2020 marks a new decade of high-bandwidth, low-latency services that will put even the fastest, most scalable, intelligent networks to the test. How can you keep pace with traffic demands, evolve, and scale your network to take advantage of the commercial opportunities presented by the likes of 5G, IoT, and Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC)?

Here’s our 5 tips for network success in 2020 and beyond:

  1. Change the approach from ‘adding network capacity’ to ‘scaling the network on demand’In the 5G and IoT era, the only way to keep pace with traffic growth will be to switch from adding network capacity incrementally, to creating a more agile and programmable network. In the coming decade, you’ll need modern, programmable infrastructure, paired with intelligent end-to-end network orchestration driven by closed-loop automation. This powerful combination of technologies allows you to scale up available capacity at both the optical layer and packet (Ethernet, MPLS, IP, and Segment Routing) layers simultaneously and in real time, delivering bandwidth on demand for new, revenue-generating services wherever and whenever it’s needed, for as long as it’s needed.

  2. Deliver new services to market faster with programmable infrastructureWith manual deployment, configuration, and provisioning, turning up a new service in a dynamic multi-vendor environment can take several weeks, or longer. This is far too long for most customers. Advanced programmable network infrastructure and network automation software on the other hand, eliminate time-consuming manual, error-prone processes, meaning you can bring new services to market in minutes, rather than weeks to months.

  3. Minimize infrastructure costs with efficient, converged transport solutions Operating separate optical and packet networks leads to network sprawl and high real estate, power, and ongoing operational costs. Reduce the number of devices in your network by up to 50% by focusing on Multi-Layer Optimization (MLO) principles, leveraging converged packet-optical architecture. You’ll be able to support multiple service types, from residential broadband, private line and enterprise business services, to 4G/5G mobile services, while delivering major cost savings to your business.

  4. Simplify the network to reduce management requirements and costs The presence of aging or unsupported infrastructure typically increases the need for niche skills and protocol knowledge to run, maintain and troubleshoot the network. Replace complex, full-featured IP/SR routers, and other legacy equipment with lean, designed-for-purpose infrastructure that can be orchestrated centrally via a network-hosted control plane. You’ll minimize your reliance on specialist skills, reduce costs significantly, and increase service velocity and keep your customers happy.

  5. Migrate critical legacy services to a modern, efficient packet-based network
    As infrastructure gets older and harder to support, the reliability, quality, and cost-efficiency of legacy services decreases. Consider migrating your legacy services gradually to a modern, scalable, and highly efficient network architecture. The right infrastructure will emulate your legacy services, allowing them to run seamlessly in your new environment and can be managed and supported with readily available packet networking and IT skillsets. With this approach you’ll ensure uninterrupted services and SLA compliance, while reducing OPEX.

Adopt these 5 practices and you’ll ensure your network is ready to face an evolving future, ready to adapt, scale, and respond to every opportunity. Ciena is helping operators around the world futureproof their offering with highly efficient, Adaptive IPTM-based networks. The result is programmable scalability on-demand, real-time analytics for intelligent network automation, and lean IP features that cost-effectively support a full range of business and residential services on a common and simple network architecture.

This is the first post in a series looking at how to move from a complex to simple network environment. Read more on How to simplify today’s network for tomorrow’s demand and 5 essentials for building a robust network.

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