Click here to close now.



Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Kevin Jackson, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, XebiaLabs Blog, Pat Romanski

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
For manufacturers, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a jumping-off point for innovation, jobs, and revenue creation. But to adequately seize the opportunity, manufacturers must design devices that are interconnected, can continually sense their environment and process huge amounts of data. As a first step, manufacturers must embrace a new product development ecosystem in order to support these products.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, showed how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants received the download information, scripts, and complete end-t...
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, discussed how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the dat...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...