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Verizon’s Anoop Agrawal on software orchestration in a hybrid world

During the 2018 OSS/BSS User Group event in New York, Verizon’s Anoop Agrawal, Head of Product Engineering for Virtual Network Services, met up with telecom industry thought leader Dez Blanchfield to discuss the new challenges for operators in tomorrow’s hybrid world of both virtual and legacy networks. They also covered the expectations of enterprises looking to be first movers in the new market. Below are some highlights from the discussion.

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Orchestration will help open the door for massive IoT deployment

The speed at which the market is demanding new products and orchestration from operators is accelerating, particularly from across the enterprise space. A real-time experience, instant provisioning and a network that is always up is “almost taken for granted” says Anoop, “and if it’s not…we lose a lot of credibility in the market immediately.”

Anoop says that orchestration and automation, implemented jointly by Verizon and Ericsson, is a key capability which Verizon provides within its networks, and something which can help them cater to a hybrid world, whereby new virtual networks and legacy networks are expected to be operable in tandem with one another: “Everything is not going to be virtual from day one...but we really have to be able to make the network invisible to the users or a customer. Orchestration plays a huge role in this, but then orchestration also plays a role for the future.”

Anoop points to the forthcoming massive IoT deployments, what we mean when we talk about “scale”- such as distributed computing, edge computing, public cloud and private cloud - and how the success of this will really depend on the ability to orchestrate all of these workloads: “Massive IoT deployment, orchestration also has to take care of that. Orchestration, not in isolation or just automation, but inventory and configuration management - all of that combined is what we are striving for.”

 

Real-time experience is the new normal for enterprises and consumers

What actually happens when an enterprise is ready to take the first step?  As organizations begin to make the transition from third-party hosting to hybrid bimodal private/public cloud, Anoop reveals that most of Verizon’s customers already expect it to have answers for their automation issues, and are looking for a real-time experience: “It’s an expectation which is already set. It’s not that they want to take baby steps - that’s for us to do for them, especially in the managed area.”

Does this mean that organizations are choosing to stick to their core business and not try and be a service provider themselves? Anoop says the market is still trying to find the right level of balance: “It’s a mix, from what we see, they definitely expect us to bring the automation, but they also want more control of their own destiny, they want us to provide orchestration services which their engineers can change on the fly, configure it to their needs.  So it’s an expectation of both being real-time as well as having more control. It’s a pretty interesting mix.”

 

What does the future hold for the OSS/BSS space?

Standardization will be key in helping carriers and vendors face common challenges together.  Anoop went on to say, “Everyone has to follow common standards and that’s when we can really solve the problems. Without that, we will eat away at each other through competition which becomes a lose-lose situation. With standardization it can become a win-win.”

Want to find out what else Anoop said? Watch the full clip below.

 

Related links: Orchestrating Enterprise Virtual Networks

Related links: Ericsson Dynamic Orchestration

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