Bandwidth demands continue to skyrocket, due to factors such as video streaming and migration to the cloud. Add emerging applications and technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G, and traditional networks all will be taken to their breaking point. Pushing fiber deeper into the network, a passive optical local area network (POL) can address many of the issues with which today’s traditional network topology is struggling. But is that enough? Now, with software-defined technology, you have the ability to deploy a network that provides the benefits of a POL with the option to configure as an Ethernet deployment.

This article will discuss both the benefits and limitations of a POL network, as well as how the combination of a software-defined LAN (SD-LAN), a singlemode, fiber-deep architecture, and power distribution can create a powerful network platform that is both flexible and scalable to the needs of the future network. We will examine future trends you should consider and how using SD-LAN technology can unlock the true potential of your network. Our goal is to challenge the reader to think about architecting their network differently.