PTC 2015 Focuses on Submarine Cables and SDNs
January 20, 2015 2 Comments
In an informal survey of words used during seminars and discussions, two main themes are emerging at the Pacific Telecommunications Council’s 2015 annual conference. The first, as expected, is development of more submarine cable capacity both within the Pacific, as well as to end points in ANZ, Asia, and North America. The second, software defined networking (SDN), as envisioned could quickly begin to re-engineer the gateway and carrier hotel interconnection business.
New cable development, including Arctic Fiber, Trident, SEA-US, and APX-E have sparked a lot of interest. One discussion at Sunday morning’s Submarine Cable Workshop highlighted the need for Asian (and other regions) need to find ways to bypass the United States, not just for performance issues, but also to avoid US government agencies from intercepting and potentially exploiting data hitting US networks and data systems.
The bottom line with all submarine cable discussions is the need for more, and more, and more cable capacity. Applications using international communications capacity, notably video, are consuming at rates which are driving fear the cable operators won’t be able to keep up with capacity demands.
However perhaps the most interesting, and frankly surprising development is with SDNs in the meet me room (MMR). Products such as PacNet’s PEN (PacNet Enabled Network) are finally putting reality into on-demand, self-service circuit provisioning, and soon cloud computing capacity provisioning within the MMR. Demonstrations showed how a network, or user, can provisioning from 1Mbps to 10Gbps point to point within a minute.
In the past on demand provisioning of interconnections was limited to Internet Exchange Points. Fiber cross connects, VLANs, and point to point Ethernet connections. Now, as carrier hotels and MMRs acknowledge the need for rapid provisioning of elastic (rapid addition and deletion of bandwidth or capacity) resources, the physical cross connect and IXP peering tools will not be adequate for market demands in the future.
SDN models, such as PacNet’s PEN, are a very innovative step towards this vision. The underlying physical interconnection infrastructure simply becomes a software abstraction for end users (including carriers and networks) allowing circuit provisioning in a matter of minutes, rather than days.
The main requirement for full deployment is to “sell” carriers and networks on the concept, as key success factors will revolve around the network effect of participant communities. Simply, the more connecting and participating networks within the SDN “community,” the more value the SDN MMR brings to a facility or market.
A great start to PTC 2015. More PTC 2015 “sidebars” on Tuesday.