ACG Research

ACG Research
We focus on the Why before the What

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Business Case for ActiveVideo's CloudTV

ActiveVideo has introduced CloudTV, a cloud-based approach to delivery of modern user interfaces and other applications. This cloud-based approach supports immediate delivery to all consumer devices and at much lower cost than set-top box-based (STB) solutions. The cloud-based approach eliminates the need to develop device-dependent software and application program interfaces (API) for devices, including several generations of STBs, media hubs, Blue-ray players, connected televisions, game consoles and personal media players. It also eliminates the need to undertake an expensive and time consuming program of replacing first-generation STBs.

ACG Research compared the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the immediate deployment of CloudTV to all consumer devices to a program of upgrading STBs to support a modern user interface. It found an 83 percent TCO savings over five years for CloudTV as compared to the STB replacement program. The analysis also tested the robustness of the TCO findings by performing a number of sensitivity studies. These studies found that the TCO savings of CloudTV are significant and extend well beyond probable operating conditions. 

Click here for more information about ACG's business case analysis consulting research service.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Optical Technology vs. Network Traffic Growth: SPs Face Challenge

Network traffic growth driven by widespread adoption of smartphones, tablets, video content, and cloud computing is exploding. Service providers' revenues are not keeping pace and, thus, the cost to support the traffic growth threatens service providers' operating margins. This threat is being neutralized in the optical transport sector by rapid technological progress and by intense competition among optical systems vendors. Click here to read more.

For more information about Michael Kennedy, click here.

Click here for more information about ACG's business case analysis consulting research service.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Worldwide Carrier Routing & Switching Market Decreases

The Worldwide Carrier Routing & Switching market decreased both quarter over quarter and year over year, 10.6% and 6.6% respectively, posting revenues of $2.6 billion in Q1. 

Although the US economy has improved slightly and there is an increase in global carriers’ CapEx, ACG Research anticipates that the service provider switching and router market will increase slightly in 2013. There are, however, some positive signs in the market; in EMEA, the Middle East and in some parts of Africa the growth is solid and expected to continue throughout 2013. 

Countries in Europe are still contending with floundering and unstable economies; organizations and governments have maintained persistence in their demands for changes in exchange for bailouts. For all vendors Europe and the public/government sectors continue to be challenging markets. Service providers in Europe have indicated that they need to spend on their networks or risk falling behind to competitors and ultimately becoming obsolete. Whether they will remains to be seen.

For more information about ACG Research's Router and Switching service or other syndicated and consulting services, contact

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hybrid Cloud Networks Face Challenges, but SDN May Be the Answer

While the potential benefits of running IT services in the cloud are clear, there are still important challenges to overcome before the full promise of elastic clouds can be realized. The nature of these challenges varies -- affecting cloud networks, compute resources and storage -- and perhaps the most critical place they must be addressed is in hybrid cloud deployments. 

Click to read ACG's cloud analyst Paul Parker-Johnson's SearchCloudProvider article.

Paul Parker-Johnson

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dell Strengthens Its Cloud Management Hand with Enstratius Acquisition

Among the cloud’s great promises are the lure of unmatched agility and scale delivering IT applications and services. Along with these great promises the cloud’s early days have also seen challenges handling governance of applications as they stretch dynamically across their virtualized infrastructures, and actually simplifying management of multitiered applications as they deploy across private and hybrid private/public clouds. A strong ‘felt need’ for simplified management of enterprise application portfolios across multiple supporting cloud service platforms has emerged. In fact, to realize the agility and scaling goals of the cloud across a whole portfolio of applications, providing that kind of consistent management for a heterogeneous mix of infrastructures is an essential tool for IT moving forward.

Recognizing this, as Dell has strengthened its hand for enabling its enterprise customers to meet these challenges of the clouds with its acquisition of Enstratius on May 6. Enstratius’ Cloud Management System brings a ‘cloud neutral’ approach to providing consistent governance and management to enterprise applications across a flexible mix of virtualized cloud environments in private and hybrid private/public deployments. Enterprises are able to leverage the capabilities of virtual data center management platforms from say, VMware and OpenStack and integrate them into a portfolio of applications managed from Enstratius’ CMS. If needs dictate the use of public clouds for overload computing, flexibly expanded development resources, or automated disaster recovery across applications, secure access to public cloud resources from, say, Rackspace, Azure, or Terremark services (to name a few) can be enabled from CMS via integrated functionality and APIs. The net effect is to introduce a layer of consistency in managing applications across the multiple virtual infrastructure platforms.

As enterprise customers, and service providers supporting them, address their need for consistent, scalable controls, and simplified management of applications across multiple participating clouds, a layer of management such as Dell’s newly acquired Enstratius CMS may provide an important building block in enabling the cloud’s potential. Kudos to Dell for perceiving the importance of this need, and bringing the Enstratius CMS into its menu of offerings for cloud IT.

For more information on ACG's cloud services and SDN services, contact

Paul Parker-Johnson

Friday, May 3, 2013

ACG Launches SDN Syndicated and Consulting Services

Software-Defined Networking is an approach to architecting networking equipment that fundamentally changes the way we design and build networks. Software-Defined Networking separates the control plane from the data plane in network switches and routers. The control plane is implemented in software on servers separate from the network equipment and the data plane is implemented in network equipment. OpenFlow is the leading API offered in the SDN architecture.

ACG Research's SDN Practice combines three of ACG Research's leading market syndicated services into one practice that is focused on service providers. Our forecast covers the controller market size and the impact it has on routers and switches. 

ACG’s syndicated and consulting services cover: Market Analysis, SDN Education, Business Case Modeling, Architectures and Recommendations.

For more information or to subscribe to the service, contact

Thursday, May 2, 2013

SDNs: Key to Accelerating the Adoption of Public Cloud-Based Services?

Today’s cloud-based services, while clearly ground-breaking, still have important gaps to fill, such as in the reliability and integrity of their service delivery infrastructures, or the degree of automation they use for activating and managing services, before the full promise of the cloud can be achieved.. While the baseline of many offerings is in place, many efforts to close these gaps are furiously underway.

Alongside the virtualized infrastructures of the cloud computing data center, an additional domain in which important progress remains to be made is in the quality, performance, and agility of the communication networks cloud providers leverage to deliver their offerings. As things stand today, many service offerings are limited in responsiveness, performance, and scale because of the limitations of the communication networks on which they are relying. The effects of the limitations vary by the operator’s location, operating model and asset pool. For example, cloud SPs running over the top of the Internet to their customers have a different set of issues to address than SPs offering cloud-based services on top of customer-connecting networks they already own. 

Stepping it up
Some steps have been taken to reduce the size of the gaps. For example, many operators have developed cloud VPNs that activate special properties for enterprises and over-the-top customers to improve their experiences. However, the agility of these offerings is constrained in many cases by the multivendor, multidomain nature of SPs’ infrastructures, and activating suitably powerful SLAs for both wireline and wireless customers still poses significant challenges.

Which brings us back to the essential question of this note: do SDNs present a special opportunity for operators to accelerate the success of their public cloud-based services? The short answer is, they may. A resounding yes will depend on how pervasively operators and suppliers embrace the paradigm, as along with the pace of their uptake.

Promises, promises
SDN has the potential to normalize templates for deploying a wide range of services on top of heterogeneous network infrastructures. In cloud-based services, one can easily imagine an SP constructing service templates for offerings it wants to support which could be overlaid consistently onto its underlying networks. In this mode, an SP could activate any cloud-based service it has on its menu from burst compute, storage archiving and cloud-based software development to distributed m2m and real-time conferencing on demand and without constraint. The templates would be consistent, and deployment could be achieved in any topology required.

Accelerating the path to the cloud
By leveraging this basic flexibility, software-defined networks could accelerate the feasibility, speed of deployment, and rate of acceptance of a broader range of cloud-based services than is achievable today. SDNs also have the additional virtue of each operator injecting its own differentiating value into its service offerings. 

If early implementations yield positive results, it will be clear SDNs have a role to play in accelerating the creation of superior clouds by removing barriers to achieving the agility customers expect before embracing the cloud-enabled world with confidence. The only remaining questions will be, by which operators, for which services and customers, and how fast?

For more information on ACG's cloud services and SDN services, contact

Paul Parker-Johnson

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Seven Myths of Machine to Machine

Interest in machine to machine has been gaining considerable momentum in both the press and industry and is expected to boost new productivity in many industries and require a new IT ecosystem. 

The interest in machine to machine (M2M), sometimes called the Internet of Things or IoT, is prompting a degree of hyperbole in the industry—as often happens with new technology. In addition to inflating expectations, too much hoopla can confuse the market and detrimentally overshadow some of the realities of drivers, adoption rates and addressable market size. In spite of the hype (which is typical in the early adoption cycle), M2M is a substantive technology transition that will create a new market and ecosystem. However, the industry needs a reality check related to the myths associated with M2M.

David Dines