As users demand more bandwidth and different types of services, providers face an “agility gap” between constantly fluctuating demand and their networks’ ability to meet that demand efficiently. With legacy networks designed to perform specific functions at set speeds, providers have limited room to evolve their networks once they’re in place, making it hard to stay ahead in today’s new-device-every-three-months market.
The new Ciena white paper says moving toward more open, dynamic networks helps providers close this gap. The paper identifies the top ten concepts providers must consider to understand how high-performance networks narrow the agility gap:
Flexibility enables faster time-to-service.
Legacy networks designed for a specific traffic demand matrix forecasted many months in advance do not address today’s service velocity. Flexible architectures better handle fluctuating capacity requirements.
The migration away from proprietary platforms will continue.
A broad variety of stakeholders will determine how networks should be designed and operated.
Collaboration speeds innovation.
With blurring organizational boundaries, open ecosystems encourage collaboration between a wider variety of vendors, partners, and stakeholders.
Strive for a global view of network operations.
Global view of available network infrastructure and applications that demand these resources along with real-time network information enables predictive analytics that help optimize operations.
Virtualization is not just for servers anymore.
Virtualizing key technologies including storage, I/O, devices, and networks is crucial to building dynamic infrastructures, offering needed flexibility.
Understanding software-defined networking (SDN) is important.
SDN changes how networks are controlled to deliver greater agility, efficiency, and responsive performance.
Network functions virtualization (NFV) – the next big thing.
NFV reduces reliance on special purpose network appliances so administrators can scale capacity elastically and lower expenses.
Controllers are gaining broad acceptance.
Modular network architectures gaining industry acceptance feature an SDN Controller that sits above the network elements and uses open protocols to optimize programmability of those elements, making them agile.
Open architectures breed agility.
Revenue-generating applications in an SDN environment can speak to the Controller through an open northbound API to gain visibility into and request allocation of network resources when and where they need them.
Despite challenges, optimizing networks to meet high-velocity requirements is worth the effort.
Open, agile networks allow organizations to migrate infrastructure away from rigid capex investments and towards platforms that are immediately responsive to new loads, demands, and capabilities.
Download the Ciena white paper to learn more about how to navigate the challenges of rigid networks and create a network that can be more responsive to demand – both now and in the future.