Do gas prices today get you down? Just wait until your IP Network stalls and watch people really complain. The internet recently turned 60 years old and is arguably one of the most important creations in our history. For many years it was only used by scientists and researchers to communicate and share data with one another. It was designed as a best-effort network where delivery of the data was nice to have but not essential and thus if your data didn’t arrive it would just be retransmitted.

Today, the internet is an essential service for billions of businesses and consumers worldwide. Many of us could not live without it as we use it to communicate, collaborate, research things, handle our finances, watch sports, play games, watch movies, take pictures, shop, have food delivered, and more… Unfortunately, it is really beginning to show signs of its age from the increasing wear and tear of use, brought on by severe network scaling issues, causing slowing response times. It needs to be revamped now.

The need for a new IP network

In legacy IP architectures, each IP platform needs a full stack of IP protocols to handle different applications. It also needs to interact with many different nodes to identify an optimized route to deliver the content. This box-centric approach is extremely inefficient, as the platform wastes a lot of capacity processing outdated protocols and signaling to many nodes - making performance and the ability to scale difficult. This monolithic approach makes all routing decisions stressed or inefficient, with a limited view of the network and the requirements of the applications running on top of it. Legacy IP routing decisions are usually far from optimal. Worst, any new applications can require massive network-wide software and hardware upgrades to support them.

Even today, there haven’t been any significant changes to this approach. Building and expanding the network was a highly competitive game, in which IP equipment vendors dictated a service provider’s ability to support new applications within closed and proprietary protocols. In doing so, these vendors controlled the market. The consequences of this model were quite clear: a slow innovation pace, high infrastructure refresh rate, vendor lock-in, limited supply chain, limited choice, and fast-growing operational cost and complexity for the network provider.

As 5G, cloud and broadband networks and services grow and expand, reliable quality of experience (QoE) and quality of service (QoS) become essential components of IP networks. How can service providers build next-generation IP networks that support growing traffic, diverse devices and services and provide high availability with guaranteed QoS, while also decreasing capital expenses (CapEx) and operational expenses (OpEx) to allow for profitable business models?

Next-generation IP networks need:

  • Software control and automation
  • Analytics and intelligence
  • Programmable infrastructure

Adaptive IP Diagram

The Ciena Adaptive IPTM approach

The new IP network must be open, programmable, disaggregated, and virtualized in a way that allows resources to be reconfigured rapidly, without physical intervention, to enable both existing and emerging services. It must support open, standards-based Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) such as NETCONF/YANG and provide rich telemetry for software-defined control to self-diagnose, self-optimize, and self-heal. It must also allow for intelligent, data-driven, intent-based automation and an increased level of dynamic decision-making and subsequent actions.

Ciena’s Adaptive IP approach is an intelligent service delivery platform supporting existing services and applications while setting the stage for existing, new, and emerging use cases, such as 5G, business services, broadband, cloud, and edge computing applications and other use cases​.

Adaptive IP leverages Ciena’s Adaptive Network™ architecture vision, which unites a disaggregated and programmable routing, switching, and virtual infrastructure with Software Defined Networking (SDN)-based control and automation driven by machine learning-based analytics, founded on network telemetry.

Ciena’s Adaptive IP is an example of a next-generation network architecture providing QoS for existing and emerging services while also implementing traffic engineering to optimize network topologies and minimize capacity requirements. Adaptive IP also provides the necessary automation to reduce network OpEx in:

  • Engineering and planning
  • Service fulfillment
  • Service assurance

Ciena's Adaptive IP Approach Chart

Getting the most from the network

Successfully competing in a hyper-competitive market requires more than simply adding additional nodes and protocols to the existing legacy IP architecture—it will need a full network transformation. Users are willing to pay to access their content and applications, and for the end-to-end connectivity that makes it all possible. They are not paying for IP networks or IP protocols.

5G, AI, and IoT applications will require computing power to be located at the edge of the network, delivering high scale and performance. The legacy IP approach does not offer a viable solution to address the challenges and opportunities of the future. It keeps the network closed, costly to scale and expand, highly manual, and vendor dependent. It also lacks the critical element of choice.

The Result

By optimizing network traffic engineering, implementing strict QoS, and intelligently automating network operations, Adaptive IP provides a next-generation network for emerging services while reducing network total cost of ownership (TCO). ACG Research has built a total cost of ownership (TCO) model that shows a CapEx reduction of 23%, OpEx decrease of 32%, and a TCO savings of 26%. Adaptive IP provides an agile network to enable fast rollout of new services, which will increase revenue and make network service providers more competitive. Want to build a next-generation network, from access to metro, while reducing TCO and increasing service velocity and revenue? Adaptive IP allows service providers to do just that.

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