Oracle and InfoVista: How Far Can They Drive Network-as-a-Service?

Ron Westfall
Ron Westfall

Summary Bullets:

• Oracle and InfoVista teamed up to demo their Carrier Ethernet 2.0 NaaS Orchestration PoC at the MEF’s GEN14 event targeting operator expansion and investment in cloud-based services aimed at enterprises.

• Oracle and InfoVista gain a key starting point to sell operators and enterprises on adopting CE 2.0 NaaS applications but gain additional marketing credibility by firming up their NFV MANO proposition and recruiting CE equipment partners.

Oracle and InfoVista collaborated to demonstrate “Carrier Ethernet (CE) 2.0 Network-as-a-Service Orchestration (NaaS) Orchestrated and Assured” at the MEF GEN14 Proof of Concept (PoC) Showcase. The goal of the PoC sought to show the potential for self-serve ordering of NaaS across operator and wholesale partner networks, including its design for network technology abstraction. The PoC demo combined SDN/NFV, service orchestration, and automated provisioning elements to showcase its potential effectiveness in supporting operator NaaS service packages. Key elements of the PoC included:

Self-Serve Ordering of CE Product: The Oracle/InfoVista alliance seeks to render ordering complex CE services as more closely resembling the ordering of a simple IT service. This includes supporting customer ordering from any device and integration into the operator’s established business practices.

NaaS Orchestration: The Oracle/InfoVista PoC seeks to embed order orchestration and service delivery within multivendor, multi-operator, and multi-network environments. This includes automated ordering of wholesale e-access to cloud-based services and apps.

NaaS Assurance: The Oracle/InfoVista PoC aims to support real-time assurance of NaaS applications with synchronized service visualization, on-demand SLA monitoring, and self-service dashboards. The approach looks to emulate the assurance properties extended to existing CE services to emerging NaaS applications.

Naturally the PoC exercise represents a key starting point for Oracle and InfoVista to capture early mind share and drive operator and enterprise acceptance of NaaS solutions. What more should their partnership need to consider in promoting NaaS?:

Link to NFV MANO Message: There are three major building blocks in a NFV management and network orchestration (MANO) solution: the NFV orchestrator (NFVO), the virtual network function manager (VNFM) and the virtualized infrastructure manager (VIM). The Oracle/InfoVista alliance cannot afford to concede the MANO dimension to rivals or it risks having the control and destination of their NaaS solution becoming subject to the NFV imperatives of rivals. Oracle and InfoVista need to link their NaaS solution to their MANO plans including the NFVO and VNFM elements to ensure they win the orchestration battle for driving future operator NaaS objectives.

Enlist CE Suppliers: Since Oracle and InfoVista do not supply CE 2.0 infrastructure equipment it could undercut their channel potential to influence operators to select their CE 2.0 NaaS orchestration proposition. Adding CE 2.0 suppliers, such as ECI and Tellabs, to their alliance could counter the potential NaaS ambitions of CE suppliers, such as Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco, who also harbor winning the operator SDN/NFV battles including MANO/CE 2.0 selection.

Overall Oracle and InfoVista have laid the groundwork to gain a time-to-market edge over most rivals in meeting operator demand for extending dynamic network control to their key enterprise customers for emerging NaaS apps. However they need to tighten up the SDN/NFV dimension of their joint NaaS solution to accelerate operator consideration and adoption of their approach. Otherwise they risk touting an approach that can prove ahead of market acceptance for SDN/NFV-enabled NaaS applications and end up with a solution chasing a problem in the CE part of the network.

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