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Build it or buy it: Questions to ask about your metro data center network infrastructure

Mitch Simcoe | Sept. 12, 2014
This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter's approach.

For more efficient delivery of traffic across metro-regional boundaries, an enterprise can aggregate traffic at the Optical Transport Network (OTN) layer at the enterprise regional datacenter. In this scenario, the low-cost metro DWDM customer-located terminals are left intact at the enterprise data centers, while the back-to-back metro DWDM terminals connected to the regional transponder are collapsed into a single OTN packet/switch node with metro short-range optics facing the enterprise data centers and high-speed optics facing the enterprise regional backbone.

This approach leads to cost savings from increased network velocity and creates a foundation for introducing bandwidth on-demand services across the organization.

 * Do you have periodic need for 'on-demand' bandwidth? Consider the regular data backup you do over the weekend. In this example, you need to procure a 10G service for three hours every Saturday night to maximize application performance. With static connections, enterprises would usually deploy service capacity that is typically required for day-to-day operations, such as a 1G service. As a result, a backup operation using static connections would require a much longer duration.

 Another application that might include a spike in demand is distribution of media content. You many need, for example, 10G services to distribute high-definition pre-production, uncompressed video streams from event venues to production studios.

On-demand services can be delivered on OTN/packet switching network architectures by adding Software-Defined Networking (SDN)-type capabilities. A programmable and switching-capable network enables multiple enterprise users to utilize the same network resources at different time intervals.

 Ultimately, there is no black or white answer on the decision to build or buy it's often many shades of grey. But as you move data centers from metro core to regional locations, consider the questions and evolution path you want follow to optimize the cost of delivering new services and matching service bandwidth to the demand bandwidth in a more accurate way.


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