Analyst Reports

  • Architecting the New Metro Network for the Cloud Era  
    Metro networks are entering a period of profound change and disruption driven not only by the continued growth in metro IP traffic but, even more significantly, by the changing demands and requirements for network services driven by the cloud. The gap between the flexible and on-demand requirements of cloud applications and the static nature of today’s metro networks is unprecedented, and is leading network operators globally to radically re-think how networks are built and operated. In short, cloud services (Layer C) are the business drivers for metro network transformation, part of the intelligent transport (Layer T). While NFV will ultimately drive the virtualization of hundreds of network functions, not all functions will be virtualized. The job of the next generation metro transport network will be to combine state-of-the-art photonic innovations with the right mix of packet switching in order to support Layer C. Heavy Reading outlines the key building blocks for next generation metro networks in this whitepaper.
  • The New Simplified Network Model  
    Rapid network traffic growth is driving constant change in the infrastructure as operators strive to scale their networks to keep up with the growth. In addition to the capital expense of this infrastructure expansion, the network is becoming more complex, which has led operators to employ the IT tool of virtualization, in the form of network functions virtualization (NFV), to reduce network complexity. NFV is becoming a reality in the network as equipment designers have virtualized numerous network elements such as the firewall, evolved packet core (EPC) and provider edge (PE) router. As virtualization subsumes many functions that modify services and connections which were otherwise performed in physical network elements, vendors are freed to develop network elements that are focused on moving bits and/or packets (which cannot be virtualized), and not performing ancillary network functions. This segregation of network functions into virtual versus physical processes suggests a two-layer model, which can simplify network planning and result in a more effective and efficient network.
  • 100G+ and ROADM Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey  
    Deployment of 100G WDM ports tripled in 2013 and continues to grow rapidly through 2014. But by 2016 deployment of this technology in core networks saturates— and then the opportunity for coherent WDM technology at rates for 100G and beyond really lies in the shorter spans of the metro. We discovered that the killer app for metro 100G in the next 12 months is data center interconnect (DCI).
  • Rise of High-Capacity Data Center Interconnect in Hyper-Scale Service Provider Systems  
    The growth of cloud-based services in consumer and business applications during the past five years has been spectacular. Projections are that this trajectory will continue during the next five years. By 2019 mobile network traffic is forecasted to increase tenfold. Half of this increase will be in video services, and an additional 10 percent will be in social networking applications. At the same time, business cloud computing services are expected to increase at a 40 percent average annual rate. By 2019 there will be 60 percent more data centers in the world’s metropolitan areas than there are today, and data center interconnect volumes will increase by more than 400 percent.
  • ICT Core Networks: Towards a Scalable, Energy Efficient Future  
    The past 15 years have been a time of tremendous growth in the availability and fidelity of communication technologies. Pervasive availability and the growing richness of content have resulted in exponential growth of communications traffic related to Internet, multimedia, and cloud computing applications and services. The combined efforts of industry, government, academia, and investors have kept pace with this demand, but the growing cost, heat, and energy requirements challenge the scalability and energy efficiency of future networks.
  • Global Service Provider Survey Excerpts: OTN, MPLS, and Control Plane Strategies by Infonetics Research, Inc.  
    OTN switching is desired by the majority of carriers surveyed, and it is apparent that this feature is a requirement that should be integrated into most WDM transport platforms in the metro and in virtually all higher-density DWDM systems for the core. Likewise, optical shared mesh protections plays a minor role today in carrier networks, but if operators get their way it will be dominant by 2016 along with more meshed topologies in general. It will be important to see whether vendors can build platforms that integrate OTN switching and DWDM where both functions can scale in the future without a compromise in either individual function.
  • 100G & Beyond: Preparing for the Terabit Era  
    100G transport is a great industry success story, and one that Light Reading and Heavy Reading have been tracking since the technology's inception. In our January 2012 100G Industry Initiative white paper "Deploying 100G Transport Networks Today," we made the case that, following years of development and trial activity, 100G had "arrived" and the stage was set for wide-scale adoption to begin. Looking back on last year, we can say that our assessment was on the mark and that commercial adoption is actually exceeding our expectations. There are well over 170 commercial 100G wins to date, all over the world. This year's 100G Industry Initiative white paper continues to track the 100G story while also looking ahead to what lies beyond 100G. The paper starts by providing a status update on 100G, including key drivers, a commercial round-up, and Heavy Reading's forecast for 100G adoption through 2015.
  • ACG Research analyzes business case for Shared Mesh Protection  
    SMP, a new standard being developed within the ITU and IETF, provides both better economic efficiency and performance in handling multiple failures than other network resiliency technologies. Implementing SMP in hardware ensures a sub 50 ms performance, which is necessary to meet stringent SLAs as networks scale to 100 Gbps and 8 Tbps per fiber with thousands of services. SMP resolves the conflict between the need to minimize cost and meet SLAs6. The shared mesh approach is more cost effective, maintains protection levels that are better than 1+1 protection and delivers cost performance similar to that of best-effort restoration methods.
  • Transport Software Defined Networking: Grabbing the Low-Hanging Fruit  
    This report is the first of a two-part series that examines the fundamentals of SDN and describes the emerging role of Transport SDN, and then, in the second installment, compares the key vendor approaches as they stand today. This first installment examines the reasons why service providers are considering SDN for their networks and presents some of the challenges to deploying SDN in service provider networks. It defines a relatively new variant of SDN, Transport SDN, and describes how it can be used to overcome some traditional service provider challenges. Finally, the report looks at a particular Transport SDN challenge – multi-vendor interoperability - and a potential solution to the challenge – Open Transport Switching (OTS).
  • ACG Research Market Release DCI Optical Networking Market 2Q 2014 Worldwide  

    The Total Worldwide Optical Networking market reported revenues slightly under $14 billion in 2013. Historically, this market has experienced the boom and bust cycles associated with service providers’ build-outs of optical infrastructure and posted overall growth at modest CAGRs in the midsingle digits.