As enterprises migrate to the cloud, cloud-based services are emerging as a new and potentially huge revenue opportunity for network operators. Yet, the underlying network requirements for cloud networks are very different from what is provided by the static-pipe networks of today. For cloud resources to be shared efficiently, communications networks need to be deterministic (not best effort) and, in many cases, low latency so that applications and storage resources "feel" local, even when they are separated by many tens and hundreds of kilometres. In addition, for operators to profit from the on-demand nature of the cloud, the network needs to be dynamic so that bandwidth can be turned up and down quickly and as required by the applications. This session will delve into the critical role of optical networks in the cloud infrastructure and will include perspectives from suppliers building equipment as well as from network operators that are building the networks. While the focus of the session will be on the optical layers, it will also provide perspectives on other networks.
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