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Mastering the unexpected through innovation

Mastering the unexpected through innovation

Behind every statistic lies a story. When we read that ‘every minute, USD 2,900,000 is lost to cybercrime’1, or consult Nokia’s own research to find that Distributed Denial of Service traffic is now the fastest growing category of traffic on the network, we can no longer think of these as ‘victimless’ crimes. Indeed, in the first half of 2021 in the US alone, breaches of technology security led variously to serious interruption of the gas supply; to a major financial company being locked out of its own network for a fortnight; and to the temporary pollution of a public water supply. It’s a threat that will only increase. Driven by technology and commercial considerations, service providers are more often adopting third-party transport options, open architectures, and globalized models, which can make IP networks more vulnerable to attack.

While technology security breaches are devastating for individual companies and – often – for their customers or users, it’s increasingly the case that they can even threaten the fabric of society itself. The last 12 months showed growth in network traffic of up to 60% as people shifted online for work, education, entertainment and more. While a lot of this was driven by the pandemic, it’s clear that many of these changes are a one-way street: as more of what we do as individuals, workers and societies moves online, so more of those networks become ‘critical’. In short, increasingly, networks are life.

So what can we do to make sure that these critical ‘life support systems’ operate at the highest possible level of performance, reliability, and efficiency? Nokia is proposing that, instead of creating traffic models, busy hours and orchestrated services, our industry should focus on mastering the unexpected in whatever form it comes.

For Nokia’s customers, that mastery comes through a foundation that delivers three elements for mission-critical IP networks:

  • software excellence;
  • automation and tools; and
  • silicon and systems.

When it comes to software, there’s enormous value in having a single software architecture for the entire IP portfolio. More than a million routers deployed in critical networks worldwide have proven the stability and reliability of Nokia’s SR OS architecture.

We also continue to evolve our software to meet customer needs, using automation to scale development and testing exponentially and data mining to introduce new features seamlessly in SR OS.
 
While automation is helping us keep our software at the cutting edge, we’re also using it in our customers’ networks. While early network automation projects mainly handled repetitive tasks, automation is nowadays applied to achieving objectives like better operations, accelerated time to market and even complex network transformation. Automation, in short, is key to both saving and generating money.

Hand-in-hand with automation, analytics tools like Nokia Deepfield are providing insights that help our customers understand what’s happening with their subscribers and networks, along with a detailed understanding of the threats to those networks, to help derive the best security models. We’re even providing the capability to program network processors within the IP network to drop packets that are recognizable as threats, requiring only a small fraction of traffic to be redirected to quarantine centers for scrubbing.

At the heart of IP networks, of course, lie silicon and systems.

Nokia’s IP portfolio brings together products using our own purpose-built silicon – designed for the most challenging applications – with other platforms based on merchant silicon and cloud environments, providing maximum customer choice.

Nokia prides itself on the longevity of our systems; indeed, it’s not unusual for them to have a running life of over 10 years, making them truly cost-effective, reliable and efficient. But while our systems are, therefore, both long-established and long-running they also add a third dimension: they are truly innovative.

This week, Nokia announced the newest addition to our IP portfolio: the next generation of our network processing silicon; FP5.

This development is an exciting step in the evolution of Nokia’s IP portfolio, confirming our determination to deliver innovative core technologies that are truly the right foundation for our service provider customers.

In delivering more bandwidth more efficiently, and in coping with challenges we can’t predict, Nokia’s innovative platform, agile software and cutting-edge automation help our customers deal with whatever life throws at them. Without a crystal ball, we’re not able to say what events are around the corner. But we can promise that service providers that partner with Nokia will be in a much better position to master the unexpected.

 

1 Risk IQ, quoted in Forbes magazine

Federico Guillén

About Federico Guillén

As President of Network Infrastructure at Nokia – a group that combines Nokia’s IP Networks, Optical Networks, Fixed Networks and Alcatel Submarine Networks businesses – Federico is responsible for a wide range of critical networks for customers in both the communication service provider (CSP) and webscale segments globally.

In his spare time he enjoys golfing, playing chess, alternately celebrating and lamenting the fortunes of the Real Madrid team, and spending time with his family.

Connect with Federico on LinkedIn.

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