Demand for broadband is nearly insatiable among consumers and businesses alike. With cloud computing, smartphones and tablets, and virtualization, the perfect storm is hitting network operators.
Meeting broadband demand requires a careful balance between network capacity and operational costs. However, unlimited data plans may be unlimited for the consumer, but more capacity means more costs for operators.
Thankfully, next generation communications solutions are coming to the aid of service providers (SPs). The move to 100G technology within the network infrastructure represents a major upgrade for SPs, bringing much more bandwidth to the table. As 100G technology becomes the new standard in the IP core of the network, however, providers still need to balance infrastructure costs when it comes to core routing.
With that in mind, Bell Labs (News - Alert) recently conducted a financial study, Rethinking Core Economics: Quantifying the Power and Space Advantages of the Alcatel-Lucent 7950 XRS Platform, to put some hard numbers behind the advantages of using the newer technology. It compared the existing core router technologies with (as the study title says) the next generation Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) 7950 Extensible Routing System (XRS).
The 7950 XRS is the industry’s first network processor-based core routing platform powered by groundbreaking 400G silicon (FP3). It delivers some of the highest density for 10GE, 40GE and 100GE interfaces as well as a clear path to 400GE and terabit Ethernet interfaces.
The study, done using a 16-node topology, found that the 7950 XRS cut costs by nearly half compared with existing solutions, highlighting the advantage of having the latest in IP core routing on the IP backbone.
Specifically, the study found that the 7950 XRS:
- Required less than a third of the space used by legacy solutions, which resulted in approximately 60 percent cost savings in rack space over the five-year study period (at $3,000 per rack annually).
- Consumed up to three times less power, resulting in 50 percent savings (at 12.5c per kWh) over the entire network during the period.
- Accommodated traffic growth with virtually no overhead associated with multi-chassis switching shelves, and with more than 50 percent headroom for growth available on most sites.
Further, the tremendous capacity and port density of the 7950 XRS enables service providers to rethink their core network. A study of a consolidated eight-node topology shows that the 7950 XRS yields double the cost savings compared to competing solutions.
So while broadband demand keeps growing, technology also is evolving to keep network operational costs in line.
Edited by Peter Bernstein