Thursday, June 5, 2014

Infonetics: A Carrier Survey on Packet-Optical, MPLS, and Control Plane Strategies

A survey of Global service providers published by Infonetics Research has found that SDN vendor strategies currently are not critical factors in purchasing optical transport equipment for the majority of operators.

“No topic has generated more discussion in the past 12 months than software-defined networking (SDN), though most carriers have been publicly silent on their plans for SDN in the transport network. Our latest packet-optical study found that over three-quarters of service providers surveyed plan to deploy transport SDN, but only a third say vendors’ SDN strategies play a critical role in their equipment and vendor decisions today,” reports Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst for optical at Infonetics Research.

Some highlights of the Packet-Optical Survey:

  • Opinions on exactly what constitutes a packet-optical transport system (P-OTS) vary widely in the industry; however, 86% of carriers surveyed say Infonetics’ definition of P-OTS is a good characterization
  • 84% of respondents have deployed or will deploy P-OTS by the end of 2015
  • The top reasons cited for deploying P-OTS are reducing complexity in the network and supporting services such as private line Ethernet and broadband aggregation
  • Slightly more than half of respondents will use alien wavelengths to provide spectrum leasing and dark fiber services, not IP over DWDM (IPoDWDM)
  • When asked to estimate the percentage of traffic transiting their network that is packet switched by conventional routers vs. packet-optical systems, respondents indicate that optical equipment will play a much larger role in packet switching and aggregation by 2016, but it will still be secondary to the role routers play.