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    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

    Are your operations keeping up to your network?

    Posted by Erica Watts on Jul 20, 2015 3:29:03 PM

    Your data network is lightning fast, but are your operations keeping up?

    Today's mobile, wireline, and cloud data center service providers are adopting the latest state-of-the-art Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) technologies to modernize network infrastructure and bring reliable, high-speed data communications to their customers. But NFV is just the beginning of the network transformation. Network operations need to be synchronized across the entire infrastructure to deliver diversified enterprise and consumer services. That requires Lifecycle Service Orchestration.

    Customers value the network based on what it does for them. Service agility is important. Service quality is essential. Whether the network is composed of physical or virtualized network function infrastructure – or a mix of both – the customer only sees end-to-end service quality.

    CENX’s Cortx Service Orchestrator is the cornerstone next-generation operations tool that enables operators to rapidly fulfill and assure services across multi-vendor and multi-technology networks. Cortx provides the essential single pane-of-glass that allows operators to navigate their networks: quickly, intuitively and comprehensively. Powered by dynamic network analytics, Cortx turns complex network data into actionable automated intelligence.

    Are you going virtual with NFV? Get real with LSO. 

    Real agility. Real quality. Real savings.

     

    Topics: Service Orchestration, Software-Defined Networking, Network Functions Virtualization

    How to Explain Software-Defined Networking to a Kindergartener

    Posted by Erica Watts on Dec 18, 2014 8:30:00 AM

    At school, your teacher might ask your class to pass the ball from the back of the class, to the front of the class.

    How does it get there? 

    Everybody in your class will choose a different way to get the ball to the front of the class. The ball will go in a lot of different directions. Some people will probably pass it gently. Some people will throw it as hard as they can. Some people will roll it. Some of your classmates may touch the ball twice. Some of your friends might even drop the ball!

    The Internet is like your kindergarten classroom.

    A Software-Defined Network is one in which the teacher first lines you all up in a straight line, then tells you to take the ball from the child on your right and pass the ball to the other child on the left. 

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    And you do what you’re told. 

    The ball travels quickly and with few mistakes in a straight-line to the front of the class. This saves you and your friends a lot of time since the ball gets to the back of the classroom much faster.

    To learn more about how SDN plays a key roll in helping a service provider achieve their goals of providing differentiated and quality-assured service to their customer, download the white paper, “Service Orchestration for Next-Generation SDN & NFV Networks”. 

    SDN White Paper

    Topics: Software-Defined Networking

    3 Core Components of the Next-Generation Network

    Posted by Erica Watts on Dec 11, 2014 8:30:00 AM

    BlogPosts_Image2We know that Service Orchestration plays an important role in next-generation networking, but it’s also important to understand the three core components of the next-generation connectivity infrastructure in more detail.

    Software-Defined Networking (SDN)

    SDN is a new open standards and vendor-neutral approach to computer networking that allows network operations personnel to manage network services through the abstraction of lower level functionality.

    Benefits of SDN:

    1. SDN is directly programmable, as it decouples control from the forwarding plane. This enables operations to be dynamically controlled, giving network operators an unprecedented level of network service agility.
    2. SDN is centrally managed by SDN Controllers and programmatically configured by network managers using well-defined interfaces.

    For more information on SDN, view the CENX Software-Defined Networking data sheet.

    Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)

    NFV leverages infrastructure virtualization technology to consolidate network equipment onto industry-standard servers and storage.

    NFV is being used is to decouple hardware and software in traditional network equipment and provide Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) router functionality on a standardized, Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) server. This transition is being driven by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute’s (ETSI) Industry Specification Group for NFV (ISG NFV).

    Benefits of NFV:

    1. By consolidating network equipment onto industry-standard servers and storage, network design becomes much more agile, and negates the classic problem of hardware-based appliances reaching end of life.
    2. It decreases capex by leveraging COTS servers as network infrastructure while powering agile, on-demand network design and implementation

    Service Orchestration

    Service Orchestration introduces end-to-end lifecycle management of advanced data services, powering automated service planning and fulfillment and service management and assurance tools that enable the migration to SDN/NFV infrastructure.

    Service Orchestration is being developed and defined by the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) and plays a critical component of MEF’s vision of The Third Network, a Network as a Service (NaaS) infrastructure combining SDN, NFV, and Service Orchestration innovations.

    Benefits of Service Orchestration:

    1. Provides service providers with agile, assured, and orchestrated advanced data services.
    2. It empowers the delivery of new, dynamic, on-demand services with Internet-like agility and Carrier Ethernet (CE) 2.0-like service performance.
    3. Delivers automated services across service provider networks, ensuring high quality experience in networks leveraging access vendor infrastructure, such as mobile backhaul.

    Combining the 3 Core Components

    Only by combining SDN, NFV, and Service Orchestration components can service providers achieve their goal of providing differentiated and quality-assured services to their customers while reducing capex and opex and simplifying network management.

    To learn more about the three core components of the next-generation connectivity infrastructure in more detail, download the white paper, “Service Orchestration for Next-Generation SDN & NFV Networks”.

    SDN White Paper

    Topics: Software-Defined Networking

    The #1 Problem with Today’s OSS Infrastructure

    Posted by Erica Watts on Dec 4, 2014 8:30:00 AM

    The problem with today’s OSS infrastructure is that it’s based on a functional silo model. 

    This functional silo model started at a time when:

    • There were less technology network domains
    • Those domains were much more standardized
    • Technology changed much more slowly
    • Computing technology did not allow multi-function systems that could adequately scale.

    This leads to the fundamental issue with the current OSS model…the lack of abstraction.

    Every OSS system (Inventory, Fault, Provisioning, and Performance) needs to understand the details of all the different network domains, which results in a lack of data integrity across systems.

    This images helps to understand the complexity. BlogPost3

    Each of the OSS systems has to do its job across all domains.

    For example, the Inventory system needs to know about:

    • TDM domain: The boxes, cards, ports, and fibers that make up this domain. The logical entities of this domain like existing channels, whether it is BLSR or UPSR, etc.
    • ATM domain: The Inventory system needs to know about the EVCs and COS.
    • Ethernet domain: It needs to know about boxes and cards, but also VLAN IDs, policers, shapers, reverse path learning, and protection methods.
    • IP MPLS domain: The Inventory system needs to know about LSPs, the control planes that set these up, LLDP, VPLS instances, and so on.

    This is the same for every OSS system in the network it is phenomenally complex. 

    Then, when you add SDN and NFV elements into these existing networks, this further complicates the OSS infrastructure.

    The lack of abstraction in the OSS infrastructure leads to serious problems for network operations personnel. Any change in any domain means manually having to having to update the software of each OSS to support this change. A change in any OSS system means ensuring the change is supported across all domains. There is no hiding the complexity within the layers of the network and the result is a vertical functional silo model, as opposed to a horizontal layer that does the abstraction.

    So how do network operators overcome this fundamental problem with their existing OSS infrastructure? How can they abstract this complexity and prepare themselves to begin introducing SDN and NFV elements without further adding to this complexity?

    The answer: Service Orchestration.

    To learn more about the importance Service Orchestration pays in unleashing the full potential of SDN and NFV, download the white paper, “Service Orchestration for Next-Generation SDN & NFV Networks”.

    SDN White Paper

    Topics: Software-Defined Networking

    What is Software-Defined Networking?

    Posted by Erica Watts on Nov 27, 2014 8:30:00 AM

    Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is a new open standards and vendor-neutral approach to computer networking that allows network operations personnel to manage network services through the abstraction of lower level functionality. It separates control and forwarding functions, centralizes management, and programs network behavior using well-defined interfaces.

    SDN and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) are two emerging technologies that are accelerating the transformation of service provider network services. With SDN and NFV, service providers can provide differentiated, revenue-generating service offerings to their end customers while reducing operational costs and simplifying network management. A critical component of this next-generation network is Service Orchestration.

    The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is one of the key groups working to define the scope and interworking of SDN, including the OpenFlow communications protocol, which gives access to the forwarding plane of a network switch or router from a centralized controller.

    Benefits of SDN

    SDN has a number of key benefits.

    Directly programmable
    First, it is directly programmable, as it decouples control from the forwarding plane. This enables operations to be dynamically controlled, giving network operators an unprecedented level of network service agility.

    Centrally managed
    SDN is also centrally managed by SDN Controllers and programmatically configured by network managers using well-defined interfaces.

    To learn more about how SDN plays a key roll in helping a service provider achieve their goals of providing differentiated and quality-assured service to their customer, download the white paper, “Service Orchestration for Next-Generation SDN & NFV Networks”. 

    SDN White Paper

    Topics: Service Orchestration, Software-Defined Networking

    How to Bridge the Gap Between Legacy Network Infrastructure & Next-Generation SDN

    Posted by Erica Watts on Nov 20, 2014 8:30:00 AM

    There are two emerging industry thrusts in network operations, which are accelerating the transformation of a service provider networks:

    1.      Software-Defined Networking (SDN)
    2.      Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)

    With SDN and NFV, a service provider can provide differentiated, revenue-generating services to their customers while reducing operational costs and simplifying network management.

    But how can you bridge the gap between legacy network infrastructure and next-generation SDN and NFV innovations?

    …with Service Orchestration!

    What does Service Orchestration do?

    1. Service Orchestration bridges the gap between the existing and next-generation SDN and NFV components using APIs for interoperability and full service lifecycle management, which the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) refers to as The Third Network.
    1. It supports multi-vendor and multi-provider networks, so services are activated quickly, and quality of service is assured, end-to-end.
    1. It looks at the network the same way you do: top-down from the service layer.
    1. More specifically, a Service Orchestrator automates the entire lifecycle of network services across functional domains.
    1. Service Orchestration is the intelligent outer cortex that brings everything together for full lifecycle management of advanced data services.

    To learn more about the importance Service Orchestration plays in unleashing the full potential of SDN and NFV, download the white paper, “Service Orchestration for Next-Generation SDN & NFV Networks”. 

    SDN White Paper

    Topics: Service Orchestration, Software-Defined Networking

    CENX Announces Open Networking Foundation (ONF) Membership

    Posted by Erica Watts on Nov 13, 2014 12:37:00 PM

    CENX is proud to announce that in addition to being members of the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI); we’re now officially members of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). 

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    The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is a user-driven organization dedicated to the promotion and adoption of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) through open standards development. It’s one of the key groups working to define the scope and interworking of SDN, including the OpenFlow communications protocol, which gives access to the forwarding plane of a network switch or router from a centralized controller.

    Notably, ONF has introduced the OpenFlow™ Standard, on the data-control plane interface and has issued SDN architecture specifications. 

    At CENX, our Cortx products support open APIs, for easy interoperability with adjacent systems, such as REST API to SDN Controllers and Operations Support Systems (OSS).

    To learn more about the ONF’s role in defining SDN, download the white paper “Service Orchestration for Next-Generation SDN & NFV Networks”. 

    SDN White Paper

     

    Topics: Software-Defined Networking