& cplSiteName &

Telco Data Centers: Reinvention Starts Here

Roz Roseboro
5/23/2014
50%
50%

The reinvention of telco data centers is still in the early stages, but the opportunities and challenges facing network operators and their technology partners are quickly becoming clear. Software-defined networking (SDN) lies at the heart of the long-term potential of next-generation telco data centers. It also presents some of the biggest issues in telco data center transformation.

Heavy Reading has traced the rapid evolution of SDN in the telecom environment from the start, and my new report, The Future of Telco Data Centers in the SDN Era, expands our research view into what may become network operators' key strategic asset in the next-gen telecom ecosystem: virtualized data centers.

The report highlights and analyzes the impact SDN will have on the telco data center networking domain, including the various implementation scenarios and approaches of new-entrant challengers and established vendors. It offers insight into the current thinking of telco data center operators regarding their emerging requirements and expectations for networking infrastructure. It also identifies the likely evolution of the networking as telcos transform their data centers to support SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV), including an in-depth review of the strategies of 12 key networking technology suppliers.

With increasing competition from hyper-scale web players and OTT providers, telcos have recognized the need to move quicker and lower their costs -- both opex and capex. They are virtualizing their data center resources to increase utilization rates and automate service creation and delivery. They are also planning to virtualize network functions themselves. Doing so will allow them not only to move away from higher-cost network elements based on proprietary hardware, but also to become more agile and flexible. Virtualized functions will make it easier to deploy functionality in distributed data centers that reside closer to an end user's location.

New entrants are taking multiple approaches to data center networking. Though they are often linked together, the new crop of networking suppliers is hardly monolithic. It is true that most use platforms that are based on merchant silicon (as opposed to custom ASICs), but they vary in the nature of the functionality their solutions support. Networking-focused companies such as Pica8 offer Linux-based OSs that are loaded on to bare-metal switches in support of the "white box" approach to data center switching. Companies such as BigSwitch, Vello Systems, and Plexxi offer some switching support, but they are more focused on applications.

BigSwitch has recently pivoted toward its unified physical and virtual network fabric and network monitoring application. Vello, too, switched gears midstream and now provides software to manage data center infrastructure, as well as applications running on this infrastructure. Plexxi is focused on the concept of "affinity," mapping the relationship between various network elements needed by a given workload, and programming the fabric with the necessary topologies.

Pluribus Networks stands somewhat separate from the rest, because it offers a converged infrastructure solution. Its Freedom Server-Switch product line, combined with the Netvisor OS, provides a "fusion" of compute, storage, switching, and hypervisor functionality in a single device.

Telco data centers are in the midst of a substantial transformation. Telcos aiming to lower costs and improve efficiencies are open to new solutions, including those from new suppliers. Each of these new companies is addressing a subset of the myriad requirements emerging from this transition. They are pushing commoditization of the networking function, meaning all vendors -- new and incumbent -- will need to find a differentiator that will add value.

— Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Atlantis-dude
50%
50%
Atlantis-dude,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/28/2014 | 2:09:47 AM
Customer
How big is the market for virtualized DC service ? Do operators have the skill-set to deliver it on their own ?
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/27/2014 | 1:35:23 PM
Re: Reinvention starts here
Lowering the costs of services they provide as Telco opens up a new market niche for the company. Increasing its efficiency also makes it competitive among other data centers. They will be able to reduce competition on their part since most consumers go for the product that is effective and has a low cost. This will help the company in dealing with any kind of challenges they may face as a company. Reinvention is needed.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
As the Internet of Things (IoT) market grows exponentially over the next few years, vendors will start focusing in on IoT platforms and the impact virtualization can have on the market, with rapid development and lower costs as main points of interest.
The Open Compute Project and the shift to SDN and NFV is driving a complete change in the architecture of telecom data centers and infrastructure.
Cable operators have some key hurdles to overcome if they wish to fill the growing mobility needs of small and large businesses alike.
With more and more businesses seeking mobility solutions, cable operators have the chance to carve out an even larger share of the commercial market.
Cable is going big with data analytics, digging into its big data stores, with the hope of garnering information, simplifying operations and improving services and customer care.
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
Cisco's Patel Hails 'Microculture' Successes
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/26/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.