Many operators are interested in developing new business opportunities through the implementation of Network Centric Services (NCS), where the operator combines both network resources (raw connectivity) and IT resources (content storage and computing). Some examples of NCS include: PC virtualization, VoD, 3D Internet gaming, SaaS and SAN. These types of services and the expected continuous growth in Internet traffic (mainly driven by video) will imply a huge impact in the metro network. The network costs of current metro architectures depend significantly on traffic growth; the higher the traffic the higher the network costs. Consequently, any cost increase will impact on the ISP’s margins (ref. Figure). The network architectures of the last 20 years were never designed to cope with these new types of service demands. Therefore, new architectural solutions are needed to deliver the huge expected increase in traffic in a cost-effective way, and ensure low cost broadband Internet access in Europe.
This paper presents a new network architecture, elaborated and prototyped in the European research project IST FP7 MAINS (Metro Architecture EnabliNg Subwavelength), which aims to solve the structural limitations of the current IP architectures. The MAINS application scenario is the Metro-Regional network, which comprises the network segment between the access network and the long-haul core network. The MAINS architecture is independent of the technologies used in access and core networks; however, specific interoperability issues with NG-PON and WSON are considered as critical use-cases because of the emerging popularity of these technologies in the access and core segments.