Operators know it all too well: streaming video, cloud computing, the Internet of Things and the evolution to 5G place massive pressure on today's networks, requiring capacity increases by orders of magnitude and the ability to respond to even greater unpredictability in traffic patterns. The optical network sits at the heart of communications, connecting people, data centers and an increasing number of devices across any distance, from next door to an ocean away.
With both the cloud and the IoT coming to dominate the enterprise data environment, the need to push connectivity across greater distances becomes paramount.
Recently, numerous platforms and service offerings have that aim to forge tighter links not only between remote data centers, but between individual server and storage components within those data centers. Ultimately, the aim is to produce a single federated ecosystem that spans local, co-located and cloud-based infrastructure, all defined on an abstract, virtual layer to achieve limitless flexibility and scalability.
This requirement for high-bandwidth services comes particularly from cloud service providers, who seek both higher bandwidth networking and software defined network-enabled connectivity solutions. Data center-based traffic is expected to nearly double by the end of the decade, growing to 20.6 zettabytes in 2021 from 11.6 zettabytes in 2017, with the cloud accounting for 95% of this traffic, according to Cisco's Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2016-2021.
The significant escalation in enterprise traffic is manifest in enterprises' migration of IT to public data centers and cloud services, driving demand for cloud connect services and increasing Ethernet service bandwidth by close to 30% annually, Coriant found.
Advances in Ethernet switches drives the data center interconnect (DCI) market, reports research firm Ovum. The 100Gbit/s equivalent DCI market will enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 56% between 2017 and 2021, driving the need for low cost 100Gbit/s over single lambda (wavelength) solutions, Ovum found. At the same time the industry will start adopting higher speed 400Gbit/s links also using single lambda technology. As 400G switches enter the market, optical transceivers must keep pace and rapidly transition to 400Gbit/s.
Platforms built specifically for high capacity interconnects address the need for incredible speed and massive density. These platforms deliver up to 400Gbit/s per wavelength "with a server-like operational model, giving operators a vital new tool for increasing capacity" says Kent Jordan, advisor of Technology Marketing at Ciena, in a company blog. "Enterprise, government and research and education (R&E) customers are applying these platforms and leveraging them in capacity-exhausted connections all across the network, increasing bandwidth across congested links in hours while saving tens of thousands of dollars."
Not surprisingly, 5G will be a huge driver for the next round of innovation in optical transport over the next two to four years.
5G will require 10- to 1000-times the bandwidth used for LTE today in a given service area so providers will no longer be able to dedicate and overprovision capacity, says an Ekinops spokesman. Because 5G networks will be more distributed and must support different applications in diverse network segments, optical networks must provide flexible, on-demand bandwidth that operators can quickly spin up and down to meet service level agreements for uptime and quality of service, he noted.
Ahead of NGON & DCI Europe 2018, we present a series of three reports diving deeper into the state of the next generation optical networking market as technologies and deployments ramp up from 100Gbit/s to 400Gbit/s and beyond.
— Adrian Pennington is a journalist and editor specializing in the creation, business and technology of moving image media. Published in The Guardian, The Financial Times and The Hollywood Reporter, he also copy writes a range of marketing materials for brands and marketing agencies. Follow Adrian on Twitter at @pennington1; on LinkedIn at Adrian Pennington.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.