'Networks with a conscience' prove their worth

Nan Chen

Ethernet is forecast to dominate over 75% of business bandwidth by 2017. According to Heavy Reading, competition increasingly targets performance and quality of experience in the enterprise and data center markets – driving demand for high-speed carrier Ethernet between branch offices, cloud services providers and other data centers.

So mobile, wireline and cloud data center service providers rely increasingly on third-party access vendors (AVs) to fill gaps and increase their footprint. Coverage is ensured, but often with deployment delays, compromised performance and quality – because off-net circuits across multiple carrier networks are a challenge.

Unlike TDM – where connectivity service is the same whoever provides it – each AV has a unique Ethernet service definition. Orchestrating such complexity requires manual processes that increase the risk of errors and delay time to revenue.

What is needed is a “network with a conscience” -- a unified, consistently updated services information model integrating all this data on a level above today's operational support systems (OSS). The model should support critical inter-carrier requirements, such as audit and inventory, ordering, fault isolation and SLA management. “Big data” analytics to audit, reconcile and correct this data creates a detailed picture right down to circuit detail.

With service orchestration, the operator can now accelerate delivery, reduce OPEX and boost service quality and agility. The transition to software-defined networking (SDN) is also easier because virtualized network functions and SDN controllers become just another set of data sources.

This “network with a conscience” is already being deployed and proving its value.

Today’s OSSs assume a relatively homogenous network, whereas variations in technology and service definitions evolve across regions, requiring a lot of OSS customization. As one of many buyers, service providers cannot influence how AV OSSs evolve.




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