What is Closed-loop Automation?
Automation has become a strategic priority for all network operators, enabling them to streamline operations and accelerate profitable service delivery. From the use of custom scripts and zero-touch provisioning to automate basic administrative and configuration tasks, to cutting-edge SDN/NFV implementations that improve service agility and control, many network operators are well along the evolutionary path toward closed-loop automation, which reduces the need for manual intervention in key operational processes.
Closed-loop automation continuously assesses real-time network conditions, traffic demands, and resource availability to determine the best placement of traffic for optimal service quality and resource utilization, according to operator-defined policies.
Closed-loop automation is achieved with a continuous and repeating cycle of communications between the network infrastructure and software elements, including analytics, policy, and orchestration, to enable self-optimizing capabilities:
- Analytics collects andevaluates network-generated telemetry in real time to assess network state and traffic demands and generate actionable insights
- Operator-defined policies help determine ideal network configurations, and the best placement of traffic for optimal service quality, and maximum resource utilization
- Orchestration optimizes and automates end-to-end configuration and provisioning instructions to the network
- Network infrastructure is dynamically controlled—closing the loop, and streaming telemetry back for continuous analysis
Although these tasks happen dynamically, it’s important to note that human operators plan these automated actions, and can manually modify them at any point within the ‘loop’ to optimize or approve changes. This permits a pragmatic, low-risk, and business-driven evolution to self-configuring, self-healing, and self-optimizing networking that protects current investments in personnel and processes.
Blue Planet enables closed-loop automation
The Blue Planet Intelligent Automation Platform—a comprehensive, open software suite that combines SDN/NFV orchestration, advanced analytics, assurance, and inventory federation in a common microservices-based architecture—automates end-to-end service creation and delivery across physical and virtual domains, making closed-loop automation a reality.
Built on the foundations of agility and collaborative innovation, Blue Planet provides the extensibility and openness to build intelligent networks for powering the digital age. Products can be deployed individually or in any combination, and include:
- Blue Planet Multi-Domain Service Orchestration simplifies the end-to-end management and automation of network services across physical and virtual networks
- Blue Planet NFV Orchestration automates the delivery and lifecycle management of NFV-based network services
- Blue Planet Inventory federates data from multiple inventory systems and presents it in a single dynamic view that accurately reflects the current state of all network and service resources from end to end
- Blue Planet Manage, Control and Plan is a domain controller for automating the complete service delivery lifecycle across Ciena’s packet-optical networks
- Blue Planet Analytics is an integrated network analytics and machine learning framework for deriving actionable insights from network performance data. Network Health Predictor is an add-on analytics application that enables proactive network assurance in multi-vendor networks by predicting element failures before they occur
- Blue Planet Route Optimization and Assurance provides real-time visibility into how routing behavior affects service delivery, and traffic engineering
Closed-loop automation is a key component of Ciena’s Adaptive Network, which expands on autonomous networking concepts to transform the static network into a dynamic, programmable environment driven by analytics and intelligence.