Bell Labs forecasts 560% in data traffic on metro networks by 2017

  • Service providers will need to evolve to new type of network architecture, optimised for the cloud
  • Company says its new solution will help operators prepare for this rapid traffic growth

Bell Labs forecasts 560% in data traffic on metro networks by 2017A BELL Labs study released Dec 3 by Alcatel-Lucent indicates that data traffic on metropolitan access and aggregation networks is set to increase 560% by 2017, driven by demand for video and the proliferation of data centres.
Even more significantly, the study showed that by 2017 more than 75% of that traffic will stay in metro networks, as compared with 57% today.
The study, entitled: Metro Network Traffic Growth: An Architecture Impact Study, also indicated that traffic from video services will skyrocket by as much as 720% and data centre traffic will increase more than 440% during the same time period.
Combined, video and data centre traffic are the key drivers to the overall forecast increase of 560% traffic growth in the metro, Alcatel-Lucent said in a statement.
Fast-rising demand for ultra-broadband access, video, cloud and other high-bandwidth services is driving enterprises, communications service providers and webscale companies to bring content closer to their customers to better manage quality of experience (QoE) and gain operational efficiencies, the company said.
The most popular video content, for instance, is being cached deeper in the network so it can be delivered to customers locally over metro networks rather than being accessed from a central cache over the backbone network.
In addition, the growing demand for cloud services means that enterprises and operators are adding data centers within the metro area in order to support service delivery.
These shifting traffic patterns mean more traffic will now stay in the metro – 75% by 2017, as compared with 57% today. In contrast, only 25% of data traffic will traverse the backbone.
Service providers require a network architecture that will ensure that the metro remains a key contributor – rather than bottleneck – in the new virtualised environment, the company said.
The forecast growth is expected to have a considerable impact on service providers’ networks. They will need to evolve to a new type of network architecture – optimised for the cloud – that will help control costs, guarantee quality and deliver new revenue-generating services to connect users and the cloud.
To address this need, service providers must move towards a cloud–optimised network, leveraging integrated IP (Internet Protocol), 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 metro network.
Alcatel-Lucent has announced a Cloud-Optimized Metro Solution, the company said.
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