Tablets and smartphones have fundamentally changed the customer experience and how content delivery occurs.
Whereas supply used to drive content delivery demand, the tables have now turned. Now consumers, armed with their Apple (News - Alert)-inspired mobile devices, are dictating network capacity and potential. Network operators must keep up or cede ground to other providers who do cater to consumer demand.
Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert), has predicted that network traffic demands could expand from 45 to 85 times growth based on an unconstrained demand-side model. On the supply side, however, typical models predict only a 10 to 30 times growth in supply.
A solution to the problem—a multi-layer approach
The solution to the exploding congestion problem that Alcatel-Lucent is recommending is the High Leverage Network: A converged, scalable, intelligent, efficient, all-IP network infrastructure that delivers a lower capital expense per bit and helps reduce operating expenses.
Alcatel-Lucent’s High Leverage Network (HLN) is built on several network layers noted a recent white paper by Alcatel-Lucent, “HLN Capacity and Efficiency Business Value.”
First is the foundation: An all-IP network layer.
“The converged all-IP infrastructure achieved with an HLN enables service providers to efficiently and cost-effectively scale network bandwidth and increase network capacity from access to the core,” With a solid foundation in place, the next layer in the HLN is a control layer, which enables basic user connectivity and session setup as well as control of the communication, content policy and charging functions.
Two key layers above the all-IP infrastructure and the control layer are the optimization layer and decision analytics layer.
The optimization layer has two key elements:
- Cloud orchestration, which controls virtual network and cloud resources to deliver applications and dynamically allocate and remove resources and service
- Yield management, which maximizes the value of the network by means of real-time payment and charging.
The decision analytics layer is a Service Level Agreement (SLA)-centric layer that analyzes real-time network and offline data, providing analysis and decision making to optimize the SLA for the user and the application, according to Alcatel-Lucent. It consists of ensuring that the right resources are doled out to customers, and intelligently orchestrating the delivery of personalized service offers and advertisements.
The top layer in the HLN, Experience Creation and Enablement, provides a secure application programming interface (API) exposure layer coupled with the application developer toolsets necessary to rapidly design and deliver personalized applications and services.
These five layers come together to deliver an HLN network, a solution that solves the problem of network supply and demand and ultimately will separate the agile network operators from those just trying to keep up with consumer demands.
For more information about High Leverage Networks, check out Alcatel-Lucent’s HLN Knowledge Center.
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Edited by Peter Bernstein