Today, our industry is experiencing a paradigm shift in service provider (SP) networking: network applications are becoming independent from the transport layers. Modern, cloud-based SP applications need flexible, intelligent overlay network services and are not well-served by legacy, static, low-layer data transmission.
This trend is driven by many factors:
Increased demand to bring the service delivery point closer to the user. IP devices are progressively replacing legacy Layer 2 (L2) network elements, hence partitioning the L2 domains.
More “intelligent” features for fast protection available at the IP/MPLS layer that could replace the corresponding fast protection features of optical networks.
Shifting of mobile traffic—traditionally delivered over TDM circuits—toward Ethernet, and subsequently toward IP in 3G (e.g., Universal Mobile Telecommunications System [UMTS]), or 4G (e.g., Long-Term Evolution [LTE]), or small-cells networks.
High-scale data centers shifting to MPLS fabrics and MPLS-enabled servers.
To cope with this demand, increasing the capacity of existing core (or spine) devices is necessary but not sufficient. The required presence of service endpoints in many small-range sites also relies on increasing the overall number of MPLS-enabled devices in the networks.
As a result of bringing the L3 edge closer to the end user, networks are witnessing the introduction of many small devices:
In the edge ...