Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Kevin Benedict, Lori MacVittie, Yeshim Deniz

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
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, discussed recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model for ...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2017 New York The 7th Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Chris Matthieu is the co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, a revolutionary real-time IoT platform recently acquired by Citrix. Octoblu connects things, systems, people and clouds to a global mesh network allowing users to automate and control design flo...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Unsecured IoT devices were used to launch crippling DDOS attacks in October 2016, targeting services such as Twitter, Spotify, and GitHub. Subsequent testimony to Congress about potential attacks on office buildings, schools, and hospitals raised the possibility for the IoT to harm and even kill people. What should be done? Does the government need to intervene? This panel at @ThingExpo New York brings together leading IoT and security experts to discuss this very serious topic.
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...