Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) provide flexibility to organizations who want customized network services. Telecom companies that can meet this demand can expand their markets. The challenge is bringing disparate components together and deploying services flexibly and efficiently. If each case requires a lot of individual intervention, it’s hard to take advantage of all the opportunities. Service orchestration is what makes it possible by automation and standardization.
Service orchestration is just one of the many pivotal concepts for the network of the future. Check out Intraway’s Vision for 2020 and beyond to learn more.
Deployment of services should be straightforward and not require a service representative’s help. Lifecycle Service Orchestration defines a set of specifications and open APIs for deploying and managing services. MEF and TM Forum are working with primary service providers to define the APIs.
Nan Chen, the president of MEF, has stated that LSO standardization “will help unleash the power of on-demand services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of connected networks.”
Events such as CableLabs’ LSO Hackathon are bringing stakeholders together to advance the development of standards.
Rapid deployment and lower costs
The first advantage of orchestration to telecom companies is the speed of ordering and deployment. The customer can just specify the requirements and get the service. There’s no need in most cases for a service representative to set it up manually. Customers will be more eager to order new services when they know that they can get them running quickly.
Reducing the need for human intervention reduces costs as it increases speed. An operator with orchestrated services can better compete on price without compromising customer satisfaction.
Flexibility and integration
Traditional service deployment based on BSS and OSS tends to be siloed because there’s no practical way to integrate disparate components. Bringing them together is apt to require custom software, which isn’t practical in most cases.
Standardized APIs will make service components interoperable, eliminating barriers to networking. Cloud and on-premises systems will work seamlessly together, and dependencies on specific hardware resources will be reduced or eliminated. What previously had to be multiple loosely coupled networks can become one network, with subnetworks as required.
Being able to change and upgrade service configurations dynamically is essential to customers with growing needs. One of the main points of setting up SDN is its flexibility, and replacing it as needed should be quick and easy. With service orchestration, customers will experience hardly any delay in making changes. They’ll get the services tailored to their needs when they need them.
Reliability and support
With handmade configurations, it’s easy to make mistakes, delaying the installation of service or making it unreliable later on. Systems may not always respond to custom scripts as expected. Orchestration produces consistent results, with fewer chances for the process to go wrong. LSO’s testing API will aid in confirming that deployment is working correctly and locate the cause of any issues.
With less time required for routine deployments, service representatives will be better able to concentrate on situations that have unusual requirements or are causing difficulties. The result will be more effective responses in those cases and greater customer confidence.
The “Third Network”
LSO is part of the MEF’s Third Network plan. It will “allow the Third Network not only to dramatically decrease the time to establish or modify the characteristics of the end-to-end service but will also assure the overall service quality and security for these services.” Its aim is services which are both agile and assured. Agility will let providers deliver on-demand services without disrupting existing operations. Assurance will present a real standard of consistent performance and security. Orchestration makes it possible to achieve both of them.
Network service orchestration will take virtualization to new levels. Telecom operators need to be ready to grasp this opportunity. Intraway’s Orchestration Toolkit will help you to succeed in your orchestration project.
To learn more about on the network operations of the future, check out Intraway’s Vision for 2020 and beyond.