Summer 2018 Optical Connections Magazine


on the data being generated by wireless sensors, you need that data processed and interpreted as quickly as possible. So physically closer servers on the edge of networks are being rolled out for such purposes. Part of Nokia’s hardware solution includes an Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV)-compatible OpenStack software distribution to optimise and aid cloud network management. New ways of thinking around network optimisation are of course also being seen at an enterprise level. Cloud and network provider Interoute was selected earlier this year by global sports and outdoor goods company Thule to deliver its edge SD- WAN solution. Anders Olsson, director of IT at Thule Group, says: “We needed an underlying network that would allow us to achieve greater flexibility, scalability and control over our IT estate. With Interoute, we now have a software defined network foundation that offers us the flexibility we need to expand our business, enabling us to grow and evolve without technology limitations.” Interoute Edge intelligently manages traffic routing by prioritising and optimising essential data traffic at the edge of the network and actively directing it along the most efficient lowest latency routes. As a result, it will optimise data flows to and from applications hosted in the cloud, improving performance for users. Mark Lewis, EVP for products and development at Interoute, says: “Using Interoute Edge Thule can leverage our low-latency global cloud fabric, which will enable it to benefit from high bandwidth, WAN optimised access to their applications in the data centre and various clouds, all securely meshed to their locations.” FUTURE-PROOFING Changing customer requirements are clearly having an effect on the way communications service providers must

of a platform based on automation, virtualisation and open interfaces in support of a wide range of “high- performance, secure digital services”. IOT AND 5G In particular, TIM says it is focused on the evolution of its FutureNET and ultrabroadband customer network platforms, to ensure they are fit for purpose as IoT and 5G requirements “become more relevant over the next five years”. Enrico Bagnasco, head of innovation at TIM, says: “TIM’s goal is to accelerate its evolution towards the network of the future. Our vision is towards a more automated, interconnected and agile network that reacts more easily to customer demands.” He says: “Through the development of software-defined networking and open optical systems, TIM will be able to develop a host of software components that can be activated where and when needed, based on customer needs. Juniper Networks shares our vision of transformation through network openness, virtualisation and simplification to drive a superior digital customer experience.” Tom Ruban, chief technical officer for EMEA at Juniper Networks, says of the collaboration: “Juniper believes that simplicity in both network design and operation has to become a core value for the networking industry, to help deliver effective solutions for the challenges presented by trends such as IoT, security, 5G and big data.” It is clear that with the continuing overhaul of the world’s fibre networks in on-demand services among consumers, and the steady build-out of the Internet of Things and 5G, the communications industry will have to work together to find new solutions to cope. Software solutions seem to be in pole position to help move things forward. response to the needs of digital transformation among businesses,

maintain subscriber quality of experience (QoE). The task of validating and activating client optics is no longer a simple task and testing now must cover the link from the physical layer through to Ethernet. Network management and optimisation are even more challenging, says Brooks, with various legacy, emerging and competing technologies co-existing on many networks today, including DOCSIS, and FTTH, as well as the increasing migration to hybrid environments. “This increasing complexity is ushering in the need for greater automation, programmability and virtual test and activation tools to deliver, optimise and manage network service performance. Manual operations alone no longer suffice, lacking the capability to scale sufficiently,” Brooks says. Going forward, he says, analytics and machine learning will be required to manage network functions in the cloud as the industry continues its transition to SDN/NFV technologies. As a result, service providers will come to rely on next-generation management systems that incorporate real-time optimisation techniques and processes to enable the dynamic allocation of resources, allowing the provision of services at speed that meet subscriber QoE expectations. AI AND THE EDGE Mike Wilkinson, VP international at San Jose-headquartered Edgewater Networks, which provides network orchestration solutions, says: “With ever increasing amounts of traffic coming into the network there’s a real need for increased computing power at the edge in order to maintain consistent application performance and power the services that users rely on every day.” Network architecture should therefore include delivering more advanced automation of service assurance, says Wilkinson. “Network technology will increasingly come to rely on AI (artificial intelligence)-derived application management techniques. As local failures are anticipated, network performance will be modified to maintain application consistency.” For edge networking requirements, Nokia has launched an edge cloud data centre solution to meet the diverse low- latency data processing demands of IoT and 5G applications, while at the same time addressing the developing Cloud RAN market space. The Nokia AirFrame open edge cloud infrastructure expands the Nokia AirFrame portfolio to deliver a layered network architecture that “optimises performance and operator costs as they evolve their networks and prepare for 5G”, said Nokia. Nokia is one of a number of leading vendors to pile into the edge computing market in response to the needs of IoT and 5G. If you’re driving in a car and relying

do things, and TIM in Italy has already seen the light. It recently struck a deal with Juniper Networks to make sure its networks are future-proofed around software and virtualisation. The pair have

initiated a joint agreement to collaborate on the research and development of a cloud- oriented network

infrastructure, including the development


ISSUE 13 | Q2 2018

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