I'm Dreaming of an IoT Christmas

    Posted by Matt Mariani on Dec 14, 2016 11:43:53 AM

    The holiday season is upon us, and there is so much to be excited for. From the festive music, to the get togethers with family and friends, it’s hard not to get that warm, fuzzy feeling during this wonderful time of the year. But admit it – you are probably most looking forward to running downstairs on Christmas morning to see what goodies Santa has left for you.

    While growing up, many of us remember asking for toys like a Slinky, a G.I. Joe action figure, or an Etch-A-Sketch on our holiday wish list. However, that’s all changed thanks to the rapid advancements in technology.


    Next-Gen Christmas

    In our hyper-connected society, everything has become bigger and better. A significant factor in this has been the Internet, which has revolutionized the way we live and work.

    Today, the same technology which has allowed us to easily disseminate information around the world is being used to connect devices to one another through ubiquitous sensors. This concept of connected devices is known as the “Internet of Things” (IoT), and it’s quickly becoming integrated into every aspect of our lives.

    Thanks to IoT, some interesting new gadgets which could be found on people's 2016 wish-list include:

    • Amazon Echo: A voice command device which is capable of voice interaction and also acts a hub for home automation.
    • Fitbit: A fitness wearable that tracks and monitors data like heart rate, distance covered, and calories burned, and allows you to analyze your progress towards fitness goals.
    • Google Glass: A wearable which has the ability to augment reality by providing real-time information during activities into your line of sight.


    The Problem with IoT

    While this technology presents countless new opportunities to users, it poses significant challenges to service providers. This is because IoT adds an additional layer of complexity to operations as a result of the many more endpoints connected to the network.

    Although the core components of cloud-based computing and sensors, which continuously collect data, are an integral aspect of the technology, the ability to assure service quality is critical to the success of IoT services.

    In order to deliver the quality of service (QoS) that customers are expecting when they go to use their new gadgets, service providers require a solution that helps them effectively collect all that Big Data, analyze that information, and use it to manage their increasingly complex networks.

    CENX Makes your Holiday Wishes come True

    With CENX’s Exanova service assurance solution, service providers are able to overcome the challenges brought on by enormous volume of IoT. Our solution, which can be deployed in the virtual infrastructure of the service provider cloud, is able to:

    • Visualize and sectionalize paths between enterprise customers and wireless gateways
    • Provide single-pane of glass analytics for network and service performance, and other key performance indicators
    • Identify all customers affected by network outages, and other faults

    All of this allows you to enjoy your new connected devices on Christmas morning as they start making your life simpler.

    Learn how service assurance is the key enabler of QoS differentiation for IoT services and a major requirement for NFV.


    Topics: Network Functions Virtualization, Internet of Things, Cloud, Service Assurance

    What do self-driving cars and next-gen networks have in common?

    Posted by Matt Mariani on Dec 6, 2016 12:56:37 PM

    Chances are if you’re the one driving during a long road trip, you’ve drawn the short end of the stick. This is because while you’re stuck paying attention to the road, those in the back are enjoying the ride.

    Uber-Self-Driving-Cars-Starting-In-Pittsburgh-Late-August-03.jpgHowever, that will all change as driverless cars are set to revolutionize the automotive industry. In the not too distant future, people will have the luxury of simply hopping into their vehicle, inputting their destination, and watching as it navigates the road autonomously.

    What’s under the hood of these driverless cars?

    This technology, which is already being rolled out in many places, including in Uber’s self driving car pilot program, is incredibly futuristic and has many are excited at the prospect of having more free time while being “behind the wheel”. The intention of this post isn’t to talk about how telecom networks support connectivity to driverless cars, but rather to consider the principles behind this highly automated system.

    This “auto-pilot” capability is achieved by combining several automated subsystems which have been gradually added to vehicles over the years: lane departure detection, adaptive cruise control, and assisted steering, for example. These are self-regulating processes, which modify their actions based on sensors and results. Automation is then achieved by identifying errors or differences in the system, and using this information to make any necessary adjustments. This process is known as a feedback control loop.


    This allows for individually automated systems to be nested on top of one another, establishing a single continuous process. This is critical, as it minimizes complexity, reduces risk, and most importantly, prevents you from ending up in a ditch.

    Telecoms shouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel!

    So this begs the question, if we can use this automation to safely transport humans, why can’t the same be done for telecom network operations?

    In the past, there has been a reluctance to automate in telecom due to the perceived risks and challenges related to bad data and complex, siloed operations. However, some of these barriers have been overcome thanks to recent innovations from the IT industry which have made it possible to process and analyse the vast amount of data produced by networks.

    A growing number of service providers have begun to integrate SDN and NFV into their network as it promises improved agility, elasticity, and cost savings. While these redeeming qualities are definitely creating a buzz within the industry, automation, as it pertains to service assurance (in addition to fulfillment), is critical to realizing the full potential of this technology.

    Automation-and-Assurance-Photo.png                                                                                                                            Graphic by Appledore Research Group

    As highlighted in the example of driverless cars, feedback control loops are the structure required for success. The concept is simple, a single and intuitive process is established which supports a wide variety of tasks, from creating and maintaining new services, to optimizing resource utilization.

    Traditionally, service fulfillment and assurance have been independent silos. However, in this new automated closed-loop environment, assurance and analytics will converge to establish an intelligent platform that guides orchestration. As networks become more complex, closed-loops provide the ability to correlate all of the relevant data, gain a comprehensive snapshot into what is happening in the network, and make a decision on what actions to take to improve operations.

    In the end, this transformation allows service providers the ability to fulfill the customized services offerings to customers, which are a key differentiator in today’s competitive market. Additionally, it allows operators to shift their focus from monitoring network performance to delivering quality customer experience.

    Learn how to speed service delivery and drive customer experience with Exanova’s ability to deliver closed-loop service assurance for vCPE at the Virtual Edge.

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    Topics: Software-Defined Networking, Network Functions Virtualization, Internet of Things, Closed-loop Automation

    Orchestrating the Internet of Things

    Posted by Ryan O'Grady on Apr 9, 2015 9:00:00 AM

    What is the "Internet of Things"?

    In 1999, when the Internet was still in its infancy, a British man named Kevin Ashton coined the term “The Internet of Things” (IoT). At the time, this phrase was a simple prediction of how the Internet would develop and enhance our day-to-day lives. Kevin forecasted that eventually, all physical objects would be interconnected through embedded electronics and they would be able to communicate and transfer data through the Internet. 

    It has been over 15 years since this theory emerged, and our new reality is the Internet of Things. We see this in Mobile World Congress’ theme, “Connected Life”. Companies were showcasing revolutionary new personal products such as smartphones, virtual reality headsets, smartwatches, and even enterprise solutions for next-generation software defined networks.

    The rise of M2M


    Statistics show that by 2020, there will be 24 billion total connections and $1.2 trillion USD generated in the machine-to-machine (M2M) market. The rise of M2M is underway and because of this, network operators connected devices and 1.2 trillion USD worth of revenue are faced with new challenges. Most machines aren’t as intelligent as smart phones, so connecting to these machines and coordinating their services on demand requires a Lifecycle Service Orchestrator.

    Why is LSO the next big thing?

    In Scott Raynovich’s report “Why LSO is the Next Big Thing” he states:
    “54.6% of operators regard their OSS systems as ‘outdated’ with a need to be updated or overhauled, according to the survey results. Sixty percent (60%!) said they were lacking a capability to launch new services in a cost-effective and time-effective manner”.
    CENX wants to ensure that a connected life is an agile life for software defined networks operators and virtualized service providers with the use of Lifecycle Service Orchestration. With Cortx Lifecycle Service Orchestrator, we're actually allowing our service provider customers to get connected to their data services. We provide a real-time search capability, and the ability to take that search and turn it into actionable analytics and actionable management capabilities. Because of this, the carrier gets better agility in how they're bringing services to market and how they're managing their ongoing services. 

    To learn more about how Lifecycle Service Orchestration 
    can help manage the complexity associated with the Internet of Things and how it can ensure the best user experience, read the free White Paper “Service Orchestration for Next-Generation SDN & NFV Networks”.

    SDN White Paper

    Topics: Service Orchestration, Internet of Things