gumaste, Ph.D., Visiting Scientist, MIT (Cambridge, MA), and Tony Antony, Sr. Marketing Manager, Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA). For more information, contact Dr. Gumaste at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Mr. Antony at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit