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Scaling-Up the Network for Zettabyte Era Growth

How Do You Prepare for That Upswing in Network Traffic?

Years ago, Cisco had asked the question, “Are You Ready?” Today, the citizens of the world certainly have said “Yes.”  Broadband service providers (SP) have seen progressive shifts in user demand. And now, the question seems to be the user’s asking their SP’s. “Are You Ready? - to meet the needs of us users?”

If you haven’t seen the VNI statistics, the results will shock you. SP’s are on the verge of witnessing staggering amounts of network traffic streaming through their networks. You ask, how staggering? Well, it’s akin to streaming 130,000 titles in the Netflix DVD library simultaneously in just one second.

How do you prepare for that upswing in network traffic? Some forward-looking SP’s are already taking preemptive actions - not just to meet needs through upgrades, but because they see an exciting upside opportunity. Consider the example of how Telstra has rolled out a new Content Delivery Network (CDN) in Australia.

In this business, growth is a given. However, the whole notion of what constitutes “high-growth” takes on new meaning when there’s a significant change in user application characteristics. For the SP, the answer cannot be simply larger and faster interfaces. There are new dynamics of traffic patterns and traffic flow that speed alone cannot solve efficiently. So, why has content distribution suddenly become an essential component of SP business strategy? The way we all consume information is rapidly evolving - whether at work, at home, or on the move. The average user, in the course of their day typically:

  • watches HD video content
  • uses a smartphone to check email, watch video, connect with friends, and use life assisting applications.
  • attends a video conference
  • Spends time social networking or playing games with a friend(s) over the Internet
  • For an SP, this implies that there will be more video to stream, more devices to connect, and higher expectations from customers on quality of experience.

    However, let’s look at the key challenges SP’s face from a network perspective:

    Read the original blog entry...

    More Stories By Don Nelson

    Don Nelson is the moderator and Program Manager for the CiscoSP360 Blog. He is a member of the Service Provider marketing team at Cisco Systems, Inc. Don has more than 10 years of experience in web site development, design, information architecture, and web-based marketing. In 2008, he transitioned from webmaster to exploring and managing social media marketing for B2B.