Home C-Flyer Networks in the zettabyte era – Connect-World North America I 2014

Networks in the zettabyte era – Connect-World North America I 2014

by david.nunes

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North America I 2014
20th May 2014

Dear {subtag:name},

The relentless growth in data consumption is driven by growing demand for voluminous video-based big data, for real-time and time-critical fast data, and for remotely stored anywhere data that is transported to wherever the user is. Broadband is a ‘two-headed monster’. One head facing ever-faster access networks, with the rollout of LTE, multi-user WLAN and long-reach fibre. The other head is facing the core, with cloud-hosted functions, OTT-TV broadcasting and streaming video distribution that generate even more heavy traffic.

Everything in the network must gear up to the inevitable ZettaByte future, and there is a sense of a looming crisis. It is a crisis of spectrum crunching, so unused spectrum must be reclaimed, and new spectrum ranges must be licensed. It is a crisis that demands increasing capacity at alarming rate, so every last byte should be squeezed from existing infrastructure via performance and asset management. Most importantly, this crisis means finding ways of combining heterogeneous network technologies, such as Carrier Ethernet and Optical Wireless Broadband, and utilizing legacy as well as advanced networks, such as DWDM and Optical Transport Network.

These pressing requirements explain, perhaps, the great interest in Carrier SDN and NFV as well as the Cloud. SDN and NFV are complementary technologies that usher in greater automation via virtualization, which is essential for complex network and massive traffic. They decouple hardware from networked functions, allowing more cost effective deployment and multi-vendor integration. The Cloud enables distribution of data closer to the users, for faster access on any user device and shorter network journey. However, these ZettaByte ‘saviours’ are also the culprits – SDN/NFV send data to different server locations, wherever the virtualized functions have been assigned to a real server, and remotely stored data has to be transmitted to the device every time instead of used locally. Cloud data is also sent across to multiple data centres for safe keeping. Hence, the monster remains hungry and data volumes continue to spiral up. At the same time, users’ expectations of uninterrupted, high quality service are growing too, as both consumers and enterprises increasingly depend on the network for essential daily functions.

Availability of faster data, not just bigger data, encourages the unprecedented demand for video streaming and real-time transmission. What LTE provides in increased speed, VoLTE and on-demand OTT-TV will take. Smarter ways of satisfying customers’ preferences are required, e.g. lower quality but fast start with no stutter is preferable to clearer picture but slow, haltering playback. Perceptions are all-important also for SLA management, with real-time response to network events, pre-empting problems before users notice them. Analysing what happens in the network now means processing huge amount of network information. Therefore, more powerful, dynamic network management and analytics tools are required, which can be run, for example, at the cell tower, not just at the core, and provide a dynamic view of how customers’ services actually perform.

The next generation of 5G standards should focus on methods of overcoming the ZettaByte issues. You may see ‘ZettaMen’, armed with a pioneering spirit, who will build DIY broadband connections to remote co-operative communities and find novel ways of re-engineering fibre conduits. More likely, though, 5G will bring enhanced methods of utilising the spectrum, methods of increasing density by smaller cells, more powerful handover and collaborative outdoors WiFi, compression-as-you-need-it that responds to congestion situations and generally performance improvements. No one knows how fast and how far this data monster will travel in future, so all we can do is keeping just a few steps ahead.


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North America I 2014
North America I 2014
Networks in the zettabyte era
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This issue is devoted to Networks in the zettabyte era and features the following articles by sector leaders:

  • Alastair Waite, Head of Enterprise Data Center Business, TE Connectivity
  • Anand Gonuguntla, CEO, Centina Systems
  • Ariel Efrati, CEO, Telco Systems
  • Cheri Beranek (Ms), President & CEO, Clearfield Inc.
  • Chris Goswami PhD, VP of Marketing, Openwave Mobility
  • Dan Rabinovitsj, SVP, Qualcomm Inc.
  • Geoff Bennett, Director of Solutions & Technology, Infinera
  • Gerardo Gonzalez, President & CEO, SkyFiber Inc.
  • Lauri Oksanen, VP, Research & Technology, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN)
  • Louis C Schwartz, CEO, UUX
  • Marc Jones, Chairman & CEO, Aeris Communications
  • Mike Hummel, CEO, ParStream
  • Nicholas Ilyadis, VP & CTO, Infrastructure & Networking Group, Broadcom
  • Paul Pierron, COO, FiberLight
  • Vikash Varma, CEO, Stoke
  • Vinod Kumar, COO, Subex

We hope you enjoy it.

Rebecca Copeland

Rebecca Copeland
Editor
Connect-World
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