Cloud-first, and even cloud-only, is replacing the defensive no-cloud stance that dominated many large providers in recent years.
Today, most provider technology innovation is cloud-centric, with the stated intent of retrofitting the technology to on-premises.
According to Gartner, by 2020, a corporate ‘no-cloud’ policy will be as rare as a ‘no-internet’ policy is today.
In South Africa, more and more businesses have taken their office applications to the cloud, such as email and customer relationship management systems, according to SS Telecoms.
The telecommunications provider believes that networking infrastructure is the next cloud trend given cloud computing’s ability to provide a myriad of vital services for businesses, ranging from simple data storage to advanced computing on virtual machines.
SS Telecoms has launched Zyxel Nebula in South Africa – a fully cloud-based solution to centrally manage all Nebula wireless, switch and security device which enables customers to view and manage their entire network across multiple sites in one secure online platform. Alternatively, they can hand over control to their reseller partner.
“As South African companies become more confident about the savings, security and flexibility offered by the cloud, they are favouring cloud-based solutions over traditional local server solutions. They see the benefit of being able to set up, maintain and troubleshoot multiple networks remotely through cloud-managed network solutions,” says Herman Bosman, SS Telecoms product manager.
Being fully cloud based, Nebula allows any size reseller to mass manage multiple sites on-demand and easily replicate multi-site configurations. The flexible licensing model will enable resellers to move to a managed service provider (MSP) model, with a concentration on continuous delivery of service rather than a one-off set up fee.
For the customer, Nebula removes the burden of complicated product pricing and upgrades, complex installs and technical expertise. It brings fully featured cloud wireless to SMBs who have previously been priced out of the market.

The new Layer 2 Nebula Cloud-Managed PoE Switches are feature-rich Layer 2 switches that can be completely managed from the Nebula cloud. The cloud-based management interface provides site-wide configuration and monitoring on all ports, which allows multiple switches to be configured at the same time with a single click over web.
“Zero-touch deployment is important to users and is achieved by automatically downloading network configurations and enabling auto-provisioning. This eliminate the need for on-site network professionals,” says Bosman.
Featuring a high power budget of 375 watts, the Nebula switches make it easy and convenient to deploy PoE-enabled devices such as access points, IP cameras, and VoIP phones. The switches leverage advanced capabilities to maximize network stability and incorporate Quality-of-Service functionality to ensure optimal performance for critical applications.

Control centre
The Nebula Control Centre gives centralised control over all Nebula wired and wireless networking devices from a single pane of glass, from any device. “Nebula simplifies your business infrastructure and gives you site-wide summaries and an intuitive interface,” explains Herman.

Mobile app
Nebula Mobile offers a fast approach to network deployments and management. Using the QR code scanner, a large number of devices can be registered on Nebula Control Centre at once. It is available for iOS in the App Store and Android in the Google Play Store.
Bosman says that Nebula is ideal for businesses with several satellite sites, including hotels, chain stores. “It is also suitable for those with multiple offices, who often find the management of multiple networks challenging due to limited technical expertise and limited IT staff spread thinly across venues,” he concludes.