Software-Defined Networking and Services on Intel® Processors
Fixed line network service providers are coming under increasing commercial pressure from the growth of over-the-top (OTT) content providers. These new players are starting to identify individual end users, profile services for those users’ specific needs, and establish direct billing relationships that threaten existing business models. Meanwhile, mobile broadband service providers are facing a ten-fold increase in traffic over the period 2011-16. This growth is coming from video-based services, which have a very low revenue potential per bit carried compared to the applications, such as Web browsing, that established the market pricing for the underlying network service.
To remain competitive, today’s network service providers need to be able to respond to evolving markets and traffic types in a timeframe of hours and days rather than the months and years typically involved in developing carrier grade network services. Recent improvements in Intel® microarchitecture open the door for network service providers to gain unprecedented flexibility and control over customer offerings through use of software-defined networks (SDN). By virtualizing network functions on Intel® architecture, network service providers can employ techniques such as deep packet inspection (DPI), geographic load balancing, and power management to optimize available bandwidth—resulting in dramatic cost savings. Moreover, network virtualization enables network service providers to quickly deploy software applications, enabling new revenue generating services that can be brought to market in shorter timescales.
This paper describes how Intel® processor-based devices deployed at the network edge can help service provider network strategists, architects, and designers reduce initial development costs, on-going operational costs, and time to market for new services. It presents the benefits of using standard hardware for network components and describes how Intel® architecture-based hardware can fit into existing network environments.