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From autonomous to adaptive: the next evolution in networking

Gorkem Yigit Senior Analyst, Research
Dana Cooperson Research Director

"Adaptive networks promise a revolutionary opportunity for providers to realize long-desired, highly automated, lean and agile operations."

FREE WHITE  PAPER

From autonomous to adaptive: the next evolution in networking front cover

Recent developments and progress in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are generating significant interest and investments in many industries; information and communication technologies (ICT) is no different. Network providers are now able to rethink their operations with AI to achieve their long-desired goal of end-to-end automation, but most of them do not want to cede control to networks that decide their own direction and remove humans from the equation altogether.

Most network providers want their networks and operations to become more 'adaptive' to respond to an ever-changing competitive landscape and consumer demands, which requires a coherent combination of human-controlled and -supervised automated operational processes, analytics-driven intelligence, and an underlying programmable infrastructure.

This white paper aims to set a clear vision for the future 'adaptive' wide-area transport networks and their operations. It provides a definition of an adaptive network and discusses the key market and operational forces that are driving network providers to make their networks more adaptive. It describes the key building block components of adaptive networks and provides an overview of the key requirements that providers should be looking for when procuring these solutions/components.

The paper then analyses the potential migration paths that providers can take to adaptive networks and recommends a stepwise approach to building adaptive networks without the need for a major transformation. It also discusses several use cases for adaptive networks and provides a real implementation case example from a network provider (Windstream). Finally, it provides best practices for network providers to overcome the technological, operational and organizational challenges for building adaptive networks.

Figure 1: The building block technologies and tools of an adaptive network