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    Defining Service Assurance Standards in LSO Framework

    Posted by Matt Mariani on Oct 11, 2016 1:00:00 AM

    MEF releases LSO Architecture Framework

    As service providers begin to deploy software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies into their networks, ensuring services across combined physical and virtualized infrastructure becomes a massive challenge that needs to be addressed.  

    In its recently published Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) Reference Architecture document, the MEF aims to tackle this issue by establishing a standardized way of managing end-to-end services across multi-vendor and multi-domain networks.

    iStock_76135577_LARGE.jpgWhat impact will it have on service providers?

    According to CENX’s CTO, Chris Purdy, the work being done at MEF is vital to carriers as it assists them in their efforts to deliver agile and assured services.

    “What [the LSO Reference Architecture] does is defines the major interfaces for both interactions between service providers, allowing services to cross those service providers, and interfaces happening from LSO to other elements, both northbound and southbound,” explains Purdy.

    “There’s a tremendous amount of work happening to define the information models that those interfaces will use, and the standards that could allow for interoperability between all the different components.”

    In today’s segmented market, customized implementations taking place in networks are forcing carriers to build unique solutions to help manage and support their operations. However, Purdy believes that can all soon change.

    “By defining these standards with open interfaces, it essentially allows one company to build something once and use it many times,” says Purdy. “As a result, this can dramatically lower costs and improve the timeline to get these services available and out in the market.”

    Service assurance within the LSO Framework

    In the case of NFV, service providers have been investing resources into figuring out how to quickly spin up and integrate new virtual network functions (VNF) as a result of the opportunity the technology provides. This has left the service assurance aspect of operations to be largely overlooked.

    However, an LSO approach provides an essential tool to service providers as it allows them to drive the transformation from legacy infrastructure to SDN and NFV with more totality, ensuring long-term success.

    Additionally, according to Purdy, a significant portion of LSO is the assurance part, not just fulfillment.

    What I think is going happening is service providers who are starting to put these next-gen technologies into production are going to say, ‘Okay wait a minute, I can turn them on, but how can I ensure that they’re in place,” explains Purdy. “I think what the LSO framework is trying to do is understand what the components are, and how will it get all of that data.”

    CENX’s Exanova Service Intelligence

    A complete LSO solution, such as CENX’s Exanova Service Intelligence, collects and analyzes data from both physical and virtualized infrastructure to deliver real-time actionable intelligence, and provides the service deployment and assurance tools required to orchestrate data services across physical network functions and VNFs quickly and cost-effectively.

    Of course, Purdy understands there is still quite a bit of work that needs to be done before the MEF’s vision of a standards-based industry comes to fruition.

    “When it ultimately comes to assuring and orchestrating services across networks, the MEF has to coordinate with other standards bodies and associations in order to ensure that all of the trends come together in a working solution.”

    Topics: LSO, Service Assurance

    What do Google Maps and Lifecycle Services Orchestration (LSO) have in common?

    Posted by Andre Bouzout on Dec 3, 2015 4:11:20 PM

    Imagine the last road trip you took: how did you navigate to your destination? Now, think back to a road trip you may have taken ten or twenty years ago; what tools did you use to navigate then? How do the two trips compare?

    In the past travellers would evaluate multiple sources of data. This would result in inconsistent and inaccurate directions. For example a detour may result in confusion or a collision could add hours to the commute.

    Today, navigation systems have connected and populated maps, presenting the traveller with a single and accurate view of their trip from its start to end. A prime example of this is Google Maps.

    Evolving networks

    Travellers are clearly aware of how navigation has evolved in recent years. However, it’s not the only industry undergoing change – evolution is happening within data networks too. With advances in Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) technologies, changes to network services operations and management are increasingly essential.

    Similar to travelling in the past, today’s physical network has a multitude of systems and sources of data to analyze. This leaves service providers asking questions, such as, “Which regions are performing best?” and “How can I hold my access vendors accountable?”

    Solutions like Google Maps gather and process large quantities of data to provide the end-user with a comprehensive representation of real-time information, so why wouldn’t it be possible to represent real-time data across data networks?

    Just as physical maps will not disappear for the foreseeable future, neither will physical network elements in service provider networks. Therefore, to maintain flexibility in service operations across both physical and virtual networks, a new approach is needed.

    Introducing LSO

    Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) is this next-generation operations approach. LSO supports agile definition, fulfillment and assurance of end-to-end services across a hybrid physical and virtual network infrastructure.

    This image is a graphic representation of the similarities between Google Maps five-step internal process and the service assurance process used by CENX for a mobile network.

                                 Service_Assurance.png

    Google Maps assists travellers from the start until the end of their journey by offering actionable insight on a single screen. LSO assists operators in a similar manner, orchestrating services end-to-end and providing operators a single panel view to navigate their networks intuitively and comprehensively.

    LSO hides the complexity of networks allowing for enhanced flexibility and agility, just like Google Maps helps travellers make sense of multiple sources of data in a simple, easy-to-use interface.

    Lastly, both real-time mapping software and LSO market segments are experiencing massive worldwide demand. For example, Google Maps was listed as one most popular smartphone apps worldwide in 2013 while the global LSO market is expected to be $3 billion by 2019.

    To learn more about LSO for service assurance across data networks. 

    View CENX CTO Chris Purdy’s presentation during SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2015

     

    Topics: Software-Defined Networking, Network Functions Virtualization, LSO