Alcatel-Lucent Next-Generation Business IP VPN Solution
Reliable IP Communication for Smart Grids
Network transformation to IP/MPLS infrastructures.
Communications network transformation to a highly available IP/MPLS infrastructure for mission-critical communications is a foundation to the Smart Grid architecture. Alcatel-Lucent delivers a converged IP/MPLS-based communications network for power utilities using next-generation products and management tools. Alcatel-Lucent IP/MPLS products support network resiliency, quality of service, virtualization, convergence and a management platform that automates and simplifies operations management. Reliable communication is essential to meet key Smart Grid application requirements of increased use of information management technologies.
The implementation of Smart Grids is part of the new energy delivery strategy of many power utilities around the world. Smart Grid applications provide utilities with better automation and the benefits of reduced operating costs, increased power quality, and improved outage response.
Governments consider Smart Grid technologies as a means to better power quality, reduced need for additional generation capacity, and reduced carbon emissions. Consumers can take advantage of new features (such as time-of-day charging) and the participation from independent producers.
The Smart Grid architecture includes many applications such as transmission substation automation, distribution automation, demand response, and distributed generation. These applications require incorporating information management technologies and extending control and monitoring throughout the wider transmission and distribution networks as well as new renewable power generation sources.
A key enabler for the safe and efficient transformation of a power utility network is a modern, reliable, and flexible communications infrastructure that forms the core network in order to route the monitoring, control and status data effectively, efficiently and on time. There is a wide expectation that IP-based networks will serve as a key element for the Smart Grid information networks. This requires many power utilities to consider an evolution of their communications infrastructures that would be very different from their traditional Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) centric networks.
A flexible transformation is required to preserve existing investments and to minimize risks. Alcatel-Lucent IP/MPLS communications infrastructure incorporates state-of the-art technologies to enable a power utility to deploy a future-proof, highly available IP network to continue supporting existing TDM and legacy applications while providing a smooth migration path to IP, Ethernet and MPLS-based services. This new IP/MPLS infrastructure will allow the utility to maximize the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of its network without jeopardizing reliability, as well as enabling the deployment of new devices and applications that can improve operational and workflow efficiency.
A highly available IP/MPLS communications infrastructure is ideally suited to support both mission-critical operations and corporate communications requirements. In addition, the Alcatel-Lucent network and service management platform allows power utilities to improve their efficiency by automating and simplifying operations management for communications services, thus reducing the barrier in introducing MPLS-based technologies and services.
This application note illustrates the advantage of using IP/MPLS at the core of the network while leveraging microwave wireless and/or fiber optics transport where appropriate, all within an integrated and end-to-end communications infrastructure.
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