Ivan Polizzi, Ciena’s Regional Managing Director of Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific, details why network latency is as critical as network speed in Australasian service providers’ ability to successfully support and deliver the next generation of networks and cutting-edge applications.
When we think of fast networks, speed is often the first thing that comes to mind. But, as we frequently hear from industry commentators, latency is just as critical as speed when considering the requirements of modern data networks – especially as we look towards a future, automated world.
For corporations that rely on algorithms and machine-to-machine communications – such as high-frequency trading firms – latency impacts how they analyse markets and execute transactions to maximise gains and minimise losses. In fact, even a single-digit millisecond delay can drastically affect trading outcomes, making low network latency especially critical.
Latency is also a major concern for consumers and businesses in regional and rural areas. For those who lack access to high-speed data and rely on older, slower connections, poor network experience is a hindrance when trying to conduct business operations, access online learning, or even stream the latest hit show.
Meanwhile, the emergence and adoption of AI tools and the Internet of Things means that even a slight hiccup in connectivity can be the difference between success and failure – or even life or death in cutting-edge applications that demand near-instantaneous response times such as driverless vehicles and robotic manufacturing.
One effective method to reduce latency down to negligible amounts is hosting data as locally as possible. Because it takes time for data to move from one location to another, placing it as close as possible to the end user at the network edge means critical, high-traffic applications – such as those required by IoT devices – can respond to unexpected situations in a faster and safer manner.
...QCN is already providing connectivity to data centres in the regional areas of Townsville and Toowoomba. There are further opportunities for data centres to be located near renewable energy sources, such as the proposed Latan Data Centre near Charters Towers, in one of the Queensland Government’s Renewable Energy Zones (REZ), that will be a catalyst for advanced manufacturing facilities to be set up in regional locations, bringing new growth opportunities.
As a result, cloud providers are making significant data centre investments across Australia and New Zealand to help bring data physically closer to the edge. In fact, the data centre growth rate in Australia is around 15 percent CAGR, compared to the global annual growth rate of around 4.5 percent.
Network operators are also making upgrades to expand capacity while improving connectivity across multiple data centres and landing sites. These upgrades enable the simplification of network configurations, giving data a more direct path to its destination and lower overall latency.
Speaking of the expansion that QCN is undertaking in Queensland, QCN’s CEO, Derek Merdith says, “QCN’s network, reaching deep into regional and outback communities, means residents there can now have the speed and capacity to match major cities like Brisbane and Sydney. QCN is already providing connectivity to data centres in the regional areas of Townsville and Toowoomba. There are further opportunities for data centres to be located near renewable energy sources, such as the proposed Latan Data Centre near Charters Towers, in one of the Queensland Government’s Renewable Energy Zones (REZ), that will be a catalyst for advanced manufacturing facilities to be set up in regional locations, bringing new growth opportunities.”
With proper planning and deployment, networks can be intelligent and dynamic – capable of getting data from sender to receiver faster to improve the overall quality-of-experience and unlock new revenue-generating opportunities, allowing telcos to rapidly intercept constantly-changing user demand and expectations in a more adaptive manner.