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MWC16: Programmable Services, vCPE, Turnkey Solutions and Late Night Tapas!

22 Feb 2016 / Recep Ozdag

Dr. Recep Ozdag (@DrOzdag) is senior director in Ciena's Blue Planet division, and is a regular speaker at industry events on the topic of SDN/NFV.

I don’t always go to shows. But when I do, I go to Mobile World Congress!

Just joking… I travel to shows all the time and despite being very tiring, MWC is one of my favorites. Not only is it one of the most important events in the industry, but the level of energy is unparalleled (and the tapas in Barcelona is amazing).

This year 5G and IoT look to be the main themes of the show. 5G is promising a significant upgrade to existing mobile communications, with faster services, lower latency and better reliability. But how can network operators upgrade their infrastructure and deliver on this promise while maintaining profitability?

Whether we’re talking about 5G, IoT, or just a more agile service delivery model, SDN and NFV are undoubtedly the key technologies in utilizing resources more efficiently while bringing IT-like agility to the operator infrastructure.

CenturyLink is one of North America’s leading network providers who have been leading the pack in this arena, delivering an SDN and NFV capable infrastructure they developed called the Programmable Service Backbone (PSB).  The first public demonstration of the PSB will take place at the MWC this year. CenturyLink will showcase Blue Planet orchestrating the complete PSB infrastructure and including a vEPC by Nokia (ALU).

CenturyLink’s modular PSB SDN/NFV architecture is orchestration by Blue Planet

One interesting note is that CenturyLink selected the vEPC and on-boarded it by themselves.  CenturyLink was able to do this by writing TOSCA templates and programming Blue Planet directly. That is pretty much unheard of in the networking industry.

Today’s traditional present mode of operation is to pay the incumbent OSS vendor or their professional services division a hefty amount for them to integrate a 3rd party solution to their proprietary and hard coded platform. Not to mention that a healthy dose of patience is also required, since the incumbent OSS vendor could take up to 12 months for work that seems trivial. But with Blue Planet DevOps programmability (provided by our open architectural approach as well as tools such as TOSCA and YANG, CenturyLink was able to deliver a vEPC solution on their infrastructure in record time.

It’s understandable that not every operator can deal with multiple vendors to develop a best of breed solution, nor do they have the resources to learn about TOSCA, YANG or other paradigms. Don’t worry… we’ve got you covered.

Ciena’s Blue Planet division is also demonstrating a tested and validated, multi-vendor bundle for operators to deliver high performance, managed router services. This package has been optimized for high performance vCPE deployment, including high availability (HA), scalability, reliability and fail-over. Powered by a number of Ciena Blue Orbit partners, including Dell (on XEON servers), you can visit the Dell booth to see this demo in action and learn about the details.

A multi-vendor, high performance, validated and turnkey managed service solution


The turnkey bundle also consists of Brocade’s virtual router, Mirantis-OpenStack and Blue Planet NFV Orchestration. This package is ideal for large enterprises, but it may be overkill for small to medium business that do not need such high performance. At the VMware booth, we will be showcasing our collaboration with VMware and Versa Networks on delivering vCPE applications that may be more suitable for small and medium sized customers.

The vCPE demo targeting SMB markets demonstrated at the VMware booth

I highly recommend that you visit the Ciena and our partner booths, and make time for tapas while you're here, because it’s going to be legend-… wait for it… -dary!



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