Here’s a scary statistic for network operators: bandwidth demand doubles every 2-3 years, according to Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert).
Current bandwidth needs can be met by expanding 10G and 40G transport speeds to the latest technology, 100G. Even if network operators invest in 100G, which does offer bandwidth to meet current demand with some room to grow, there’s still the issue of keeping pace. Doubling bandwidth every 2-3 years means another round of expensive upgrades is just around the corner, even with 100G infrastructure.
“Not only is there an overall challenge associated with making sure today’s networks are fast enough to handle the current and anticipated traffic demands,” wrote Sam Bucci, vice president and general manager for terrestrial optics product unit for Alcatel-Lucent, in a blog, Transform the Performance and Economics of Optical Networks, in a recent edition of the company’s
Enriching Communications e-zine. “But the rate of growth has put providers in a cost-capacity crunch. The investments they’re making in network upgrades and new builds have a high price tag (News - Alert), and to-date, the revenues returned have not been proportionate,” he added.
That’s why network operators planning their optical networks need to keep an eye toward the future even while they invest for the present. That means looking ahead to 400G even while building out 100G.
Alcatel-Lucent is planning ahead. Its 400G Photonic Service Engine (400G PSE) chip, for example, is compatible with 100G while setting the scene for the need for 400G just around the corner. It is the first commercially available 400G chip that actually enhances the speed, performance and efficiency of the current 100G solutions. In short, as Bucci notes, operators can have their cake and eat it, too.
The 400G PSE is developed for the Alcatel-Lucent 1830 Photonic Service Switch platform, an optical networks solution that can be leveraged in a variety of ways depending on service provider requirements, according to Bucci.
When configured with 100G transport, the 400G PSE extends reach by more than 50 percent over existing 100G solutions, going from 2000 kilometers to more than 3000 without the need for electrical regeneration, according to Bucci. It does this while reducing power consumption by 30 percent.
When running with 400G applications, according to Bucci, it increased capacity per fiber by more than 2.6 times and reduces consumption per gigabit by 33 percent.
“The 400G PSE provides a smooth evolutionary path that allows service providers to leverage their existing investment and migrate to higher rates at their convenience,” noted Bucci. “100G routes employing this technology can deliver improved performance over virtually any fiber infrastructure or topology. Bandwidth can be scaled at any pace, even while power consumption and footprint are minimized.” He added: “By dramatically increasing capacity and speed, the PSE enhances today’s networks, while preparing for tomorrow’s advances.”
With everyone agreeing that the exponential increase in traffic is not just upon us but is accelerating, it is never too early to be thinking ahead since tomorrow is coming at us very fast.
Edited by Peter Bernstein