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Learn more about Blue Planet intelligent automation software.

What Is Intelligent Automation?

The  operations environment for service providers is growing increasingly complex.  While advancements like Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and  Software-Defined Networking (SDN) enable on-demand services, among many other  benefits, existing network management and Operational Support Systems (OSSs)  lack the scale and flexibility to meet the requirements of these more dynamic  network technologies. Simple automation techniques like custom scripting are  often used to reduce repetitive manual tasks, but providers are looking for more  robust automation capabilities to reduce operational complexity and improve  efficiency, at scale. By leveraging software that is purpose-built for dynamic  SDN/NFV environments, and incorporating recent advancements in big data  analytics and machine learning, network operators are able to make true  intelligent automation possible and, as a result, run their businesses smarter  and much more efficiently.

The  evolution of service providers to SDN/NFV and intelligent automation progresses  in three stages:

  • Present mode of operations: Today’s service provider architecture       and the current state of operations are based on many operational silos       for manually managing multiple physical networks, as well as multiple OSSs       and processes customized per service. As providers start to examine their       new requirements and plan their transitions to SDN/NFV and automation,       they’ll need to engage with an industry thought leader to map out an       evolutionary approach to modernizing their operations.
  • Transitional mode of operations: At this stage, the service provider       will have identified which network domain or specific network functions to       virtualize, and the approach to managing and orchestrating these       resources, including ‘lightweight’ integration into key OSS elements such       as order management, customer self-service portals, and billing. This       often takes the form of adopting SDN-based control within a vendor or       technology domain, or deploying a new virtualized service for a select       group of customers. An important step for the service provider at this       evolutionary stage is the move from a siloed, inventory-centric service       fulfilment model to a Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) approach that       provides unified, end-to-end service inventory and control across multiple       domains. At this point, operators can also begin leveraging analytics to       derive actionable insights from network performance data.
  • Future mode of operations: In the final stage of evolution, the       service provider utilizes intelligent automation, guided by the cornerstones       of multi-domain LSO, with integrated analytics and machine       learning-assisted decision-making. With an architecture based on tight       interworking between these components, service provider operations benefit       from continuous learning and the ability to dynamically adapt to changing       service demands and traffic patterns. In addition to reducing costs       through predictive and proactive operations, as well as end-to-end       automation, this enables the delivery of more differentiated services and       a higher-quality experience for end-customers.

Service  providers face an increasingly complex and dynamic environment as more  business-critical applications migrate to the cloud and IoT starts to take  hold. Intelligent automation, built on software-defined control and orchestration  with integrated analytics, is a key concept underpinning Ciena’s vision for the  Adaptive Network—and one that should be on every provider’s road map.

Intelligent Automation combines software-defined control and orchestration with big data analytics, allowing service providers to use deep knowledge about the network to power adaptive automation of their services and operations.

How  Ciena helps
Service  providers can benefit from a wealth of Ciena expertise in both networking  technologies, as well as the latest advances in software and data-driven  automation and network analytics, to inform, advise, and automate their  business processes. Ciena’s 25 years of experience connecting the world  positions the company to help service providers capitalize on intelligent  automation and a vision of the Adaptive Network.

  • Unmatched network experience: With more       than 1,300 customers worldwide, Ciena supports 80 percent of the world’s       largest network providers. Ciena has deployed 150 million kilometers of       coherent optical networks.
  • Services: Ciena has a broad services       portfolio designed to help operators evolve their networks. Ciena’s       approach supports the complete network lifecycle, with consulting,       solution practices, and services oriented around the needs of our       customers.
  • Partners: Ciena augments its value with       a vibrant partner program that evolves and develops offerings and       expertise to enable all aspects of the Adaptive Network.

Ciena’s  unmatched product portfolio supports intelligent automation in a number of  important ways. Critical components include:

Software  Control and Automation:

Analytics  and Intelligence:

  • Blue Planet Analytics (BPA) – an integrated network analytics and machine       learning framework for deriving actionable insights from network       performance data
  • Network Health Predictor (NHP) – an analytics application for BPA that       enables proactive network assurance in multi-vendor networks by predicting       Network Element (NE) failures

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