Tagged: Network Functions Virtualization

NOKIA LeanOps @ Mobile World Congress 2017


“Cloud technologies virtualize your network to allow intelligent automation that instantly reacts to fluctuating demand and accelerates new services. Cloud is the foundation for IoT and 5G. But to realize the potential of a software-defined network, you need to operate a software-defined business – with the integrated performance you can depend on. Our cloud solutions and services featured at Mobile World Congress will demonstrate how you can transform your network, operations and business for agility, automation, security and instant service innovation.”Realizing the agility of software defined business through the Cloud. Nokia, February 2017.


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LeanOps was showcased in the booth’s private area. We had a good show and our team was involved in a number of discussions with network operators, ecosystem partners, industry analysts and public officials.

LeanOps’ mission is to “Make Sophisticated Operations Effortless.” Our team assembles end-to-end solutions to deliver the greater value of the whole. This is a systems integration job that takes advantage of Nokia’s portfolio depth, our ecosystem and open source tools. LeanOps interlaces (a) analytics, (b) automation, (c) programmability and (d) human factors engineering: our solution’s DNA.

We unveiled our new Decision Support System (DSS). This is a “solution level” single pane of glass, a metaphorical and multi-modal user interface purposely optimized for inter-disciplinary teamwork. LeanOps’ DSS renders complex systems and delivers multi-dimensional data visualization following the project’s “operations friendly” design directive.

From a Goal Directive Engineering standpoint, we have set a “4I Framework” that entails (1) Intuitive use (2) Immersive and (3) Interactive maneuverability delivering (4) Insightful experiences rather than just data. Moreover, all the magic is fully abstracted and, therefore, the underlying sophistication is completely transparent to the users. LeanOps’ SAIL, Smart Abstraction and Integration Layer, takes care of that under the hood. DSS and SAIL are both intertwined and integral to LeanOps’ end-to-end solutions are not sold independently as standalone products.

I would also like to share that LeanOps’ DSS transcends conventional HCI, Human-Computer-Interaction, to bring about CNI, Collaborative-Network-Intelligence, instead. I personally believe that switching gears from HCI to CNI makes all the difference given the value of human networks and machine networks, where collective intelligence becomes the outcome.

Taking into consideration LeanOps’ next-gen positioning, our MWC demo station was located in the “Cloud Zone,” though it is worth highlighting that LeanOps’ mission entails “operational transformation” with end-to-end solutions addressing hybrid environments and bridging legacy, current and emerging technologies, physical and virtual assets. “Lean” is a holistic undertaking involving practices, processes, technologies, tools and human factors, and so is Nokia LeanOps.


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This year’s video is not publicly available. So, if you happen to be a network operator, an enterprise wrestling with complex environments, or a partner interested in LeanOps, please send me a message over LinkedIn to set up a call.

By the way, since I keep getting questions about Nokia’s new phones… I need to refer you to our peers at HMD Global, the independent Finnish company behind the Nokia branded phones. Nokia Corporation focuses on technologies zeroing in on network systems, analytics, applications, and services at the time of writing this. LeanOps is part of Nokia Corporation and our team, Solutions & Partners, is in the Applications & Analytics Group.


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Lean NFV Ops: Gearing for Intel Developers Forum 2015.


“Intel® Network Builders is an ecosystem of independent software vendors (ISVs), operating system vendors (OSVs), original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), telecom equipment manufacturers (TEMs), system integrators and carriers, coming together to accelerate the adoption of network functions virtualization (NFV)- and software-defined networking (SDN)- based solutions in Telco networks, public, private enterprise and hybrid clouds.”About Intel Network Builders.

“We see IDF15 as a partnership. Intel and Developers/Makers/Technologists. We’ll share our vision and technology leadership […] Join us on August 18-20, San Francisco, Moscone Center.”Intel Developer Forum.


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Glad to share that our team is returning to IDF. We had a terrific experience last year and are looking forward to IDF15. This event is quickly approaching: just 11 days away at the time of writing this.

IDF14 was kind to us. In addition to opportunities to meet with customers and partners, as well as discussing the latest on Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), Alcatel-Lucent was featured as “Best in Show” jointly with Microsoft and Lenovo. Moreover, our CloudBand platform was the recipient of the Software and Services Award.


SNAGHTML27a3255bThe above short video introduces the demonstration system that we are deploying this year. By the way, TelecomTV displayed this clip in a Proof of Concept (PoC) section created for NFV demonstrations from a variety of vendors.

However, please note that our demonstration is not a PoC. The Lean NFV Ops system features commercially available solutions from Alcatel-Lucent and our partners, all running on CloudBand 3.0 Clicking on the right picture will take you to Intel’s page on our platform.

 


SNAGHTML27da3a14CloudBand is comprised of two distinctive solutions: Nodes that can be easily deployed as part of the carrier’s Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI) and the prominent Management System which delivers the Management and Orchestration (MANO) platform.

By the way, NFVI and MANO are terms outlined in the NFV reference architecture provided by the working group focusing on this topic at the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

CloudBand’s node automation software runs on Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) hardware, these are x86 systems. Intel’s CPUs power Alcatel-Lucent’s Cloud Innovation Center’s (CIC) showcase.

At IDF15 we will also discuss boosting packet processing in context of the Data Plan Development Kit (DPDK) engineered to enable x10 performance. In the meantime, Alan’s article provides quick insights on what this mean to Virtual Network Functions (VNF) such as the Evolved Packet Core (vEPC). See reference links below.

This is relevant because the Lean NFV Ops demo deploys a fully virtualized and completely functional Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) system from the ground up. This needs the vEPC and the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) working together.


Long story short, we’ll be making live 4G video calls onsite with this system, which we showed at IDF14 already. This time around our team will also conduct a number of sophisticated lifecycle operations involving maintenance events with full service continuity: zero downtime, all transparent to the end user mobile broadband experience.

Basically, you will see not last year’s PoC but a live demonstration system with real solutions in action. We are now operating in an end-to-end environment tested in real time by a variety rainy day scenarios. Additionally, we will cover high availability (HA), smart placement, dynamic scaling and root cause analysis (RCA) among other key topics. Last but not least, we’ll share Bell Labs’ research findings on automation and NFV economics. There is even more new stuff… 


SNAGHTML27c47ba5Speaking of cloud communications and the user experience, the team at CIC has integrated Intel’s RealSense technology so that we can take advantage of 3D cameras.

Better yet, instead of just making a VoLTE call with 4G phones as shown in the above video, we will be using Web Real Time Communications (WebRTC) as part of the experience. This means using ubiquitous web browsers on any kind of mobile device and/or conventional desktop.

My understanding is that RealSense comes from Intel Perceptual Computing looking into immersive communications and gesture based user interfaces. By using Personify’s application our demo captures, cuts out and projects the end user’s face and body which is then seeing as video overlay. This means that we can any backgrounds of our choice.

This can be experienced as a form of Augmented Reality (AR) where a person, who is at his/her home, is seen by the other user as if he/she was in a museum room: moving around, stopping next to pictures of interest and having a real time video conversation. This happens in the context of a video call where both end users are comfortably talking from home.

By the way, we’ll be brining another interactive gadget with us which works with Intel’s Galileo board. But, you will have to come to IDF to play with that one. Just ask for the “Whack-a-Mole” : )


We will be glad to meet at IDF. Feel free to stop by our booth and/or to schedule a meeting:

EVENT: Intel Developer Forum 2015.

VENUE: Moscone Center in San Francisco. August 18-21.

BOOTH: Network Builders Community #173.

TWITTER: #IDF15


I will be speaking at:

EVENT: Intel Network Builders Summit.

VENUE: The Westin Saint Francis. August 17, 1:30 pm. Room Elizabeth.

PANEL: “The State of Management & Orchestration (MANO)”

TWITTER: #IntelBuilders


TWITTER: @ALU_Cloud, @CloudTed, @ValerieNoto, @Innovarista

@Alcatel_Lucent, @MOTIVE_ALU, @nuagenetworks, @BellLabs, @ALU_Rapport


I also plan to attend the following two IDF Mega Sessions:

“5G: Innovation from Client to Cloud” with Sandra Rivera and Aicha Evans.

“Making The Future… with You” presented by Genevieve Bell.

See you there.


Related info:

Intel Announces IDF 2014 Technology Innovation Accelerated Award Winners.

Lean NFV Ops: Scaling Basics.

vEPC in LTE Networks: Time To Move Ahead.

Lean NFV Ops: automation and self-service.


“The automatic telephone switchboard was introduced in 1892 along with dial telephones. By 1929, 31.9% of the Bell system was automatic. Automatic telephone switching originally used vacuum tube amplifiers and electro-mechanical switches, which consumed a large amount of electricity. Call volume eventually grew so fast that it was feared the telephone system would consume all electricity production, prompting Bell Labs to begin research on the transistor. The logic performed by telephone switching relays was the inspiration for the digital computer.” – “Automation” by Wikipedia.


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imageWe kept extremely busy in Q1 to deliver the Lean NFV Ops demo at Mobile World Congress back in March. I am glad to share that the project’s success led to a hectic roadshow in Q2: our live demo system has been showcased at a number of industry and private events as well as in customer workshops worldwide.

Each conversation with network operators, partners, analysts and public officials has delivered a wealth of insights: most validating the project’s objectives while some challenging us to do even more to take things to the next level.

Q3 is about furthering the Lean NFV Ops conversation and we will soon make available a brief paper and a full length video sharing design principles. Stay tuned. Though, I would like to first start with a brief discussion on S2O (Self-Service Ops) given a recent batch of questions on what that entails.


This is just a quick note: all conversations regarding Lean NFV Ops involve data driven automation and the human factor. This is a live demonstration system that couples (a) flexible “automation” involving correlated metrics, predictive analytics, directories, policies and research findings on “autonomics” (machine learning) with (b) visibility and controls where “autonomation” engages human intelligence in terms of situational awareness, supervision, root cause analysis, programmability… and new skills involving workstyles and organizational behaviors. There you have it: managed to get “automation”, “autonomics” and “autonomation” in just one paragraph : )


S2O, this post’s focus subject, reflects the fact that a number of CSP (Communication Service Providers) are developing B2B (Business to Business) markets by providing services to other network operators under the carrier’s carrier model, MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) and enterprise verticals and customers of all sizes. Though, we are also learning about lengthy resource consuming operations that trigger costlier services than planned and/or limited offerings constrained by what can effectively be managed under the current PMO (Present Mode of Operations).

Thinking of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) means shifting to a FMO (Future Mode of Operations) based on cloud economics. More specifically, this means enabling business models such as Infrastructure and Platform as a Service (IaaS and PaaS) which are driven by self-service interactions.

This 10+ minute video shows the first version of the Lean NFV Ops demo where our emphasis was on communicating what NFV can deliver to CPS’ in-house ops teams. The above graphic portrays the S2O use case where:

  1. B2B: A CSP is in business with several customers (other carriers, MVNOs, enterprises, public administration).
  2. XaaS: A given CSP’s customer works with the same toolset leveraged by the CSP’s own in-house ops team and benefits from the “X” (anything) as a Service model.
  3. DevOps: That CSP customer’s own IT team embraces self-service by deploying apps and creating service chains at multiple sites, scaling and reconfiguring systems as needed.

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Left: Screen capture of the demo’s NFV Ops Center – S2O View. Right: Screen captures of support systems involved: Motive Dynamic Operations, CloudBand Management System, Nuage Networks, Bell Labs Analytics.


In a nutshell: a significant share of operations have been outsourced by the CSP to the business customer under the S2O use case . This is a mutually beneficially arrangement as follows:

  • The CSP’s business customer is empowered to best conduct timely operations as they see fit.
  • The CSP leverages automation to reap self-service efficiencies whether that involves in-house teams or those engaged by business customers themselves.

S2O prompts CX (Customer Experience) implications encompassing fulfillment and assurance, as well as consumption based pricing models, in a highly dynamic environment, which makes Lean NFV Ops’ end-to-end system engineering approach of the essence.

As usual, I will be happy to address your comments, exchange emails or trade messages over LinkedIn. Our team will be doing demos at IDF 2015 (Intel Developers Forum) in San Francisco on August 18-20 at Alcatel-Lucent’s booth. Hope to see you there : )