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Service providers must optimise for cloud, Bell Labs study says

Ike Suarez | Dec. 10, 2013
The study indicated that by 2017, much more of data traffic would stay within metropolitan networks rather than travel through networks’ backbones.

As data traffic patterns shift, service providers must evolve their networks to ones whose architectures are optimised for the cloud, according to the French telecommunications and network solutions provider, Alcatel-Lucent.

The Paris-based vendor gave the recommendation as it released a statement announcing results of a Bell Labs study, "Metro Traffic Growth: an Architecture Impact Study." Bell Labs in New Jersey is Alcatel-Lucent's R & D arm.

The study indicated that by 2017, much more of data traffic would stay within metropolitan networks rather than travel through networks' backbones.

Total metro traffic will increase 560 percent by 2017, the study's results show.

Video, Data Centres

Drivers for the increased traffic would be demand for video and the proliferation of data centres.

Video traffic's increase by 2017 will have been 720 percent while that for cloud and data centre traffic will have increased 440 percent, key determinants for the 560 percent overall increase in projected metro traffic growth.

Furthermore, by 2017, 75 percent of total traffic will have terminated in metro networks  and with only 25 percent of total traffic travelling through network backbones.

Presently, 57 percent of network traffic travels through these backbones.

Causing the traffic patterns shift will be increased sourcing of video, data, and Web content from within metro networks, according to the statement citing the study.

To meet increasing demand for cloud services, enterprises and operators would also have to add data centres within the metro network area to support service delivery.

Thus, the need for network architectures that ensure metro networks remain key contributors, instead of bottlenecks in the new virtualized environment.

This would call for "a new type of network architecture optimized for the cloud-that will help control costs, guarantee quality and deliver new revenue-generating  services to the users and the cloud," the statement said.

Service providers would then have to move towards cloud optimised networks, leveraging integrated IP, optical and management solutions, together with software defined networking (SDN).

"This will allow them to deploy networks that meet dynamic and rapid growth in customer demand for video and other high bandwidth cloud services with instantaneous access over the network," according to the statement as it cited the study.

Formerly a research arm of AT&T, Bell Labs was spun off by the US telecoms company into Lucent Technologies in the 1990s.

In 2006, Lucent technologies merged with Alcatel to form Alcatel-Lucent.


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