Without argument, the “road  trip” has evolved to a more socially-connected experience. Today’s generation are more vested in adventure and experiences as they go through life while accelerating  across the landscape of multilane freeways to get to their destination of  choice.

For example, in the technology good ol’ days, we relied on GPS  devices and other route-planning tools to map our trips and reduce the stressful,  “Where are we?”, moments. Now, using smartphones connected to the cell network  to navigate, you can not only map your routes, but also check on real-time traffic  conditions, find the closest or lowest priced gas station, and look up roadside  attractions.

The fundamental software technology that makes all this  possible is virtualization, which also powers cloud computing. While both  virtualization and cloud computing are inexorability linked, they are not the  same.

What is Virtualization?

Virtualization is the means, with  software, to create a virtual instance of a physical device, such as a server, storage  device, or network. Once virtualized, instances can spin up, spin down, or be daisy  chained with others.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the delivery of  service(s) over a network, typically the Internet, resulting from  virtualization software manipulating hardware for the delivery of storage and  compute resources.

What is Virtualization in Cloud Computing?

Virtualization in cloud computing  is the act of creating a virtual (vs. physical) instance of something and  making it accessible across a network, most commonly the Internet.

Many cable operators continue to evolve their networks to  allow efficient access to these virtual resources. Their goal is to increase bandwidth  speeds by investing heavily in their access networks to accommodate future  service growth and ensure their advertised speeds and services surpass the  competition. To do so, they will need fiber.

In the world of bandwidth, nothing is more scalable than a fiber optic network.

With all these cool apps and more available bandwidth, cable  operators are planning to couple mobile services with their network of WiFi  hotspots. With millions of WiFi hotspots to leverage, cable operators can offer  mobile services within their existing footprint, instead of launching a  national offering. To do so, some cable operators are considering being resellers  of wireless communications services or Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO).

A Mobile Network Operator (MNOs) typically has extra  capacity they sell at wholesale to resellers. Resellers in turn sell it to  consumers, under their brand, at reduced retail prices. MVNO’s can sell at lower  prices because they only purchase the minutes wholesale and do not license  radio spectrum, or build and maintain the infrastructure. This also gives the  MVNO more marketing dollars to market the product.

It’s also not unreasonable to think about upgrading those  WiFi locations to 5G technologies in the future.

In a previous article I wrote how Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) technology  will massively enable extra bandwidth, making the need for coherent optical  technology even more compelling for cable operators. While fiber does address  the compounding bandwidth issue, it by no means is the only component of how to  optimize the optical network. Even with fiber being the very best medium for  bandwidth, how you optimize that fiber’s bandwidth in real-time can be just as  important.

Ciena’s Liquid Spectrum can  be used to improve reach for a specific channel, or increase/decrease bandwidth  and associated capacity automatically. Ciena’s Blue Planet open and extensible  architecture, Manage Control Plan (MCP), can be used to holistically  transform your network from static to an agile, flexible, and programmable  network for future services.

So, load up the car, fill the tank, and hit the  open road as Ciena helps pave the way to your ultimate road trip ever!

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