Metropolitan Data Centers Traffic Surges

By Mike Allen

Posted On December 23, 2013


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"Data center networks in metropolitan areas could soon be hit with rush-hour like congestion, as traffic is expected to rise 560 percent in the next few years. In order to avoid transforming customers into Michael Douglas in ""Falling Down,"" data center operators will have to invest in next-gen network solutions to keep the information highway moving.

According to a recent study conducted by Bell Labs and released by Alcatel-Lucent, data traffic in large cities will rise by 560 percent by 2017. New network-hungry data centers and consumer demand for high-bandwidth files such as video are seen as major driving factors to this rise. Perhaps most interestingly, the rising rate of metropolitan data center traffic is not expected to be equaled by facilities not located in major urban regions. Today, about 57 percent of data center traffic remains in metro networks. By 2017, that number is expected to surpass 75 percent. Overall data traffic is expected to rise 440 percent through 2017.

Video traffic is expected to rise by 720 percent by 2017, and by that year one-quarter of all data center traffic will be transmitted as video, data and Web content over network backbones. Such a rapid ascent of traffic will create a need for network architecture solutions that can continue to handle it.

Architecture Solutions for Traffic Decongestion
It's likely that a cocktail of physical and virtual data center techniques will be implemented to increase bandwidth availability and serverprocessing speed. The study stated that high-speed broadband and cloud computing will increasingly be deployed to help manage data transfers, while popular video programming will be increasingly cached in metro networks rather than central backbones for faster and more reliable access. Additional data centers may also be required to handle the close-by offsite storage of the most frequently accessed content.

Data centers in metro areas will also have to be configured for cloud computing environments. According to TechTarget, architecture fabrics and silicon are two technologies that will see increased investment in 2014 as data center operators strive to make their facilities more cloud-friendly. Facility operators are weaning themselves off legacy architecture, which can be susceptible to underutilization and unnecessary sprawl, by investing in virtualized solutions that make make physical machines more efficient and simplify the process of directing traffic in a data center.

""There has been a hold-off in networking infrastructure spend[ing] and we are seeing that lift. We are now starting to hit the end of depreciation,"" industry analyst Eric Hanselman told the source. ""We have gotten to [the] point where there is a lot of gear that is getting a little long in the tooth, so we are now seeing a lot of unlocking for some of these transitions."""


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Mike Allen

"Data center networks in metropolitan areas could soon be hit with rush-hour like congestion, as traffic is expected to rise 560 percent in the next few years. In order to avoid transforming customers into Michael Douglas in ""Falling Down,"" data center operators will have to invest in next-gen network solutions ...