As customer demands and competitive pressures have grown, telecommunications service providers (SPs) around the world are continuing their march towards digital transformation. This includes taking advantage of private, public, and hybrid clouds, along with technologies that allow SP customers’ business-critical applications to be portable across all the different clouds they manage. In a recent interview with TelecomTV, Ranga Rangachari, Red Hat’s VP & GM of storage and hyperconverged infrastructure, discussed the need for portability and scale-out storage in this hybrid cloud environment, and how Red Hat is helping SPs tackle these challenges with software-defined infrastructure (SDI).

According to Ranga, the hybrid cloud elevates the importance of SDI.  Telco SPs need to “provide their customers a unified way on how the applications can be portable across the private cloud as well as public clouds,” Ranga explained in the interview. “They are trying to move from an asset-heavy to asset-light model. To their customers, they need to provide time to value. How quickly can they get infrastructure up and running, and more importantly, does the vendor or partner they work with have a strong ecosystem of partners to help them have a complete solution?” These are key ingredients for SPs, according to Ranga.

Many SPs also have large volumes of rich media to deliver to their constituents, especially as the lines between telcos and cable companies blur, and this makes storage important. As Ranga noted, SDI is made up of software-defined compute, software-defined networking, and software-defined storage—which correlate with processing, moving, and storing data. “Having a true SDI is important for providers to be successful in this journey,” he said. Hyper-converged infrastructure allows SPs to have both compute and storage on a single platform, which can reduce costs and the overall footprint, and improve manageability.

Ranga pointed out just how important storage, and the management of that storage, has become to SPs. “[They] are not talking gigabytes or terabytes, they are talking about hundreds of petabytes or even exabytes of data,” he said.

“They need one single backbone of storage where it all gets stored and delivered…. It really calls out why it’s very important to have a scale-out storage. Because these CSPs are not talking about gigabytes or terabytes of storage, they’re talking about hundreds of terabytes or even petabytes of storage and the only way they can tame that storage beast is to have a true software-defined, but a scale-out, storage implementation. That’s what Red Hat brings to the table.”

We encourage you watch Ranga’s complete interview on how hybrid cloud elevates importance of true software defined infrastructure.