Least Cost Clouding

If you’ve spent time in or around the telecom industry, then you’ve inevitably heard the term ‘Least Cost Routing (LCR)’. If not, here you go:

Least Cost Routing (LCR) is the process of selecting the path of outbound communications traffic based on cost. Within a telecoms carrier, an LCR team might periodically (monthly, weekly or even daily) choose between routes from several or even hundreds of carriers for destinations across the world. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Least-cost_routing 

The method of LCR is a common practice among the telecom industry in an effort to drive down operating expenses but perhaps a newer, more modern term that you haven’t heard is Least Cost Clouding (LCC) – and that is because I just made it up : )

In all seriousness, the concepts of LCR will apply to cloud and with the cloudification of everything, including telecom, the process of selecting the underlying infrastructure provider based on cost to drive down cloud operating expense will eventually become a common practice as well. The (3) significant driving factors being:

  • Cloud competition driving down costs in an effort to obtain market share
  • The continuous migration from hardware-based to software-based components (in telecom those being media servers, SBCs, application servers, load balancers, etc.)
  • The access to, control of and flexibly with each component through an API-centric approach

Consider this, additional capacity is required to accommodate peak-hour traffic within a network – rather than default to a single cloud hosting provider, low-cost spare compute capacity (i.e., AWS spot, Google Cloud preemptible and Azure low-priority VMs) from each cloud provider are priced out. The networking component necessary for the additional capacity is hardware agnostic and can run on any hosted infrastructure, therefore your service selects which cloud provider the new instance will be launched with based on lowest cost.

The result is a fully-scalable, fully-elastic, hosted solution that is seemingly a hodgepodge of underlying infrastructure providers yet cost optimized to deliver the lowest operating expenses possible.

Now that is Least Cost Clouding!

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