For the typical organization, the day-to-day business focus is on how to keep moving forward, not looking back. The business of network operations is no different. Yet, as many communication service providers (CSPs) and other network operators look forward to the next big technology, they often fail to deal with legacy infrastructure that is holding them back. Targeted network transformation enables operators to modernize their networks to prepare for more profitable operations and next-generation service delivery.
When network facilities have infrastructure that is nearing end-of-life, or perhaps has already passed it, this equipment takes up valuable floor space, power availability and HVAC resources. Trying to maintain this legacy equipment is not only costly, but capacity constraints, outdated technology and oversized equipment all limit your capabilities to adopt innovative new digital technologies and meet today’s networking demands.
Moreover, legacy infrastructure that is no longer supported by the manufacturer not only increases outage risks, it also becomes harder to maintain and less sustainable over time, leaving your network struggling to keep up with customer service level agreement (SLA) requirements. But network modernization can be a daunting prospect, particularly for CSPs, utilities and government entities with limited skilled staff in-house. How can you realize network transformation quickly and efficiently with minimal risk?
Network transformation enables the life of legacy infrastructure to be extended in order to minimize total cost of ownership (TCO) and improve performance. Plus strategic modernization helps speed the transition to next-generation architecture to deliver innovative digital services. Before getting started, however, It’s important to ensure that network transformation is tailored to meet your specific business needs and right-sized for your network.
Begin with a clear understanding of specific modernization goals and a realistic timeframe. Objectives might include decommissioning legacy equipment to comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) security mandates, a site exit project to reduce real estate costs, making room for more efficient infrastructure to increase capacity, or migration from a legacy Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) network to packet-switched architecture to enable digital transformation.
Next, complete a detailed network discovery and audit including a strategic engineering analysis of outdated network elements. While these components may still be capable of passing traffic, if they are no longer supported by their manufacturer the rate of faults increases, plus spares can be difficult to find, which results in longer downtimes and a higher risk of outages affecting service. By eliminating these legacy network elements, operators can recover spares, free up space, reduce power consumption and minimize carbon footprint, ultimately increasing revenue per square foot.
In addition to larger footprints and greater power consumption, outdated technologies require manual provisioning and lack automated processes, increasing maintenance time and costs. Yet there are fewer qualified technicians able to provide support for this aging equipment. And with management systems no longer supported by their manufacturer, regular patches and updates critical to the function and security of these systems are no longer available.
Once a plan is in place for retirement of legacy network elements, the infrastructure replacement process needs to be completed with speed and precision. This undertaking is particularly critical when migrating live traffic, requiring considerable expertise to minimize risks and avoid any discernible impact on quality of service. There are four primary phases to be completed:
- Retire – Quickly turn down non-traffic bearing equipment to recover power and return spares to inventory
- Groom – Compress live traffic to minimize hardware necessary to maintain service and/or prepare traffic for migration to another platform
- Replace – Replace outdated systems with modern, sustainable architecture
- Migrate – End-to-end traffic migration to the new network.
Given the complexity of today’s networks, an important aspect of a transformation initiative is automating labor-intensive data harvesting and analysis. Automation technology delivers valuable operationalized data and insights, helping to identify problems and risks, improving the speed and quality of network modernization, and supporting intelligent decision-making.
For many CSPs, utilities and other network operators, managing this type of complex and challenging project is outside the scope of their in-house team. Therefore, the help of dedicated, experienced telecoms professionals is needed to successfully plan and implement this network transformation. That’s why at Fujitsu we developed proven processes, methodologies, tools and procedures from the ground up to ensure high-quality transformation results while de-risking live traffic migrations. In fact, Fujitsu network modernization specialists have migrated over 1.2 million circuits across more than 500 projects, building a track record of consistent high quality and continuous improvement.
Fujitsu’s Network Modernization Services bring together custom-built intelligent automation tools and highly skilled experts with vast working knowledge and experience to help network operators meet their transformation goals and deliver desired outcomes. Our consultative approach and multi-vendor managed network service allows us to recommend and implement the best solution tailored to your network needs, enabling you to safely replace or consolidate legacy equipment to improve network readiness for next-generation services.
With the right managed services partner, CSPs and network managers can achieve targeted, scalable network transformation with minimal risk to benefit from higher performance and efficiency, greater capacity, increased network resiliency, improved sustainability and lower operating costs. Don’t let outdated infrastructure drain your profitability.