Disruptive micro-service architecture
As more applications are being deployed in the cloud, the limitations of older, monolithic software applications are becoming more apparent. Changes made to a small part of the application require the entire monolith to be rebuilt and re-deployed. Scaling equates to scaling of the entire application rather than just the components that require more resources. As a result, changes and improvements are made at a glacial pace, new features are adopted slowly, and integration with third-party integration systems is difficult. In addition, the increasing CAPEX and OPEX required to operate and upgrade these platforms is becoming a material burden on the balance sheet.
The micro-services architecture was developed to address these challenges. In a micro-services architecture, an application is built using a combination of loosely coupled and service-specific software containers that communicate using APIs, instead of using a single, tightly coupled monolith of code. This development methodology makes an application easier to enhance, maintain, and scale, making it prevalent in cloud environments.
Ciena’s Blue Planet is built upon a container-based micro-services architecture. Unlike the SDN and NFV solutions from large incumbent suppliers that package multiple monolithic software applications focused on individual technology domains, Blue Planet provides a vendor-agnostic and programmable software platform that is highly customizable for the network operator. Beyond SDN management and control (full FCAPS) for Ciena’s packet and packet-optical networking products, Blue Planet can be tailored to support use cases ranging from NFV service orchestration to multi-vendor automation, and/or multi-domain service orchestration.
Blue Planet Micro-Service Architecture can enable a number of customer use cases from the same platform.
Benefits of Blue Planet's container-based micro-service architecture
- One platform, multiple use cases: Users can easily customize and tailor the platform by choosing the best software to accomplish a particular task, benefiting from best-of-breed solutions by utilizing the latest technologies or third-party solutions.
- Resilience: With Blue Planet’s architecture, if one component of a system fails, it will not bring down the whole platform or affect the service being delivered.
- Web-scale: As the demand on the platform increases, rather than scaling all the components, scaling can be focused on the problematic micro-services that need to grow with more resource allocation. The result is frugal use of existing resources, lowering OPEX and improving ROI.
- Agility and ease of deployment: Since each service is decoupled, services can be upgraded and new features can be added and deployed independently of the rest of the platform, with no downtime or interruption in the overall business.
- Modularity: The cost of replacing a service is much cheaper in a micro-services-based architecture. As long as each service adheres to the API convention, the service can be evolved or entirely replaced with much less technical and business risk. That also includes our customers' ability to add their own microservices to the platform when they are looking for technology differentiation.
A container-based micro-services architecture provides a complete departure from monolithic software systems, creating a number of exciting opportunities. All of these benefits translate to transformative service agility, reduce OPEX, and lower the massive professional services fees typically associated with monolithic software design.