Why Should You Care about Service Orchestration in Ethernet and SDNs in 2014?

    Posted by Administrator on Jan 20, 2014 7:48:00 AM

    Service orchestration is a term that disguises a multitude of functions and may be the catch-all of networking terms in 2014. It’s really come into its own in the past 6-12 months with virtualization, software defined network (SDN) initiatives, and as part of a burgeoning industry transformation to Carrier Ethernet in the WAN.

    Ethernet. That’s not new?

    True, Ethernet’s been around for 40+ years. Carrier Ethernet is relatively new to WAN transport, replacing aging but familiar TDM technology because it can transport large amounts of data in a fast, assured and cost-effective manner.

    Today, Carrier Ethernet is the transport technology of choice to power layer 2 and 3 transport services that serve today’s 4G mobile backhaul, high speed enterprise access, VPN services, and cloud data center exchanges.

    So, what’s the problem?

    Managing Ethernet services brings complexity to operational processes. OSSs in a tier-one network generate millions of data events per day.  This leads to swivel chair analysis within the network operations center – trying to interpret data from many stovepipe systems and domains, across a bewildering range of dashboards and reports.

    This volume of data is fragmented and untrustworthy because it’s siloed between different domains and vendor-specific network elements and systems. Often it’s only a partial view and inconsistent across the different systems that generate the data. And it’s coming from many disparate sources beyond today’s OSS tools. In fact, Excel is fast becoming an OSS in of itself. Many departments within service providers rely on “excel spreadsheets of truth” to manage cell sites, service definitions, microwave topologies and more. Excel is fast becoming a key source of data that cannot be mined in the same way that a standard database can.

    There’s no viable information model serving today’s networks that can be trusted. What’s needed is a new services information model.

    The foundation for service orchestration is a new type of services information model. One that leverages the data generated by network elements, OSS and other disparate data sources. This data can be mined from any source – an existing OSS tool, a spreadsheet, an order activation notice, an SLA contract – and provides a base of intelligence that can build an accurate real-time view of the network.

    To learn more about CENX’s approach to lifecycle service orchestration, read the free White Paper “Service Orchestration for Next-Generation SDN & NFV Networks”.

    SDN White Paper

    Topics: Service Orchestration

    Inter-carrier Service Orchestration – Huh?

    Posted by Administrator on Nov 13, 2013 7:43:00 AM

    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

    Topics: Service Orchestration