By now, you would have heard all about the cloud, and how it’s going to change the way we store our information. Really, the term “cloud” is just a fancier name for the Internet, although you could argue that the cloud is the Internet reborn to provide services. What exactly does that mean though?Well, for larger MSOs, it means building data centers and selling internet-based services to commercial customers and residential subscribers. With the advent of the flexible office and a growing home-based workforce, maybe the cloud simply means that the home user’s data access patterns are changing. Peak hours used to be around breakfast, dinner, and mid-evening. Now that home-based workers are using cloud services, the load on the network will increase during what used to be considered off-peak times. Depending on the complexity of the applications used, and how well designed they are, this increase in network traffic could be significant. If we’re talking about thin, web-based client applications, then the increase should be negligible, but it could be much higher for applications like remote desktopping and teleconferencing.
These workforce changes require a reliable network. It’s one thing to have poor experience when visiting YouTube once in awhile, but when home users access corporate data and perform video-based interactions with clients or coworkers, then the provider must be able to offer proper quality of service. I think the cloud is one reason to improve quality of service monitoring throughout the day. It may also be an opportunity for providers to approach enterprises with enhanced services for their home-based workforce. Who knows? One thing’s for certain –– we can expect to see an increase in cloud-based services and the remote workforce in the future. Businesses are saving huge sums of money with teleworkers, and the workers are happier. We just have to make sure that they have the performance required to remain happy.