Tags: Industry News

Network transformation is a loaded term.  Let’s face it – everything needs to transform and adapt to survive, but let’s peel back the network onion a bit.  If you are a service provider, there is an underlying technology transformation that is impacting virtually every operational process in your network.  Perhaps not surprisingly, it’s about moving from the dinosaur known as TDM to Carrier Ethernet.  This transformation is driven by a number of factors:

  •        4G
  •        Deployment of fiber infrastructure
  •        Improved connectivity – bigger, faster, on demand
  •        Cloud data centers – yep, they are using Ethernet too.

So what’s the big deal?  The TDM world is a homogeneous one with few variations.  Exactly the same DS1 backhaul service definition, exactly the same DS3 handoffs, exactly the same service OAM (either up or down and nothing in between).  You get the picture – a simple and consistent world , and one with little room for differentiation.

The Ethernet world, on the other hand, is predicated on variable parameters, heterogeneous services and topologies.   Many different backhaul service types including classes of service, VLAN mapping, fiber, small cell, and more.  Many different handoff schemes.  Many different types of SLAs per service or application type.  Not to mention, many variations in network vendor equipment type and attributes.  Now a complex and highly variable world.  But one that provides ample opportunity for service differentiation.  And a market that where applications such mobile backhaul, data center interconnect, cloud access services and enterprise Ethernet services will fuel spending of $100B by 2017 – all running over Carrier Ethernet.   So what’s the problem? 

The OSS systems and tools deployed today are based on legacy TDM technology.  They can’t easily handle 50 - 80 different types of Ethernet service.  The pain being felt by network operations and management teams at tier 1 operators is significant:

  •        60 - 120 days to turn up an Ethernet circuit
  •        More than 30% of first attempt circuit turn-ups fail
  •        1000s of person days spent designing and executing one-off inventory audits
  •        1000s of person days chewed up chasing SLA penalties

The solution is not a trivial one – the sunk investment in OSS tools is significant, upgrades and overhauls will cost millions and have an impact on services over a long upgrade period of several years.

It’s time to consider something different – a new generation of software that embraces the complexity of Ethernet and gives you the tools to take advantage of the inherent flexibility and service differentiation capabilities that Carrier Ethernet has to offer.  

To learn more about the problems with how the existing Operations Support Systems (OSS) are architected, and possibilities for bridging the gap between legacy network infrastructure and next-generation innovations; download the FREE white paper "Service Orchestration for Next-Generation SDN & NFV Networks".

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