Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Elizabeth White, John Rauser, Liz McMillan, Don MacVittie, Automic Blog

Blog Feed Post

Unlocking Opportunity in Software-Defined Services with ESP

As an industry, our visions of progress in SP offerings are filled with virtualized functions, elastic workloads, orchestration, APIs, scalable infrastructures and almost everything software-defined.  None of this is flawed, and we get strong, regular glimpses of the potential in such heavily virtualized models in an array of domains regularly.  For example, intriguing offerings are presented to us mid-session in streaming video services based on our individual profiles and histories. Auto-scaling in hybrid cloud IT for cost-effective performance improvements is enabled using the provider’s service management API.  And, optimizations in cost and performance of multi-layer network services is proven to deliver measurable benefits by managing each layer as part of a unified, abstract service design applied to each underlying layer.

 

With this progress in hand toward realizing a more agile SP market, we have not yet arrived at a point where complete automation of service composition and deployment across the array of applications operators target has been achieved.  We are on the cusp of realizing complete frameworks and deployment kits to put that goal within reach, but still have important hurdles to overcome in making the vision real.

 

Let’s look at where the improvements in integration remain to be made.

 

If we look at it as a ‘start-to-finish’ checklist of requirements for an elastic, software-driven environment, we can start by noting that strong solutions for automating development and deployment of applications into cloud-based services in real-time have started to dramatically shorten the time to delivery for new application functions.  Introducing new features into Google or Netflix or other ‘web-scale’ application systems is ample demonstration of this method’s value.  Expanding DevOps capabilities to new functional areas (like inserting new functions into programmable networks) is key to expanding the value of services.  Similarly dramatic progress has been made in creating and managing virtual infrastructures for compute, storage and network functions in many XaaS environments, and we see intriguing service offerings and bundles emerging ‘one by one’ as operators overcome their individual service delivery barriers.  But, can we blend these individual ‘buckets’ of virtualized service delivery solutions into more complete end-to-end service creation frameworks?

 

As we make progress in individual domains, a hurdle remaining to be overcome is the integration of toolsets into a suite of offerings that fits multiple SP situations and enables them to generate services in a manner that will fit their adoption profile at the pace that works for them.  To add urgency to this point, one of the critical success factors recently identified by the ETSI Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) working groups in the achievement of their goals is development of a suitably strong management and orchestration (MANO) framework that will enable virtualized network functions to be deployed effectively in conjunction with the other elements of service providers’ multi-faceted infrastructures. 

 

Helping overcome these barriers is a task that can be taken on by suppliers with sufficient range of vision, offerings and resources to enable SPs’ virtualized solution deliveries productively.  Let’s break this down into two overall dimensions where packaging, functionality, and go-to-market leadership can be provided:  having the right functionality, and having the right consumption models for SPs to choose between.

 

On functionality, if a supplier starts by being able to profile the business parameters of an SP’s offering and populate them into the charging, cataloguing, provisioning, and other OSS/BSS systems needed to commercialize the service, this accomplishes a key element in the flow of automation that results.  From there if the supplier can offer a portfolio of functional elements – either virtual or physical – to support a wide range of operator services, and provides them in a manner that integrates with orchestration and management required for operation, a second key step in deployment simplification has been taken. It’s easy to see how this aspect of portfolio breadth is impactful in infrastructure functions like firewalling, switching, policy enforcement, computing platforms, and others.  And it is impactful in application-oriented software offerings like video content libraries, collaboration system modules, and vertical industry applications (smart grid, health care, transportation, etc.).  If the supplier is also in a position to offer templates and policies that can be used by an operator to jump-start implementation in the target virtual infrastructure, we start to have the level of integrated portfolio operators have been hungry for as the virtualized and software-defined infrastructure transformations have been developing.

 

Going beyond this, recognizing that operators are functioning at different paces of development in their own portfolios, it’s equally meaningful if suppliers can deliver their solutions at varying levels of integration to facilitate uptake by SPs. For example, an individual function such as content inspection or SP wireless LAN may be of interest to an operator a la carte, ready for integration into a service delivery framework as the operator prefers.  Or, a different operator may be more interested if those functions are available as part of a pre-integrated, certified solution including orchestration, templates, and the functional components themselves, ready to deploy as a pre-tested module. Or still, another operator who’s interested in lower risk in trialing and deployment may want to obtain these capabilities ‘as a service’ from the supplier to minimize training, deployment and go-to-market overhead in determining if the service is going to ‘take’ in their subscriber base.  Offering such a range of consumption models provides a boost to the SP community in being able to accelerate deployments at a pace each SP deems is best for them.

 

At this early stage of the developing market for virtualized infrastructure solutions, coming to the table with that many areas of requirement addressed – and still being open to work with an open, standards-based ecosystem of suppliers to contribute to working SP solutions – is a crucial part of accelerating progress.  We look at Cisco’s introduction of the Evolved Services Platform (ESP) as a leading example of the top-to-bottom portfolio breadth and flexibility in how elements can be adopted by SPs that will foster development of innovative and virtualized services faster.  At this stage of the market for virtualized service delivery platforms ESP provides a unifying framework for integration of capabilities productively, and still leaves the door open for innovation in all the key components of the value chain.  It should prove very effective in stimulating uptake for powerful, versatile service delivery platforms in a wide range of application categories.  In this sense it helps operators overcome many of the barriers to adoption they have faced when considering how to take advantage of important innovations at different points in the virtualized service delivery platforms landscape.  By overcoming those barriers it becomes an ingredient for achieving real progress and benefits in the broad transformation of SP infrastructures to becoming more fully software-driven infrastructures.

 

Read and download for more information: ACG Research Paper: Business Case for Cisco Evolved Services Platform and NFV

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Deborah Strickland

The articles presented here are blog posts from members of our Service Provider Mobility community. Deborah Strickland is a Web and Social Media Program Manager at Cisco. Follow us on Twitter @CiscoSPMobility.

@ThingsExpo Stories
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...