IHS Markit: 70% of service providers will deploy CORD in central offices by end of 2017

A data center

AT&T and other large telcos’ efforts to deploy Central Office Rearchitected as a Data center (CORD) in their smart central offices (COs) illustrate that the concept is truly gaining momentum as a way to virtualize legacy network infrastructure.

CORD combines NFV and SDN-based software to improve elasticity and bring data center economics and cloud agility to the telco’s CO.

IHS found in its latest Routing, NFV, and Packet-Optical Strategies Global Service Provider Survey that 70% of respondents plan to deploy CORD in their smart COs.

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IHS Markit

Specifically, 30% will implement CORD in their COs by the end of 2017, while an additional 40% will start rolling it out in 2018 or later.

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Michael Howard, senior research director and advisor, carrier networks for IHS Markit, said that “95% of operators surveyed are using or planning to use smart COs by deploying servers and storage in selected COs to create mini data centers to offer cloud services and to use them as the NFV infrastructure on which to run virtual network functions (VNFs).”

Additionally, service providers are also ramping their deployments of 100G.  

IHS said that 16% of the 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) router ports that the research firm’s survey participants purchased in 2016 were 100 GE on average, adding that these service providers expect their 100 GE port purchases to more than double to 38 percent in 2018.

Nearly almost all of IHS service provider respondents (88 to 96%) expect to be paying “10 GE parity” or less in three main areas of their networks. What “parity” means is that a 100 GE port is priced at 10 times the price of a 10 GE port.

As service providers ramp their 100G deployments, the advent of packet optical transport systems (P-OTS) is on the rise.

IHS said that 70% of survey respondents are deploying P-OTS or plan to do so by 2018. The percentage of nodes with P-OTS is anticipated to grow sixfold in core/long haul and almost double in access, aggregation, metro core and regional between 2016 and 2018.

“We believe these plans will keep a damper on router sales,” Howard said. “And despite much industry talk, respondents have little current demand for a multi-layer data/transport control plane.”