Bell Labs releases updated version of its G.W.A.T.T. application, a tool intended to help operators plan for the energy consumption and efficiency of their networks.

January 15, 2015

4 Min Read

PARIS -- Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU), has released an updated version of its G.W.A.T.T. application, the unique tool designed to help operators plan for the energy consumption and efficiency of their networks. Version 2.0 of G.W.A.T.T. (Global ‘What if’ Analyzer of NeTwork Energy ConsumpTion) offers greater flexibility in the way operators model their network evolution. It will also allow them to better understand the impact on network energy consumption, cost and carbon footprint from greater use of new technologies, such as SDN and NFV, as well as high-bandwidth video and gaming applications.

Increased energy consumption is a key challenge for the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) industry. Network energy bills represent more than 10% of operators’ operational expenses. In 2013, 69 gigawatts was used to power data and communication networks including data centers – the equivalent of powering New York City 12 times over.

Alcatel-Lucent is committed to helping operators deploy future communications networks in an economic and sustainable way. Since its launch in April 2014 the application has been accessed by almost 1000 individual users to forecast the effect of traffic projections on energy consumption.

Many operators are beginning their virtualization journey, with the aim of using resources more efficiently to meet customers growing demands. G.W.A.T.T. 2.0 will help them make more informed decisions about their network transformation. Updates to the application include:

  • A more comprehensive method of modelling the energy impact of introducing SDN and NFV virtualization technologies.

    • A way to model specific high-bandwidth apps such as video and gaming.

    • The ability to change traffic growth assumptions based on changing market conditions and an operator’s own network intelligence.

    • The ability to model phased network upgrades, selecting parts of the network to see the impact of a phased upgrade where before operators could only select 100% technology replacement.

      Through G.W.A.T.T. 2.0 operators are given a view of the entire network, showing the impact of new technologies and high-bandwidth services across the home and enterprise networks, the wireless and fixed access networks, the metro, edge and core backbone networks and the service core and data centers. G.W.A.T.T. 2.0 shows power consumption at each point. This allows operators to see ‘hot spots’ where most energy is consumed within the network. It can also identify how different technologies and network evolutions can make a network more energy efficient.

      G.W.A.T.T. 2.0 addresses a variety of key questions that are relevant to the ICT industry, including:

    • What is the overall energy consumption of the telecommunication networks?

    • Where is most of the energy consumed in the end-to-end network today and how much does it cost to power the network now and in the future?

    • How much energy is consumed by wireless networks? By data centers?

    • What is the impact of traffic growth and new applications and services on the energy consumption of current networks as well as future SDN and NFV-based networks?

    • How will the network’s energy consumption evolve based on technology evolution over the next four years?

      Joe Hoffman, Practice Director, Mobile Networks, of ABI Research said: “Alcatel-Lucent provides directionally correct guidance to the telecom industry with its G.W.A.T.T. service. The operator, regulatory and environmental communities can assess various ‘what if’ scenarios with the resulting economic impact and carbon emission. With the G.W.A.T.T. 2.0 release, an operator can tailor the network configuration to resemble its current network and future architecture choices. Alcatel-Lucent is the first to quantify the game changing nature of SDN and NFV regarding environmental impact. Everyone with an interest in meeting the challenge of Global Climate Change should visit the G.W.A.T.T. web site.”

      Greg Whelan, Principal Analyst at Greywale Management/ACG Research said: “It really is a question of when not if energy issues will impact carriers’ bottom line. A linear correlation between traffic growth and OPEX can’t continue. Adding an energy strategy to the mix is the prudent thing to do. Alcatel Lucent is clearly taking the lead to address these tough issues. Their work at Bell Labs and through GreenTouch™ is setting the agenda for energy aware network architectures.”

      Marcus Weldon, Chief Technology Officer of Alcatel-Lucent and President of Bell Labs said: “With the advent of the Internet of Things era, and the inexorable consumption of video and cloud services promising to drive massively increased traffic across networks, it is even more important for operators to have a complete view of the energy impact of different technology and architectural evolution options. G.W.A.T.T. 2.0 has been built to allow operators to better understand these evolutions and to reflect upon the way they introduce new technology into their network.”

      Bell Labs

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