In the first of a 3-part series on the Road to Autonomous Networks, Ciena’s Joe Marsella details the journey of Our Hero as he struggles to make the dream of an intelligent, self-optimizing network a reality.
Our hero is hopelessly stuck in an enormous tangle of network complexity.
As he struggles, he realizes that for most network operators the concept of a self-driving or self-optimizing network seems far out of reach.
Still, his most fervent desire is to break free from current network complexities to accelerate the pace of service delivery, and eliminate lock-in.
As he struggles, he determines that service delivery optimization should be his most coveted goal.
Trouble is, how can he turn this dream into a reality?
Our hero's network has become stuck in perpetual inertia, unable to unlock innovation, and requiring constant manual tinkering using arcane processes to overcome barriers to achieving his desired new service objectives.
Turning static, costly and slow moving network assets into a dynamic, agile, intelligent operational infrastructure is no small undertaking. For many network operators, the changes required and obstacles they face may seem overwhelming, and costly. However, they increasingly understand that delivering even a single new service leveraging their current infrastructure is also an arduous, expensive series of tasks. And the entire process involved in completing just one proposed service change also comes with an exorbitant 'tax' to be paid in the form of internal OPEX, but also potentially to external vendors and/or integrators who support the current network infrastructure.
At the same time, this often crippling 'tax' increases with each service change request. Despite a strong and growing desire for change, our hero's network has become stuck in perpetual inertia, unable to unlock innovation, and requiring constant manual tinkering using arcane processes to overcome barriers to achieving his desired new service objectives.
In some cases, the cost of operationalizing a single new service may grow so complex and cost prohibitive, the risks simply outweigh the benefits.
Without the ability to quickly make service changes, there is also little chance our hero will be able to keep up with the pace set by more nimble and agile providers – those not saddled with the burden of dragging legacy networks and operational environments along with them. These competitors have the freedom to swiftly adjust and focus on new ways to improve customer experiences and increase satisfaction. In the race to woo and keep his customers happy, our hero fully recognizes that his organization is lagging behind. He must find a way to sprint forward, despite the shackles of network complexity that have made progress so difficult.
And that’s when he sees a fork in the road – a new path ahead, perhaps? This new route holds not only the promise of accelerating service delivery but also enables an entirely new degree of service innovation that wasn’t possible before.
But the start of the route looks rough, with steep hills, twists and turns ahead.
Check out our next episode to see how the journey continues...