OK, so maybe I’m guilty of major hyperbole with that title. It seems a bit much to compare the launch of an orchestration application with the technical achievements that launched mankind to the moon in the late 1960s. That said, we feel that the introduction of Planet Orchestrate is significant. Here’s why.
The popularity of cloud computing-based services and applications, enabled by broadband connectivity has skyrocketed. Operators often perceive cloud-based services and particularly over the top (OTT) services as a threat to their businesses as they feel that they have invested significantly in network infrastructure, but have been reduced to commoditized pipes and not been able to capitalize on this infrastructure at the same level as the content providers.
However, the concept of common off the shelf (COTS) compute that can be placed anywhere (central Data Center, PoP, CO or customer premise) provides an opportunity for service providers. Software-based control of COTS infrastructure can reduce costs, add value to existing services, and assist service providers with reducing the commoditization of network services. How? Well, by now, we’re all familiar with the concept of Software-defined networking (SDN).
Most believe that SDN can improve the agility, richness and quality of network services and helps operators evolve these services to include software and cloud-based applications that they can deliver on-demand; effectively turning “dumb pipes” into “smarter services”. Ultimately, these new network services evolve to include both software-based appliances and/or cloud-based services to drive new revenue streams.
In reality, service providers are already at an advantage as they provide the crucial component – the end-to-end connectivity. Why do we see many of the larger OTT content players building out large networks? Because the network is the piece they are missing, which is required to control the end-to-end customer experience.
Service providers have already built the most difficult piece of the puzzle—the network. The next step is to operationalize cloud-based services on top of the physical Ethernet-based services (the fastest growing service type globally) that they already provide; thereby delivering an unparalleled user experience combining both the network and the high-margin software applications that ride on top of it.
Cyan helps our customers take significant strides toward this goal with the introduction of Planet Orchestrate, an application for Cyan’s Blue Planet SDN Platform. Planet Orchestrate is a multi-domain orchestrator that can manage both physical (network) and virtual functions (NFV/cloud) from one interface.
Planet Orchestrate manages, automates, and orchestrates services across the telco cloud and the wide area network. The architecture fully leverages the agility and dynamism offered by SDN, NFV, and the cloud by integrating multi-domain orchestration capabilities that can be used individually or together to suit different network operator environments. Through its use of versatile application and service templates, and open APIs, Planet Orchestrate creates a highly programmable and interoperable system that is agnostic to the type of resources or services being orchestrated.
Because Planet Orchestrate is modular, service providers can use it to manage virtual network functions as a NFV Orchestrator or Cloud resources through the Cloud services orchestration functionality. But even more powerful, combining Planet Orchestrate with Blue Planet’s existing ability to automate the WAN helps customers create enriched NFV-enabled Ethernet services through a ‘single-pane-of-glass’ that intelligently coordinates and allocates physical and/or virtual service resources.
It’s important to note that true service delivery relies on configuring and managing multiple domains that consist of a diverse set of physical and virtual resources as well as small and large distributed data centers that may belong to service providers or users such as enterprises. Therefore, provisioning services across multiple domains is important. These domains may be separately managed by disparate controllers from multiple vendors and multiple technologies. Cyan recognizes this fact and has added innovative features that allow Planet Orchestrate to either act as an over-arching orchestrator with a modular architecture to work with multiple management systems or to act as a peer in a highly heterogonous multi-controller system.
While there are a number of single use orchestration systems coming onto the market, the true value of Blue Planet and Planet Orchestrate is how the system, if desired, can combine WAN service automation and virtual resource orchestration in one platform. This allows service providers to both create and launch new differentiated and high-margin services.
With Planet Orchestrate, software-defined reality is catching up to the hype. The industry just got one step closer…