The telecom industry continues to undergo significant transformation, with another year of rapid change in 2016. We saw multiple service provider mergers and acquisitions, while new services and technologies emerged – 5G, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and more. Amidst these changes, some fundamental trends continue—bandwidth demand keeps increasing and cost pressure remains high. Network operators are responding to these changes by streamlining their infrastructures to the simple Layer C (cloud services) and Layer T (intelligent transport) model, virtualizing as many network functions as possible in Layer C by taking advantage of nearly unlimited low-cost compute available in data centers worldwide to move to a simpler and more scalable Layer T optical network for moving bits between data source and sink.
As this generational shift in network architecture evolves, we are witnessing a striking change in Layer T traffic patterns. For example, on trans-Atlantic links, private traffic, mainly between data centers, is growing at more than double the rate of overall public internet traffic. This web scale private traffic requirement is typically at rates of N x 100 Gb/s, often characterized as “elephant flows,” and results in more linear traffic patterns. The network infrastructure serving this demand needs to be cost-optimized for this sort of traffic pattern, and takes its cues from web scale infrastructure used by internet content providers – it needs to be scalable, disaggregated and open.
Meanwhile, the public internet user-to-data center traffic requirement is more mesh-oriented, consisting of a multitude of “mice flows” that connect to and from businesses, cell towers, Wi-Fi hot spots and broadband internet connections. (more…)
Bandwidth demands continue to grow exponentially. Our customers, and their end-customers, consistently report the need to accelerate innovation cycles and reduce costs across targeted parts of their network infrastructures. One approach is to leverage open white box systems to drive further innovation and cost reductions. Over the past few years, hyperscale data center operators have applied this approach to the switching fabric inside their data centers, enabling the construction of switches with simpler feature sets designed for their data center network performance, scaling, cost, and power requirements.
A similar approach is now underway for optical transport; however, as one moves lower down the layers, the functions transition from digital to analog. (more…)
Director of Solutions and Technology
It is enlightening to consider how entertainment services have driven — and continue to drive — demand for higher data rates.
The first digital telephony service needed 56 or 64 kilobits per second (kb/s) of bandwidth, which is about the same data rate used by the earliest music streaming services. For comparison, let’s define that as a factor of 1.
A typical MP3 file is encoded at a 128 kb/s data rate, or a factor of 2. High-quality MP3 at 320 kb/s, is a factor of 5. So while the quantity of audio streaming and high-definition voice services might still drive growth in bandwidth demand, the quality won’t.
Advancements in video quality, by comparison, have really only just begun. Early internet video needed to be massively compressed to work with the dial-up services that were common at the time.
Standard-definition TV streaming at 480 pixels (480p) consumes 640 kb/s, or a factor of 10. But users soon began to demand better quality with high-definition television (HDTV), which requires 5 megabits per second (Mb/s), or a factor of 80. But this is only 720p, so there’s more to come.
Since the early days of the internet, the quality of the user experience for video has been limited by the speed of the network delivering it. In an apparent prediction of future broadband network requirements, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is suggesting that 25 Mb/s should be the national aspiration, which equates to a factor of 400. So does that data rate ensure that future services will deliver a high-quality user experience that won’t be limited by the network speed? (more…)
Sr. Director SDN Product Marketing, Sr. Director Corporate Marketing
Infinera will demonstrate the Xceed Software Suite, an open, software-defined networking (SDN) solution for network operators deploying programmable optical transport networks, at the MEF16 Proof of Concept Showcase in Baltimore November 7-9. The demonstration includes MEF-compliant Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) and on-demand Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE2.0) service creation using MEF 55 LSO application programming interfaces (APIs) to control next-generation SDN-enabled packet-optical networks using the Xceed Software Suite.
As the digital economy drives enterprises to adopt cloud-based architectures, they are pushing network service providers to rapidly deliver new services that connect businesses and consumers around the world. (more…)
Vice President, Marketing
At this point it has almost become an immutable law – that new applications will arise to consume bandwidth as fast as it can be delivered. More and more of those applications and the associated traffic exists inside and between the data centers of the large internet content providers (ICPs). Not only does this rapid bandwidth growth result in significant network investments, it exposes scaling and manageability challenges at both ICPs and service providers alike. At Infinera, our goal is to help our customers build, operate and grow these networks as smoothly and as cost-efficiently as possible.
Infinera pioneered the small-form-factor server-like dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) appliance with the Cloud Xpress, recently introduced the Cloud Xpress 2 and is a clear leader in building DWDM systems that deliver scale-out network architectures. With these credentials, it is no surprise that Infinera has played an active role in Facebook’s Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP). Given Infinera’s participation at TIP is multi-faceted, in this blog I am focusing on two important areas as we participate in the TIP Summit on November 1 and 2 at Facebook’s campus in Silicon Valley.
First, Infinera and Lumentum are jointly presenting to the Open Line System (OLS) Working Group on what we see as the key attributes of an OLS, areas of required industry collaboration and the essential open questions that need to be answered. (more…)
SDN Product Marketing, Sr. Director Corporate Marketing
Network planners across the globe are rethinking network architectures to accommodate the shift to software-defined networks (SDN). IHS Markit surveyed network operators worldwide and published the findings in their Carrier SDN Strategies Global Service Provider Survey in August 2016. One of the key takeaways is that 89% of global service providers are planning to deploy SDN by 2017. The survey found the key drivers of the move to SDN are service agility and automation. At Infinera, we hear echoes of these themes every day as we talk with customers deploying Intelligent Transport Networks.
There are several approaches to developing SDN solutions. One approach is to repackage proprietary network management software. Another approach gaining broad momentum is the use of open software as the foundation for these deployments. It is clear to us that network operators prefer open software solutions to control network elements from multiple suppliers to enable new services for business and consumers.
Want to learn more? Here are six ways to learn about the latest open SDN deployments and solutions: (more…)
Senior Director, Channel Sales
Infinera recently announced its new Partner Program, developed to provide our partners with the tools to win, while simplifying and accelerating the process of bringing innovative optical networking technology to market in order to quickly meet (and exceed) end-user demands. Built upon the premise of efficiency through simplicity, the program offers channel partners an application-optimized portfolio spanning access, metro, long-haul and subsea networks, while improving our partners’ ability to build and grow their businesses. Simplicity includes a focus on the ease of doing business and providing partners with the right tools to effectively build their knowledge, promptly resolve customer challenges and efficiently expand their market presence to deliver an exceptional experience to their customers.
Partner Portal 2.0: A key element of the program is the new Infinera Partner Portal, planned to be fully available to our channel partners in Q1 ’17. The program, through the portal, will provide our partners with leads, easy-to-find assets, and marketing and sales materials, while offering seamless navigation through Infinera’s other enablement functions, such as training and Marketing Development Fund (MDF) requests.
Over the past year, Infinera has conducted extensive research, evaluated half a dozen portal technology vendors and ultimately decided to choose a platform that was highly rated, and most importantly, gave us the ability to scale to meet the needs of our partners and their customers. This portal technology platform enables us to operate a state-of-the-art partner portal that makes it easier for Infinera and its global channel partners to do business together.
Benefits of the new portal include: (more…)