By the MetroEthernet Forum. Published on Telecomkh.com on December 3, 2015.
The Third Network is more than a concept, it’s a reality, as organizations showed SDN, NFV, LSO and CE2.0 solutions running in real-world scenarios – including customer deployments on production networks
More than 1,000 networking and telecommunications professionals saw the first fruits of the MEF’s “Third Network” vision at the GEN15 conference, held mid-November in Dallas, Texas, USA. The highlight for many attendees was the GEN15 Proof of Concept (PoC) Showcase, where discussions about standards and collaboration came to life.
MEF is the industry association behind standards like Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE 2.0) and Ethernet Access Standards. The “Third Network” vision, announced at MEF GEN14, held late 2014 in Washington, D.C., combined the power of SDN and NFV, along with CE2.0 and Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) to create networks that have the ubiquity and cost-effectiveness of the Internet along with the scalability, reliability and security of business-class CE2.0 networks. Nearly 200 hardware and software manufacturers, as well as carriers and other telecommunications service providers, belong to the MEF and are committed to delivering on the “Third Network” vision.
The first impression of the PoC showcase at GEN15: A literal doubling in size from GEN14, which had six demonstrations from 12 participating companies and organizations.
Here are the 12 PoC demonstrations from the GEN15 conference:
1. Accedian Networks with Cox Communications, NEC and Zoho Corp.: Agile, LSO-Ready Performance-Assured Small Cells as a Service
With two telephone poles and actual strand mount small cells as configured by Cox in their regional trials, the audience was guided through the installation, commissioning, provisioning of the small cells and backhaul services offering multiple CoS and H-QoS (Hierarchical Quality of Service) enforcement, from a fully automated network management platform, and using OpenDaylight for provisioning.
The ZoHo WebNMS orchestrated network and UNI management, triggering automated turn-up testing using the ITU-T Y.1564 Ethernet service activation test methodology upon unit installation, and dynamically increased the CIR during peak load conditions as measured by the UNIs. The audience participated by helping to define peak loads for the demo, and experienced the small cell connection directly on their handsets during each stage of the service lifecycle.
2. AT&T: Application-Aware Business Services with SLA Assurance
The showcase was a live demo of a leading-edge implementation of NFV and SDN based on AT&T’s cutting edge network cloud architecture. The demo was highly interactive and relevant to a broad spectrum of participants, both on the business and technology sides.
The PoC offered a first-of-its-kind direct view into an intelligent, intuitive, self-service networking solution. This innovative capability allows users to rapidly provision network services with direct self-service access. It used a hands-on touchscreen monitor that took users, operators and IT practitioners through a typical add, remove, build scenario in near real-time environment. It showed the users the control and speed they have over their networks, and demonstrated the value of bringing SDN/NFV/virtualization capabilities to the business community.
3. AVDA Optical Networking with Time Warner Cable: Assuring Superior VNF Performance at the Network Edge
The demonstration showed Time Warner Cable’s present-day deployment of business services comprising CE 2.0 connectivity services and multiple different hardware based network appliances. The demo showed how this solution is enabled by Virtual Network Functions in a highly automated way, creating significant savings in installation and operational cost.
The showcase also explored the unique assurance and agility extensions of CE2.0 demarcation devices responding to NFV-specific requirements, such as resulting from an increased attack surface of open network technology compared to vendor-specific solutions or from L3 OAM requirements due to VxLAN and GRE technologies for chaining VNFs between remote sites.
4. CENX: Assuring IoT Service Quality over NFV with Lifecycle Service Orchestration
This interactive demo illustrated innovations in LSO for service assurance in hybrid networks, where the end-to-end service spans both traditional physical and new Virtual Network Functions (VNFs). This involved monitoring, real-time troubleshooting and service restoration.
CENX’s Cortx Service Orchestrator performed real-time performance monitoring of a M2M service from machine endpoint to the enterprise Data Center. The service ran across a core network with traditional routers as well as a virtualized Packet Core Gateway running as a virtual machine on NFV infrastructure. Utilization of the VNF and VM infrastructure was monitored in real-time, via Cortx interfacing with OpenStack. This provided operations personnel the capability to diagnose service issues and VNF faults immediately, and take intelligent action to restore high service quality.
5. Ciena with Versa Networks and VMware: Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across the Data Center and WAN
This PoC showcased the application of service orchestration across a NFV-ready data center infrastructure and an SDN-enabled Carrier Ethernet WAN to enable the rapid development and operationalization of new, value-added business services.
The demo was relevant to network architects, strategic planners, and product managers at communications service providers and data center operators. The showcase showed an open and future-proof architecture, leveraging SDN and NFV, to enable multi-vendor interoperability and service agility. It provided a real-world framework for utilizing SDN and NFV to lower costs, automate service deployment, and realize faster ROI for carriers and service providers. The three individual solutions providers explained their respective components of the demo as the vCPE service was orchestrated from end-to-end, in real-time, from the perspective of a network operator.
6. Cisco Systems: SDN-based LSO on Self-healing Agile Carrier Ethernet Infrastructure
This showcase explored Cisco Systems implementation of the “Third Network,” featuring CE2.0 Lifecycle Service Orchestration through SDN over self-healing infrastructure including physical and virtual network elements.
Key to this demo was showing the business benefits of automating service lifecycle orchestration through integrating SDN into Carrier Ethernet infrastructure to achieve service agility. Network infrastructure featuring physical and virtual elements demonstrated NFV applicability for both service provider and enterprise deployment requirements. Viewers saw how specific SDN protocols and controllers were used to simplify the management and deliver the end-to-end orchestration and service assurance.
7. MRV with SecurePush: Easily Secure a Distributed NFV Environment with a Cloud-based, Multi-Factor Authentication Service
The PoC demonstrated Distributed NFV with a multi-factor authentication as a cloud service. This use case is relevant to operators and enterprises. In a distributed NFV environment, where customers have access to the provider’s networking environment and can run and control applications on top of its virtualized environment, security becomes a bigger concern.
Attendees saw an NFV deployment on OPX-1, which is MRV’s 100GE CPE and aggregation device. Connectivity to the cloud authenticated domain and guest users. Viewers saw the standard, OPNFV-based dynamic VNF deployment, as well as live successful and unsuccessful authentication attempts using the SecurePath cloud service and a cellular phone as the second tier authentication. The showcase combined the themes of CE2.0, NFV and Security as a Service, all of which play an important role in virtualized services using LSO.
8. Oracle, with Axtel, InfoVista, Juniper, PCCW, Spectrum Business and TM Forum: Zero Touch, Business-Ready NaaS 3.0 with vCPE over an Elastic Network
By demonstrating ”Business-Ready Zero Touch Network-as-a-Service with Elastic Network in the Cloud,” this PoC showed a radically simplified B2B self-care user experience for ordering a complex connectivity service, with zero-touch orchestration, end-to-end performance assurance and full integration with critical business and operations processes over an SDN/NFV-enabled network architecture, including vCPE, vPE and elastic Carrier Ethernet network.
This showcase demonstrated many innovations aligned to CE 2.0, LSO, SDN and NFV business requirements and technical specifications. It included an end-to-end live demonstration of a customer web portal, along with a service provider BSS/OSS operations environment; a wholesale partner BSS/OSS operations environment; service provider performance management operations environment; live vCPE residing in a data center; and live vPE routers residing in a data center.
9. PCCW Global: Inter-Domain Cloud Federation
This PoC demonstrated PCCW Global’s capability for full service Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) from order to service provisioning and self management. It also showed how PCCW Global adopts full orchestration on its private network and cloud platforms to enhance the agility, flexibility of speed of the entire lifecycle, from order to server. The PoC showcased online ordering and auto provisioning network connectivity to cloud platforms through orchestration.
Using multiple screens, PCCW Global showed the user interface to the company’s live online service portal, including price quotation, ordering process and provisioning status. The demo also explored video streaming and data backup running in the cloud. A key element was the process flow and systems architecture that PCCW Global offers to support inter-domain cloud federation.
10. RAD, with Sandvine and CenturyLink: Application Aware Business Services with SLA Assurance
This PoC demonstrated how service providers can deploy Application-Aware Network Policy Control (Layer 7) in conjunction with Layer 2/Layer 3 SLA Assured services for a richer, more reliable, and more intelligently-managed business application experience.
The demo showed service providers can enhance both their MEF CE 2.0 and IP/MPLS based services. This was achieved through traditional layer 2 and layer 3 performance monitoring tools combined with control and monitoring of application usage (layer 7) to protect and align business-critical application performance with business productivity objectives. Furthermore, the demo explained how application-based classification helps address the growing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend, and how application reporting, blocking, prioritization and boosting further improves QoE.
11. WebNMS with Omnitron Systems and Veryx: Life Cycle Orchestration of SDN Managed Data Center and CE 2.0 WAN Network
This showcase demonstrated LSO, based on MEF’s Third Network Vision and strategy, by enabling agile networks to deliver dynamic connectivity among virtual and physical service end points orchestrated in an on-demand, automated and assured manner. This type of capability enables service providers to rapidly introduce new, on-demand services, via cloud-based customer portal. It leverages ITU-T Y.1564, MEF SAT (MEF 48) and CE 2.0 based dynamic Service Activation and Y.1731-based performance-assured services. It also uses MEF standardized APIs with LSO functionalities for existing WAN network and SDN managed by an OpenStack SDN controller.
The network architecture consisted of Omnitron CE2.0 certified compliant NIDs (1G and 10G) connected via two G.8032 ERPS Rings and an G.8031 ELPS access link, with MEF EVCs (EPL, EVPL) pre-provisioned between the end points. Veryx SAMTEST controller was connected to Omnitron NIDs through the Test Probes to initiate tests, validate connectivity and gather statistics.
WebNMS Symphony Orchestration Platform communicated via NetConf on the southbound, with the network to assure services and manage the Omnitron NID. The WebNMS Symphony Orchestrator Platform pulled activation reports from the Veryx controller, which is made available to the enterprise customer through a cloud based customer portal.
12. Wedge Networks with Lightwave: Security for Cloud Connected Enterprises Delivered as a SecaaS (Security as a Service)
This PoC was a working example of using NFV to drive agile, scalable and on-demand security services. The demonstration showed an actual functioning install of Wedge Networks’ Cloud Network Defense (CND) with a mid-sized Texas-based carrier delivering NFV-based security from its data center to protect a critical web server located within a customer’s own server closet. The CND install was at the carrier data center, and thanks to NFV, intercepted the traffic between the client’s web traffic and the Internet, applying a series of web security services including advanced threat protection, anti-spam, anti-virus and data loss prevention.
The CND solution intercepted or “lifted” traffic between the client and server, routed it to the CND instance (in this case, in the carrier’s private cloud) and applied security controls to that traffic without introducing latency. A key element of this is CND’s Elastic Security Services Orchestration, where security services were initiated on demand through a virtualized stack of security NFVs. As traffic increased and decreased, new NFV instances were spun up or shut down dynamically using auto-scaling and end-to-end orchestration.
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