Orchestration - loosely defined, a little abstract, disguises a multitude of functions, maybe the catch-all of networking terms.

Let’s tailor it a bit in the context of Carrier Ethernet.  Specifically the transport services that power mobile backhaul today such as Ethernet circuit ordering and provisioning, service monitoring, inventory management...  Service providers rely on off-net circuits from 3rd party access providers to fill coverage gaps and build the Ethernet transport footprint.  Off-net circuits comprise a huge recurring cost for operators, however performance, inventory and ordering status, SLA assurance are all major operational blind spots.

Off-net Ethernet transport will only get more complex and today’s operational systems are simply unable to manage and visualize the entire transport picture.  This is where inter-carrier service orchestration comes in, comprising 4 key functions: 

Service Provisioning  - where software automation is introduced to accelerate processes like accurate provisioning that reduces fall-out, and automated ordering between service provider and access vendors to shorten that order to revenue timeline;

Service Assurance -  dynamic monitoring of real time service status, but with the addition of utilization and big data analytics that get to the bottom of fault sectionalization, highlight dependencies on off-net circuit performance, and importantly, SLA assurance.  Are you really getting what you are paying for?;

Data Integrity Assurance – the foundation of any orchestration function begins with clean data within a structured information mode.  And supported by a continuous audit process for always accurate inventory that can be repopulated to the systems that need this information;

Service Visualization – an accurate and actionable view of all Ethernet services, inventory and monitoring status within a single pane view.  A view that uncovers the off-net circuit blind spots in your transport network so that you have a complete picture of all circuits serving your network.

So while orchestration may be a bit of a catch-all term today, within Ethernet transport, it is fast becoming the cornerstone of how these services are being operationalized.  

To learn more about Service Orchestration and how it can provide both service agility and the best user experience, watch the video "What is Service Orchestration?".

What is Service Orchestration? CENX Video

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