Abstract

The proliferation of data centers deployed within the networks of national and international operators is enabling the creation of innovative added-value services offered through consumer and business applications. This trend is constantly triggering the adaptation of network operations to the needs of the applications. Indeed, they would be better served by a flexible infrastructure that accomodates and optimizes resources based on their constraints, parameters of interest, and priorities. The required network optimization can be carried out considering each single layer of the infrastructure. However, multilayer optimization gives the opportunity to further diminish CAPEX expenditures by identifying the network configuration that jointly optimizes packet and transport resources. Unfortunately, in current deployments, the planning process is not carried out considering the impact of both layer at same time. In this paper, we walk the reader through the manifold aspects of planning in multilayer environments. We first provide an illustrative guide by means of relevant operator-driven use-cases, also taking into account key network operations. The following step in this evolutionary path is the introduction of application-awareness in network planning, which has the potential of increasing savings, while offering a better adaptation of network services to applications’ requirements. Without such feature, the network will become an inefficient dumb pipe, with dramatically increasing costs. Finally, we discuss a use case for in-operation application-aware network planning, where optimization is dynamically performed over running networks, and we present the overall operations workflow for provisioning and optimizing resources that includes it.

© 2017 IEEE

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