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Network disaggregation: reshaping CSPs’ IP networks for 5G, cloud and edge

08 March 2021 | Research

Gorkem Yigit

Strategy report | PPTX and PDF (7 slides) | Cloud Infrastructure Strategies

"Network disaggregation is becoming a reality for CSPs' IP networks, but CSPs need to have a clear strategy and operational readiness prior to its adoption."


Network disaggregation (that is, the decoupling of network hardware and software) was first embraced by hyper-scalers that implemented large-scale disaggregated and software-defined data centres and wide-area networks to drive service innovation and market differentiation. Communications service providers (CSPs) are starting to apply a similar approach to their IP core, transport and access networks by using an emerging ecosystem of hardware (white-box and merchant silicon), network operating system (NOS) software and professional services solutions.

This report provides:

  • an overview of network disaggregation in CSPs' IP core, transport and access networks and the emerging vendor ecosystem
  • an analysis of the drivers, challenges and operational implications of network disaggregation
  • an overview of network disaggregation use cases and deployment models
  • a discussion of the operational requirements for network disaggregation lifecycle management
  • recommendations for CSPs on how to take full advantage of network disaggregation.


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