Metro Networks Must be Optimized in Multiple Dimensions

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Metro Networks Must be Optimized in Multiple Dimensions

By: Dave Brown, Product Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent

From original TechZine Article

Metro network transport platforms must be compact, scalable, and agile to conquer the specific challenges of this key portion of the transport network. Growing and shifting traffic in the metro has triggered these challenges.

Today’s cloud-optimized metro network transport platforms “must” be:

  • Compact – with optimal power and performance in a form factor that meets metro operational cost targets
  • Scalable – to have the capacity you need when you need it to aggregate and transport multiple, high-performance services
  • Agile and intelligent – to dynamically reconfigure network resources to get services to your customers faster


Growth in metro networks


Following a long cycle of core network capacity build out, service providers are now challenged by the growth and shift in metro network traffic dynamics.

A recent Bell Labs study reported that the rise of social media and over-the-top video — along with the rapid adoption of mobile broadband — has led to the proliferation of mega data centers. This drives an increase in metro traffic. And it results in more traffic moving around within in the metro between data centers versus going out to the backbone.

The study also found that metro traffic will grow almost 2 times faster than backbone traffic by 2017. So, there’s not only a dramatic growth of traffic in the metro but that traffic is diverse, dynamic, and flows much differently than in the backbone.


So, what’s the takeaway from this study? Today’s metro networks increasingly require metro-optimized transport solutions versus adapted core platforms. That is, metro transport is driven by scale, flexibility, and efficiency versus sheer capacity and reach.

The new metro transport network

It is clear that a metro-optimized transport solution must be compact, scalable, and agile. But, what specific capabilities are required?

  • Compact:
    • Highly-integrated functionality in a metro form factor
    • Capable of converging multiple divergent metro networks
    • Class-leading density and power consumption
  • Scalable:
    • Scale for high-density GE and 10GE client aggregation and transport
    • 100G, 200G, 400G transport
    • Multidimensional scale on a single platform: Photonic, OTN, Packet
  • Agile and intelligent:
    • Reconfigurable multiservice, multi-layer infrastructure
    • Distributed packet/OTN/WDM switching
    • Multiprotocol, bit-rate agnostic switching
    • SDN for support of application-driven, dynamic service instantiation

A metro-optimized transport solution can help maximize revenue and ROI by accelerating services availability/time-to-market and improving network operational efficiency. The key benefits are:

  • Enhance QoS and offer new, differentiated services and SLAs – Dynamically provision high-performance, on-demand, application-driven network services
  • Lower overall total cost of ownership – Achieve low initial 1st cost without the need for a centralized switching fabric
  • Lower opex – Leverage maximum capacity, high switching density and low power consumption in a compact, metro-friendly footprint

 Does your metro network have what it takes?

A high-capacity, packet-optical transport solution with metro-optimized flexibility, size, and power can help maximize revenue generation and ROI in the cloud era. Look for a multiservice solution that delivers graceful pay-as-you-grow scaling with no-compromise distributed switching and agility in a metro-optimized form factor.

Our recent expansion to the Alcatel-Lucent 1830 Photonic Service Switch can help you meet the challenges of growing and shifting metro traffic demands in the cloud era.

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