February 20, 2023

Marketing Communications Director

Can Network Infrastructure Adapt at Scale?

Major sporting events have always been catalysts for new technologies. Many mobile, TV and access technologies have been launched in conjunction with such events, whether the Olympics, World Cup or Super Bowl.

But those events also pose a significant challenge to networking infrastructure, creating a dramatic and singular change in traffic patterns. 

Can Network Infrastructure Adapt at Scale?

What is network infrastructure

Network infrastructure refers to the primary components that enable communication and data transfer between devices and systems within a network. Or in simple terms, it is what makes the internet and other networks possible. Network infrastructure consists of physical components such as cables, routers, switches and servers, which facilitate the transportation of data. Furthermore, logical components such as software applications, protocols and security measures are used to manage and secure network traffic.

Intensive Multimedia Usage – Driving traffic demand pushes network bandwidth

The combination of a huge audience in a specific location, intensive multimedia usage by this audience, and a significant peak in streaming traffic can create tremendous challenges. In fact, last week’s Super Bowl represented a 103% increase in streaming viewers compared to the 2020 event. 

Such sporting event streaming requires not only high capacity (for 4K streaming), but also very low latency, as this is a major factor in live events. 

From the network infrastructure perspective, this could be a nightmare. You don’t want to plan your network for such extreme peaks, since you don’t want expensive hardware assets to be idle 364 days a year. On the other hand, you can’t afford any service hiccups during this peak “money time”. 

What is DriveNets Network Cloud?
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DriveNets Network Cloud – Easily allocate network hardware resources

Luckily, there is a flexible solution that allows you to allocate hardware resources, dynamically, to different network functions – DriveNets Network Cloud. 

Any network function in a Network Cloud implementation is a software package running in containers over a shared hardware resource pool. As a result, it is fairly easy to re-architect your main sites (CO, hub sites, etc.) remotely, instantaneously and without service interference in order to accommodate singular changes in traffic patterns. 

For instance, you can allocate packet-forwarding resources, as well as edge-router ports, from a business-service edge router to a residential-broadband edge router for a single afternoon – one in which you know most people are at home watching the Super Bowl and not at work.  

Network Cloud architecture – Shared underlying network infrastructure

This wouldn’t be possible if those were two separate routers. But in a Network Cloud architecture, those are two software instances that share the same underlying hardware (a white box cluster). So, it is only a matter of configuration of which ports and compute/networking resources are allocated to which router.  

This was also the case, by the way, when the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way so many people live, work and study. This prompt and massive move from daily commuting (to the office or school) to full-time “work from home for everyone” made business-service network domains significantly underutilized and residential-broadband network domains severely congested. The process of moving hardware resources from one domain to another was, if at all possible, slow and labor-intensive (not to mention CAPEX-extensive). 

Thankfully, for network infrastructure this is no longer the case – that is, if you use DriveNets Network Cloud. 

DriveNets White Paper

Introducing Network Cloud

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