ON.Lab’s ONOS Deployed in Two More Research Networks – New Applications Support WAN Scenarios

Glenn Hunt

Glenn Hunt

Summary Bullets:

  • Uses ICONA, an application developed on top of ONOS, to extend its capabilities to support intra-domain sessions which leverage BGP to established router-to-router connectivity.
  • Uses an ONOS SDN-IP peering application hosted on Americas Lightpaths (AmLight), creating SDN facility based on OpenFlow which interconnects five Latin American research and education networks (RENs).

ONOS continues to gain exposure and provide an effective platform for researchers and network developers to continue to evolve SDN-based solutions and help the industry transform from closed vendor-specific network devices to those using open software and COTS hardware. First, ON.Lab announced, in concert with GEANT, an ONOS deployment in a pan-European network that interconnects Europe’s national research and education networks; a second announcement, in concert with Florida International University, involved deployment to interconnect five Latin American RENs. Both announcements provide valid proof points to support the goal established by ON.Lab, which is to create a carrier-grade platform to host critical network applications using open source software. Read more of this post

Virtual EPCs Appear to be Gaining Momentum to Support New Services

Glenn Hunt

Glenn Hunt

Summary Bullets:

  • Virtual EPCs (vEPC) begin to see commercial application, but PoCs and trials still outweigh deployments by a wide margin.
  • Operators appear to be sampling the wares of multiple vendors before taking the plunge – small and larger vendors claim significant operator interest in their solutions.

Current Analysis recently updated its mid-year assessments of the products of the six primary mobile core vendors, all of which continue to add enhancements to their traditional physical EPC solutions; but over the past period they have also expanded their virtual EPC (vEPC) offers and note considerable traction (albeit mostly on the trial and PoC front) with operators from all geographies. This is only natural since the promise of network virtualization, if only partly realized, could significantly change network architectures, benefiting both consumers and operators. Read more of this post

ODL Gains Momentum with Lithium and ONF Gains Deployments with ONOS

Glenn Hunt

Glenn Hunt

Summary Bullets:

  • ODL’s third release (Lithium) appears to close the gaps from earlier versions, such as testing, performance, native support of OpenStack Neutron and broader community participation.
  • ONOS logs its first commercial/production deployment since its release in December 2014. It should mark the beginning of many more, as it touts the carrier-grade characteristics needed to run live traffic.

Why is the OpenDaylight (ODL) Lithium release (its third) an important step in the evolution of the controller? Although the details are many, several features stand out as being important for adoption in a service provider environment. These features include support for: quality of service data, because RestAPIs are more robust in the data identification process; service chaining, to provide the infrastructure needed to provision a service chain and provide the end-user application for defining it; rigorous testing, to characterize multiple use cases to help boost scalability and performance; and better support of security and automation, because with most network functions going virtual, the need for a security architecture becomes more critical, and the ability to automate functions to minimize human errors and improve productivity helps operators reduce the risk of security breaches while reducing overall operational expenses. Read more of this post

MWC 2015: Virtual EPC Startups Snagged by the Big Guys, Filling Gaps in Portfolios

Glenn Hunt

Glenn Hunt

Summary Bullets:

  • Virtual EPC investments pay off for start-ups as major vendors open their wallets, filling portfolio gaps and strengthening their virtual network propositions.
  • Multiple vEPC wins add credibility and a level of completeness to the virtual networking solutions; customers bite and move on from PoCs and trials to commercial services.

This year’s Mobile World Congress is obviously the show to attend and at which to exhibit, and as we predicted, this is the year when the industry rapidly sets aside its safety blanket of trials and proofs of concept (PoCs) in favor of making serious commitments to virtualized solutions. Several announcements appear to demonstrate that vendors and operators have set aside pure PowerPoint and replaced it with checks from acquirers (for startups) and from operators (to vendors) for serious deployments. Read more of this post

The Quest for Dominance: OpenFlow or NETCONF for Networks Outside the Data Center?

Glenn Hunt

Glenn Hunt

Summary Bullets:

  • For the broadband network, NETCONF deserves strong consideration for its ability to work from flexible data models (YANG) and control all devices in the service chain.
  • NETCONF, initially standardized in December 2006, has managed thousands of routers and switches, and it works well with SDN.
  • OpenFlow versions 1.4 and 1.5 appear to have the requisite functionality needed for WAN device management and control; however, although standardized in October 2013 and December 2014, respectively, vendor commitment to date appears tepid.

Since the beginning of the SDN and NFV discussion a few years back, proponents of OpenFlow have been behind the movement to control all devices in the network. This has unquestionably been the case within the confines of the data center. OpenFlow appears to solve data center issues well, even the early 1.0 version which is widely deployed, according to many sources. However, consider the many cases where, in order to provide an end-to-end WAN service or provide inter-data center connectivity, the use of OpenFlow falls short, at least until now. Read more of this post

Corporate and Product Rebranding – Useful or a Convenient Diversion and Just a Costly Expenditure?

Glenn Hunt

Glenn Hunt

Summary Bullets:

• Rebranding: Multiple telcom vendors have rebranded themselves this year (some significantly more than others), but does this really help them grow mind share, while tag lines evolve.

• Targeted Messaging: It’s obvious that as market dynamics change, so finding the right messaging is critical, although too often new phrases and acronyms are invented to recast the same old concepts.

Over the past year, nearly all traditional service providers, as a group, have endorsed the idea of transforming their networks in order to capture the benefits that are promised by a more agile and flexible platform, enabling them to provide XaaS (Anything as a Service) to grow revenues and shake the somewhat “stodgy” telcom image. Network vendors have picked up on this theme of network transformation, and positioned their products, through messaging, to provide this transformation. Analysts typically evaluate, in great detail, the meaning and impact of new product capabilities and features provided by vendors, but we seldom apply the same rigor to a vendor’s messaging and positioning which has been designed to capture the eye of the operator. This blog does not provide detailed messaging analysis, but highlights some interesting new branding, tag lines and positioning that show that the vendor community is well aware of the need to market their wares in a vastly different fashion than the old “speeds and feeds” model from bygone days. Read more of this post

Python, Puppet, Chef, ONIE and ODM – New Terms for the Service Provider Equipment World?

Glenn Hunt

Glenn Hunt

Summary Bullets:

  • IT and network jargon begins to co-mingle, but is this bilateral cross-pollination or one-sided?
  • Who’s courting who in the mashing together of the network, data center and cloud?

Over the past few months, it has become apparent that service providers, as a group, have nearly all endorsed the idea of transforming their networks in order to capture the benefits of a more agile and flexible platform from which they could provide XaaS (anything as a service). One of the initial barriers, which still remains, is the obvious disconnect between the terminology used by the network folks and their counterparts in the IT world to accomplish similar functions – like programming languages and installation processes. Read more of this post