“A strategic relationship with Alcatel-Lucent, intended to bring new levels of innovation to network operations. The agreement establishes a joint reseller and OEM agreement between the two companies (…) the transformation to a software-defined data center is going to keep picking up steam. Working with Alcatel-Lucent we increase our ability to help enterprise customers and carriers be a part of it.” – Dell and Alcatel-Lucent Team Up for Network Virtualization by Arpit Joshipura.
“The digitization of our world will be the driver of change. The enabler will be the “cloud integrated network,” which has seemingly infinite capacity and scales from local to global with sustainable economics. And the benefit will be the emergence of automated systems that provide augmented intelligence to any critical analysis task.” – The Future X Network: A Bell Labs Perspective.
Link to Dell World 2015 photo album.
Our team was in Austin at Dell World 2015 on October 20-22. Alcatel-Lucent’s booth featured the Lean NFV Ops demonstration, which captured quite a bit of attention. This was remarkable given NFV’s (Network Functions Virtualization) painstaking focus on the telecommunications sector (the carrier environment to be more specific) and the event’s broader scope providing coverage for a wide range of enterprise IT (Information Technology) systems.
We were asked if we we “brought our stuff from the future” a few times. That recurrent compliment referred to Marty McFly’s trip to October 21, 2015, the main character in the blockbuster “Back to the Future” movie series. Dell World’s DeLorean (above) is a replica of the movie’s time machine.
The fact is that adapting known and proven to work Lean principles and, moreover, creating new ones for the cloud age has been consistently well received and praised since we first unveiled this program. The Lean NFV Ops Roadshow has been running for about a year already and keeps growing strong.
Working with a set of virtualization technologies that are readily available, and doing so by operating a sophisticated end-to-end system delivering 4G’s mobile broadband and VoLTE (Voice over Long Term Evolution) services makes Lean NFV Ops expose a very compelling value proposition. We embrace Lean by engineering systems that are effective and highly efficient.
Effectiveness refers to operating in an HA (High Availability) environment driven by SLA (Service Level Agreements) compliance, which entails performance and QoS (Quality of Service) requirements. This being an environment where the services’ QoE (Quality of Experience) is paramount.
High efficiency means getting all of that done with a holistic approach (end-to-end systems engineering x TCO, total cost of ownership) optimizing “cost per bit” delivered coupled with “cost per workload.” TCO is key as we operate at the intersection between “effectiveness” and “high efficiency” at any scale: it is imperative to start and stay nimble by saving virtualization systems from sprawling, inflict overhead and become bloated overtime.
What’s really exciting is that the end result powers a new generation of dynamic services, spurring innovation and continuous improvement in the process.
By the way, we do have “time machine” viewer in our system. No joke, this is the one feature that we use to review events and deployments that have already taken place, step by step and in an time lapse mode.
One more thing… : ) Bell Labs has released a new book, which I look forward to reading. My understanding is that “The Future X Network” addresses the landscape for networking technologies in 2020 and beyond.
“The Future X Network: A Bell Labs Perspective outlines how Bell Labs sees this future unfolding and the key technological breakthroughs needed at both the architectural and systems levels. Each chapter of the book is dedicated to a major area of change and the network and systems innovation required to realize the technological revolution that will be the essential product of this new digital future.”
Where to meet next?
- Mexico City workshops, October 26-28
- Carrier Network Virtualization. Palo Alto, November 30 – December 3.
See you there ; )
“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.
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.
The 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.
CloudBand 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…
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.
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)”
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.