Next-Generation Metro Network and Edge Computing Architectures

Cloud computing, edge computing, 5G, and metro networks are converging with the promise of offering new categories of consumer and enterprise services. Network operators expect to generate new revenues with edge services that could help accelerate growth throughout the decade. However, for next-generation 5G and edge services to become a success, network operators need to transform their networks and their operating models.

Many edge applications, such as Open RAN, MEC, and video CDN, have strict constraints around bandwidth, latency, and security. Network traffic is continuing to grow, and a significant share of traffic will be terminated in regional and metro edge compute nodes. This means that there will be fundamental shifts in metro network requirements and architectures. Metro topologies will include both ring and spine-leaf architectures; access and aggregation bandwidth will increase from 1 Gbps to 10/25/100/400 Gbps; network slicing will become a critical requirement in metro networks.

Service and application intelligence are critical component of next-generation metro networks. End-to-end orchestration and automation are necessary to ensure network scalability, elasticity, and security. Peter Fetterolf  explains how trends in 5G, edge computing, and metro network traffic are driving the requirements, topologies, and architecture of future metro networks.

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