Valovic on Virtualization

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Telecom and Virtualization

Like riddles? Here’s one. What’s the connection between virtualization, Firedog, Verizon, and Nicholas Carr? In this and the next few blogs, I’m going to float a bit of a thought experiment and I hope you’ll find the outcome interesting. The terrain to be explored: the connection between telecom and virtualization.

Virtualization is usually thought of strictly in an IT context and even network virtualization falls into that category. But virtualization also has many linkages to the world of telecom even though some of them are still formative.

As a former IDC analyst, a large part of my practice focused on convergence. Just as there are many types of virtualization, there are many types of convergence. The one I’d like to focus on is what happening in the digital home.

Telecom giants like AT&T and Verizon have “quad play” strategies which involve providing TV, wireless and wireline phone service, and Internet access to consumers. In this context, ATT has something called a “3 screen strategy” which involves the PC as well.

Cable companies are following suit. When one of these companies successfully starts to succesfully integrate these offerings (and most are still not there yet) you start to get something like the notion of a utility service like water or electricity. That’s where Nicholas Carr comes in. Taking IT and computing to the next level in this way is something he’s been talking about for a while now.

Now take a step back and add another puzzle piece: the home PC. A telecom carrier could use desktop virtualization from a company like Desktone to provide desktop as a services or DaaS capability, adding one more important capability to the digital home on for the utility model and quintuple play in the bargain. Farfetched? Not at all – telecom carriers such as Verizon are already evaluating it. In my next blog entry, I’ll talk more about how this could happen and suggest some future scenarios.

Posted by Tom Valovic on 05/22/2008 at 12:49 PM


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