Data traffic on metro access and aggregation networks is set to grow by as much as 560% by 2017, according to new research from Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs, driven by demand for ultra-broadband access, video and cloud services.
The research also indicates that by 2017 more than 75% of this traffic will stay in metro networks, up from just 57% today.
Meanwhile, traffic from video services will grow by 720% over the forecast period, with data-center traffic increasing by 440%.
According to Bell Labs (Murray Hill, NJ, USA), the rising demand for ultra-broadband access, video, cloud and other high-bandwidth services is forcing enterprises and communications service providers to bring content closer to customers to boost quality of experience and operational efficiencies.
For instance, companies are caching the most popular video content deeper in the network so it can be delivered to customers locally over metro networks, instead of accessed from a central cache over the backbone network.
Thanks to growing demand for cloud services, enterprises and operators are also adding data centers within the metro area to support service delivery.
These trends mean that only 25% of traffic will traverse the backbone by 2017, down from 43% today.
Bell Labs says operators need a network architecture that will ensure the metro remains a key contributor – rather than a bottleneck – in the new “virtualized” environment.
Cloud-optimized networks will allow companies to take advantage of developments such as software-defined networking and respond quickly to the rapid growth in demand for video and other high-bandwidth services.