Candle CEO Envisions 'Ecosystem' Network

ASPs (application service providers) are barreling toward a future where their specialized services will evolve from smaller enterprise markets to play a bigger role in an integrated e-business "ecosystem" network comprised of trading exchanges and commerce providers, said Aubrey Chernick, CEO of network infrastructure and management Candle Corp.

During his keynote speech Wednesday here at the Network+Interop, Chernick predicted that an on-demand managed network will be developed in which ASPs and businesses can plug right into and register their services and needs, respectively. Built on a "business service automation" foundation, the resulting interconnectedness with hosting companies would make it easier for corporations to work with and test ASPs while also increasing production time value, he added.

However, to seize the potential of this "ecosystem," Chernick said enterprise network ASPs must invest attention in end-user response time and macro-level problem determination.

"How do you manage service levels that may result when you have different [interconnected] ASPs [with] different service level management requirements?" he asked. "[Once accomplished] the benefits are [that] we could create an adaptive network ecosystem also used for [tracking] ASP quality-of-service."

With a widely forecasted "ASP shakeout" looming over their shoulders, Chernick said ASPs must find new ways to increase availability and customization with enterprise customers who are reluctant to discard their heavily invested internal applications. Installing proper tracking techniques of end-user response time for enterprises compounds the dilemma, he added.

"I think [with] a lot of point solutions that have been put together, network latency is a problem," said keynote guest panelist Will Harvey, a spokesman for Basking Ridge, N.J.-based AT+T solutions group. "It creates a complex problem which includes server environments, network, Internet access and end-user configuration. End-user response-time is the key measure of what a user is seeing and what's the level of quality-of-service."

Chernick said a "constellation model" of service by ASPs might be the best option for enterprise users. His proposed model would keep an enterprise's core applications in-house while new and complementary solutions to those applications would be outsourced.