Transport Networks Russia Explores Disruption Driven by Scale and Virtualization

July 29, 2015

Dmitry ShemyakinBy Dmitry Shemyakin

It is interesting to think about the amount of data that is currently being transmitted which is now enabled by Cloud networks. Every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views.1 One third of all data will soon be stored in the Cloud, as reported by Gartner.2 And, according to the Cisco Global Cloud Index, by 2018, 59% of the total cloud workloads will be Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) workloads, up from 41% in 2013.3

In a world where Cloud services are growing quickly and high capacity connectivity is paramount, networks need to be scalable, simplified and flexible. This topic was top of mind in the presentations and discussions at Transport Networks Russia 2015, a conference focused on the development of telecommunications transport networks in Russia and CIS.

In the wake of an ever-visible shift toward SDN-enabled infrastructures, maximum efficiency and convergence of the network layers seems eminent. Aligned with this thought process, Infinera premiered two new photonic integrated circuits to support the emerging Layer C (Cloud Services) and Layer T (Transport) network model. Network Function Virtualization (NFV) provides a means to migrate network functions related to the upper layers of the network from dedicated appliances to software services on commercial x86 servers within Cloud data centers; leading to the creation of the Cloud services layer or Layer C. In order to support Layer C, Cloud datacenters and end users need to be interconnected by a highly scalable, converged and flexible transport network, or Layer T.

At TransNet Russia, the participants discussed various approaches to build Layer T. All agreed that there’s a continuing need to provide scalability. I believe that the foundation of scale is integrated photonics, which provides more capacity per line card and system while simplifying the network – fewer boxes, fibers and modules, and less space, power and fewer manual processes. Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) are integral to the evolution of the transport network providing significant benefits when integrated into a packet-optical DWDM transport system for an efficient Layer T, ultimately allowing Layer C to thrive.

Service providers in the region have to support the prevailing tough economic conditions and are required to perform against rigorous financial metrics set by shareholders. At the same time they have to stay on top of the competition while consumer demands for capacity and bandwidth skyrocket. As part of Intelligent Transport Network philosophy, Infinera’s goal is to help providers drive expenses down and at the same time keep pace with network growth. Recently Infinera announced two new PICs, ePIC-500 and oPIC-100, to bring the economics of the integrated photonics for the metro.

Regardless of topology (hub-and-spoke, mesh or ring), with the new PICs networks showed an estimated average reduction of 28 percent in modules, 31 percent in power and 45 percent in bandwidth inefficiencies as compared to conventional technologies that deliver 100G, 200G or 400G. Finer granularity enabled by new PICs and tight integration of optical components on the chip results in unmatched flexibility of architectures and significant savings in CapEx and OpEx – something that the Russian operators are keenly focused upon and as exemplified in the key session of “Expansion of Transport Networks” at TransNet 2015.

As Cloud services continue to develop, it is very important that transport networks are scalable yet granular and simple to operate. Sliceable photonics provided by the Infinera ePIC-500 and oPIC-100 are designed to allow operators to lower the costs and complexities of transport while handling enormous traffic growth. As one participant at TransNet 2015 Russia quipped “It was one of the most famous and important conferences for Russian communications companies on the new and complicated stage of market development, and it became intense, relevant and practical”. Infinera is glad to be a part of and lead the Russia market development.

To learn more about Infinera’s sliceable photonics click here.


  3. Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2013–2018


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