Network modernisation has come of age…
There’s never been a better time to retire your legacy infrastructure. In his previous post, Chris Newell, VP for Strategic Sales EMEA at Ciena, covered five reasons for modernising your network. It may seem like a daunting task, but the technologies and methodologies now exist to make the process as seamless and risk-free as possible. It’s just one more reason why the case for network modernisation is stronger this time. This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
You will have your own reasons for modernising, be it to reduce operating costs, increase capacity, and deliver all the other key benefits that modern infrastructure can provide. But how can you still ensure continuity for critical, revenue-generating TDM services? How can you ensure that your new network will be able to handle future apps and use cases on a single, efficient, converged infrastructure that can do everything? And how can you ensure that your network investments will continue to deliver maximum returns for years to come?
The good news is that technologies and methodologies have come of age, which means you can minimise change management requirements, along with the risk of downtime and disruption during the process.
By partnering with the right network specialist and deploying next-generation technologies at the optical and IP/packet layer, you can:
1) Ensure continuity for critical TDM services - Next-generation network technologies enable operators to emulate TDM services, such as 2mb and 34mb circuits, in modern Ethernet and IP/packet networks. This means that legacy services can be delivered reliably and cost effectively, allowing you to continue supporting mission-critical applications such as blue-light emergency services communications, financial services trading applications, and utilities network reporting and safety responses. As well as continuing generating revenues from these kinds of services, this ‘emulation’ capability protects relationships with large organisations who still need these services to support their operations.
2) Deliver a vast range of services and use cases on the same, efficient, converged infrastructure - Network upgrade cycles are already being initiated in anticipation of 5G. At the same time, it’s vital to be looking for ways to increase capacity at the network edge to enhance service performance across a range of subscriber-facing services, from broadband internet access to TV and telephone services. Using the latest ‘use-case-agnostic’ network infrastructure, future-proof environments that converge residential broadband, business services and mobile backhaul can be created on the same, converged network architecture. This ensures that no services are left behind, and that any future services can be delivered over the network with no major changes to the environment.
3) Use data to ensure a low-risk transition – By automating data collection across all stages, from discovery and planning, through to execution, you can accelerate each stage of the modernisation programme and ensure data integrity throughout. Automation tools, such as Ciena’s Blue Planet Route Optimization and Assurance (ROA) software give rich current and historical data, plus simulation capabilities to perform interactive “what if” exercises. These can be simulated on a live network model, a point in time, can model new overlay services, traffic engineered tunnels, and different network conditions.
4) Access specialist network skills to ensure success for your modernisation initiatives - In particular, partners are needed who not only have the skills and professional services capabilities that are vital to take on the end-to-end modernisation journey, but also a partner that develops and maintains a stellar workforce that explores and prioritises the use of new technologies and drives a culture of innovation. This will ensure success from initial project scoping to requirements analysis, solution planning, deployment and go-live. Ideally, chosen network partners should also be able to provide a detailed business case for modernisation that spans infrastructure, services, energy usage and support costs, enabling operators to present a highly detailed business case to key decision makers and gain buy in for modernisation at the highest levels of the organisation.
Network modernisation is becoming an urgent concern, but proven modernisation technologies and approaches can help you future proof your infrastructure. The final post in the series will go into more details on these approaches and how our unique modernisation capabilities make Ciena the ideal partner to help you deliver your future networking goals.