Service providers today are leveraging the power of SDN and NFV to virtualize their networks and make them programmable and flexible. Physical Network Functions (PNFs) are being replaced by or complemented with Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) that can run in the cloud. They may be sitting close to the customer, decentralized, or in a centralized cloud, which may depend on the requirements and characteristics of the specific VNF.
There is a strong need for a central management and orchestration layer that can manage Network Services that comprise both VNFs and PNFs. This orchestration layer needs to manage the complete lifecycle of such Network Services, including design, instantiation, configuration, and upgrades. With the evolution of 5G and IoT, the orchestration layer also needs to assure those Network Services, to enable use cases such as Network Slices, which can provide guaranteed Qualities of Service across multiple domains.
Dynamic Orchestration is a pre-integrated solution that enables Service Providers to launch “out of the box” business use cases that leverage both physical and virtual network functions. Dynamic Orchestration is based on existing products that are pre-integrated with each other to support specific business use cases. This enables quick time to market, optimize costs and establish new revenue streams. The use cases include mobile core related, like vEPC and vIMS as well as virtual Enterprise services, including vCPE or SD-WAN.
Key components of the solution include:
- VNF Onboarding: To quickly Onboard and validate multi-vendor VNFs on the Service Provider environment
- End-to-End Orchestration: To automate the instantiation and configuration of network services, including all intra-DC and inter-DC network services, across multiple domains and multi-vendor scenarios
- Element Management: To provide VNF specific lifecycle management such as scaling and healing based on application specific knowledge
- Assurance: To monitor application and infrastructure alarms, across domains, and enabling policy-based and automated self-healing scenarios for the customer services
- Inventory: To provide a real-time topology as well as service design & assign capabilities for physical, virtual and hybrid customer services across multiple domains
Dynamic Orchestration enables the creation, provisioning and assurance of E2E services in an automated way. Key benefits include:
- Speed in time to market: automating fulfilment and customer onboarding means quicker service launch and reduction in associated operational expenses
- Zero touch Automation: Enables Self-service customer provisioning and closed-loop assurance to maintain customer SLAs
- Central management: Visualization of end-to-end services across multiple domains
- Open, Multi-vendor: with open-APIs the orchestration solution can easily integrate with multiple vendors
- Aligned to Industry Standards: The orchestration solution is aligned to ETSI MANO stage 3 specifications and TOSCA for service lifecycle management
In the era of 5G and IoT, the efficiency and scalability of IT networks have made software-defined networks, network function virtualization and cloud technologies no longer optional for operators. As network types, service types, system stacks and infrastructure layers converge, serving the customer on demand by dynamically orchestrating all available resources has to be paramount. To realize the promise of virtualization, operators must think in terms of seamless, real-time management and orchestration. This will provide the agility needed to deliver services in a new era of speed and governance on a global scale.