Sramana Mitra: Let me ask you a question about that. You gave the example of Adobe or Autodesk, right? These are media or CAD tool vendors, and typically CAD files or video files that are being edited are extremely heavy files. So, people tend to not edit these files in the cloud; they tend to edit them in their desktops. Is that changing?
Willie Tejada: I think it is the next wave of requirements and opportunity for optimization of those classes of applications. If you think about the use case for the collaboration apps, group editing of a document or even the usage of collaboration tools and communication tools, whether there be something like Adobe Breeze, WebEx or for that matter, Office Communicator, I think these are the types of next generation applications that, again, traverse over the private and public network infrastructures that will be the applications to optimize as we move forward in the cloud.
You bring up a very good point: People want to move to a collaborative environment. I know that most of the customers that we talk to, especially in those Global 3000s, they believe that they have what Jeffrey Moore, who is a board member for Akamai, is saying.
He has done talks recently on systems of record versus systems of engagement. I think there is a common thought in many enterprises that they have the systems of records figured out in terms of performance and delivery. While there are challenges, for the most part, they know that they have optimization, hardware software, and architectures that they can put forth to make those systems of record actually work.
Now, I think there are new challenges when you bring in what we have called the hybrid cloud network where the systems of record now traverse over the public and private network infrastructure. But again, I think many of those challenges are at least known, and you can throw existing technologies that are revolving at it.
The challenge comes when with these new class of applications where someone takes communication applications or what Jeffrey has called the systems of engagement. The root of it is there is so much power in this new wave of computing that is part of what might be called the consumer. Sramana, if you take a look at what you or I can do as a consumer, when we are looking at pricing reviews, looking up a person whom we may have known in high school, the services available to the consumer are so powerful.
One of the things that is interesting is Jeff’s question: How can I be so powerful as the consumer but so limited as an employee? What will come about in this cloud computing collaboration apps is try to build that power over consumer actually into the enterprise, so that you have that same level of power available to you as an employee. That will take solving the challenges of these communication apps. When you talk to these people about whether they have their arms around the needs of the IT infrastructure on the network side and security side, and it needs to diversify to the public and private Internet in the private networks for the collaboration side. They do not nearly have as much control over or insight on the impact of those applications as they do on the systems of records.
That is when they believe how do I bring video, real-time voice, how do I bring collaborative and document sharing, and what impact will that have over my private network when its much less my public network access when they are using shared infrastructure here. They are not nearly as grounded in it in an area.
It is still evolving. When I talk to many of my customers about their strategies for how they bring this collaborative apps online, they are all trying to get to a footprint of scale. In some cases they may have Cisco Telepresence in a handful of large offices, and they might try to be using Microsoft’s Link as a means of scale to get to every user in one of the footprints. What they are looking for is how to make this work over the public and private network infrastructure with much of the stuff, when it is shared, existing in the cloud.
So, I think there is an evolution from solving what has been a traditional network architecture, what we know in terms of the optimization of application and network protocols for the systems of record, and that in many cases we’re experiencing explicit challenges that the collaboration applications will have on those networks we just got done designing for the systems of record. The pressures on that infrastructure as enterprises try to move in between the public and private network environment will vary dynamically.
SM: At what level do you solve this problem? I have had a number of conversations with the CIOs of large enterprises, and collaboration has come up. Collaboration seems to be one of the greatest adoption areas of the cloud. It’s one of the places where there is immediate leverage. There is a lot of video conferencing. Given there is so much globalization, right now there are lots of video conferencing and WebEx types of web conferencing functionalities, and so on.
There is even fusion between video and web conferencing. We use technology in One Million by One million called Vivu.tv, and they have a multi-skin of video sharing with slide sharing, public chat, and everything. I would say it is a highly scalable technology that use on a regular basis almost at a consumer level.