Infinera Instant Network paves the road to on-demand software-defined capacity

Infinera has introduced Infinera Instant Network, what it describes as a new software-defined capacity controller for cloud scale networks.

With Instant Network, service providers activate software-defined capacity controller (SDC) when revenue-generating services demand it, shrinking the time between paying for capacity and activating revenue-generating services. Instant Network also enables service providers to accelerate service delivery and lower operational expenditures by automating optical capacity engineering and by reducing truck rolls to install additional hardware.

Infinera claims that while the industry has made major strides in software-defined networking (SDN) to date, the major strides forward are around virtualising and controlling services inside a fixed amount of optical capacity in layers one to three.

Increasing optical capacity on conventional hardware-based transport systems can take months between forecasting and activating the optical capacity needed to deliver new services.

In the past this drives service providers to overprovision optical capacity by as much as 50% to ensure service delivery. Instant Network, Infinera claims, enables service providers to automate optical capacity engineering and scale optical capacity in minutes by using Infinera’s Xceed and Digital Node Administrator (DNA) software.

Service providers can then closely match capacity deployment to the activation of revenue-generating services and to eliminate multiple planning and provisioning steps that previously required numerous manual tasks.

Michael Howard, senior research analyst and advisor, carrier networks, at IHS Markit said: “Many vendors are trialling new software licensing models in the router/switch world, and my observation is that they have seen only limited success. In the optical transport world, Infinera seems to be the one vendor that has been quite successful in implementing software-based licensing and delivering on-demand, software defined capacity, with a large number of their customers actively deploying it today.”

Emerging 5G mobile services, the Internet of Things (IoT), streaming video, Carrier Ethernet and cloud-based on-demand business services require increased optical network agility and this is what Infinera is attempting to tackle.

“Our international customers expect on-demand capacity across our global network,” said Darrin Webb, executive director of international operations and services at Telstra. “The scale and diversity of our subsea cable network in the Asia Pacific region puts us in a strong position to invest in technologies that deliver on this requirement, such as our new ‘Always On’ service guarantee, which provides world-first assured availability across Asia’s busiest subsea cable

“Carriers are looking for ways to reduce the time to recognise revenue for services,” said Don Frey, principal analyst at Ovum. “Infinera’s first step was Instant Bandwidth. Now Infinera’s Instant Network, Xceed Software Suite, and Infinite Capacity Engine create a killer combination to uniquely address carrier’s requirement to quickly address a customer’s bandwidth need.”