How VR is changing bandwidth needs

Software Defined Networking (SDN) solutions will need to change as new tech arrives on the scene. With the rise of the Oculus Rift and other systems, Virtual Reality is a hot topic for consumers and businesses alike. But how will it impact telecom? With gaming especially poised to put VR on the map, the potential bandwidth demands are high, with providers needing to improve their capabilities to perform well.

In an article for IT ProPortal, Greg McCulloch noted the major demands that VR puts on data centers. In addition to the virtualization needs of organizations, centers also need to prepare for infrastructural changes, McCulloch wrote. These include the practical needs of higher-power systems, as well as efficient increases in storage and bandwidth.

Things like VR will not only likely drive the thirst for ever more bandwidth, but because of the potential for extreme variability in that demand for bandwidth (i.e. a VR-oriented game virally takes off, driving a sudden need for bandwidth), bandwidth on demand becomes critical for providers to offer to their customers so that their costs can be reasonably contained.

Of course, VR itself isn't the only issue: the technology brings other related fields with it, such as the need for wireless support and new headsets. A Heavy Reading report recently mentioned the differences between what is currently considered VR and the more interactive applications on the horizon. To manage bandwidth demands successfully, the report states, businesses can look at the traffic VR brings with it, as well as the difference between this and other related issues, like wireless support.

VR offers some possible bandwidth concerns for telecom.VR offers some possible bandwidth concerns for telecom.

Bob Nilsson of Extreme Networks recently examined the more general need for IT managers to create a strategy when dealing with new technology, especially recognizing the innovation that can come from consumer tech.

"To ensure their technology plans are in alignment with the organization's strategic plan and achieve maximum benefit from technology evaluations, IT managers use a number of different methods," he said. "The most common method for this is via technology meetings with the important users. There is often a strategic plan that includes technology."

VR is just one of a greater number of new developments, such as HD mobile video or even holographic images, that will continue to increase the consumerization of bandwidth from both an enterprise and consumer perspective. In all cases, SDN management will be crucial to keep operating costs feasible and match bandwidth consumption. Enterprises and service providers will want to work with a partner that can help them generate new streams of revenue, create substantial operating efficiencies, and increase enterprise value from Software Defined Networking and Application Development Solutions.