In our previous posts, we explored the concept of P-OTS and its shortcomings and discussed the need for integrating network layers. Now let’s turn our attention to what operators REALLY need in a next-gen solution: optimized multi-layer transport.
As we’re well aware, the explosive growth of data services in recent years has resulted in unprecedented bandwidth and capacity challenges for operators. Success in this new environment will require a new approach to next-generation (NG) transport – one that meets the scalability, performance, manageability and revenue objectives that an evolving market demands. This new solution must offer a modular, flexible approach to building networks that fully integrates packet and optical networking technologies in an innovative way to provide support for legacy services while being optimized for the delivery of high-growth services.
Until now, there has been no solution in the marketplace that’s addressed all these needs. Today, ECI brings to market a new family of products under the category of optimized multi-layer transport system, or ‘OMLT.’ The OMLT utilizes a unique combination of technology, architecture and packaging to make optimized multi-layer transport a reality.
What operators need now is a new breed of NG transport solution, and the OMLT is that solution.
Meet the OMLT
So what exactly is the OMLT? OMLT stands for optimized multi-layer transport system, and it’s beyond next-generation P-OTS. A concept introduced by Telecom Strategy Partners
, the OMLT is a purpose-built, true convergence system that integrates Layer 0, Layer 1, Layer 2 and Layer 3 functionality, offering an integrated, multi-layer management view. It has a modular architecture and can be deployed as an integrated system with all these functions – or as an optical system or CESR. An OMLT system provides a low entry cost because it can be expanded in the future to support additional functionality (pay as you grow).
The OMLT is the first practical answer to operators’ scalability and profitability challenges.
How the OMLT differs from P-OTS
You may be wondering exactly how the OMLT differs from P-OTS. After all, both provide some level of convergence, right? While that’s true to a certain extent, P-OTS does not offer a true convergence solution because it usually requires another system to be installed alongside it to achieve a complete transport solution. In sharp contrast to this, the OMLT provides a full transport solution with all required functionality in a single platform – see the table below which compares the available options for NG transport.
Another important differentiator is the modular design of the OMLT. This enables a system to be deployed initially with only certain functionality and then expanded at a later date to support additional functionality – otherwise known as ‘pay as you grow.’ This means that you don’t have to pay for functionality that you’re not using!
Converged platforms have been proven to reduce the total cost of an overall solution. A converged platform requires less power, real estate, spare cards, connections between systems and more. And what’s more, converged platforms reduce network opex by providing a single network management system for all transport layers and systems, the same look and feel for all layers and a unified control plane and single northbound interface to the OSS. We are even seeing Tier 1 operators beginning to shift to this type of approach. The OMLT is the first and only NG transport solution that enables true convergence of the optical and packet layers without compromising on cost or functionality.
How the OMLT addresses operator’s NG transport needs
As I mentioned previously, until now no one solution has been able to effectively address operators’ NG transport needs. The OMLT is different. It meets the needs of the service provider market today and tomorrow by tackling these four key areas:
- Bandwidth growth – The OMLT addresses bandwidth growth by focusing on the true convergence of network layers to reduce the cost of building and operating networks.
- Infrastructure costs – The OMLT addresses high equipment and operations costs via a modular and flexible system design that provides a low entry cost and pay-as-you-grow scalability for added functionality. Simply put, you don’t pay for functionality you’re not using!
- Revenue pressure – The OMLT eliminates the capex and opex associated with multiple networks by integrating Layer 0-3 functionality in a single platform, optimizing the whole (multi-layered) architecture instead of the individual parts (layers). This restores the profitability that was eroded by declining revenue per bit.
- Service ramp up and maintenance – The OMLT simplifies and accelerates the process of introducing and maintaining new services by presenting a single management system for all network layers. This means that new services can be turned up quickly and maintained easily.
Finally, ‘beyond NG’ transport is here
When it comes to NG transport, P-OTS just isn’t enough. What’s needed now is an intelligent, efficient and flexible beyond NG transport solution that fully integrates packet and optical technologies to minimize cost and maximize the profitability of services. And that’s the OMLT.
To learn more about ECI’s vision for the OMLT, check out the Apollo family of OMLTs
, just introduced today. Let me know your thoughts and feedback!
NG Optical Networking Product Line Manager