One of the greatest technological challenges of our time is building out the global wireless and wireline infrastructure to handle rapidly growing IP traffic—which increased eightfold over the past five years and is forecasted to increase fourfold over the next five years. This exponential boom in IP traffic is due, in part, to the escalating demand for rich content by consumers using increasingly powerful mobile devices. Service providers must keep up with demand while delivering high-quality, value-added services at a competitive price. Telecom equipment manufacturers (TEMs) face similar challenges that require them to develop faster, more energy-efficient equipment capable of supporting higher traffic throughput at the network core, access and edge.
With substantial infrastructure investments on the horizon, service providers are looking for networking and telecom equipment that provides greater agility, more resilient security, and better economics. These requirements will drive TEMs to retool their offerings to speed up new services deployment, better protect users and their data, and support much more throughput and network intelligence at lower cost. However, equipment platform complexity is hindering manufacturers from making significant progress in these area.
Network elements are rather complicated, particularly since many employ an assortment of processors to perform different workloads, such as application, control plane, data plane, and signal processing. Getting various computing systems to efficiently work together is typically difficult and time consuming. Then consider the entire network and its wide range of elements, each using various architectures for different workloads; this complicated status quo hinders service providers seeking to deploy services quickly, reduce costs, scale new services, and contain infrastructure support costs. Similarly, TEMs fail to gain economies of scale due to the need to maintain expertise across multiple architectures, complex system integration, and expensive tool chains to support different architecture.