“Our next Barcelona event will be the 2016 Mobile World Congress, 22-25 February 2016, at Fira Gran Via […] Surpassing all projections, GSMA Mobile World Congress, the world’s biggest and most influential mobile event, had a record-breaking 93,000+ attendees from 200 countries. Hosted in the Mobile World Capital Barcelona for the 10th year, Mobile World Congress 2015 attendees were treated to a wealth of learning and networking opportunities; product showcases and announcements; inspiration and innovation.” – 2015 Event Highlights by GSMA.
“As things begin to virtualize understanding operations become more critical. This is basically what ties everything together […] One of our most popular demos this week was a solution that featured an application centered system providing a ‘birds eye view’ of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) while integrating dedicated screens for Operations and Support Systems (OSS), NFV’s Management and Orchestration (MANO) as well as Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Bell Labs’ Analytics… our entire NFV and SDN portfolio (Motive Dynamic Operations, CloudBand Management System and Cloud Nodes, Nuage Networks, vRAN, vEPC, vIMS) and research findings from Bell Labs rolled into what was affectionately known on the booth as the ‘mother of all NFV demos’ – Mobile World Congress Day 3 by Wendy Zajack.
I am now back in surprisingly warm and sunny Chicago. We just left another pretty cold winter behind. Barcelona’s #MWC15 was very good to our team: the ‘Mother of All NFV Demos’ impressed everyone and we were challenged to look into a couple of additional use cases as a result.
This demo ran well beyond 200 times. At the time of writing this: blogging about it has delivered 1,4K+ views already, Twitter’s analytics show 12,6K impressions and there are 210+ views for Flickr’s photo album.
Let’s bear in mind that NFV happens to be [a] an emerging market segment based on [b] a set of technologies concerning the telecommunications sector only. Moreover, focusing on [c] operations could have risked being perceived as fairly dry, complex and obscure. The more reason for us to design a live, engaging and interactive demonstration experience. Besides, in this context, running 200+ live demonstrations on demand in just four intensive days with social media activity registering in excess of 14K impressions to date qualifies as a success story .
We broke things down into two sections and, by the way, we used neither slideware nor video clips: our live demo had to purposely speak by itself. The first section was about ‘state of the art’ illustrated by Alcatel-Lucent’s current production environment, see above outline. That comprised 80% of content and dominated the conversation at the demo station. The remaining section exposed research findings, these being about ‘art of the possible’ and ‘future direction’ as outlined below.
Once again, thanks to everyone contributing to this project as well as those providing feedback all along. This NFV Portfolio demo is now battle tested and back by popular demand. This means showcasing this at more industry events, Alcatel-Lucent’s own Executive Briefing Centers (EBC), and the Cloud Innovation Center (CIC). The underlying system was engineered to become a demonstration platform so that we can now explore and add more use cases, evolving the demo over the year.
Click above to see the demo’s photo album.
First, there is a need for congratulating our events team for getting things ready ahead of schedule. This is no minor feat when considering the scope, intensive schedule and impact of what we are showcasing at MWC (Mobile World Congress), the largest industry event in the telecommunications space.
The NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) Portfolio station, which Ted and I will be manning, is one of seven parallel live demonstrations displayed at our booth’s public zone. The NFV Portfolio demo addresses the value of our technologies in an open ecosystem. This becomes illustrated with a user friendly virtualization catalog supporting application onboarding and unprecedented rapid service launch.
We are working with sophisticated best of breed solutions coming together to deliver seamless operations and greater value than that resulting from endless patchworking. Seeing Motive Dynamic Operations, Nuage Networks’ SDN (Software Defined Networking) jointly with virtualized RAN (Radio Access Network), EPC (Evolved Packet Core), IMS (IP Multimedia System) all working together, and all running on CloudBand’s NFV Platform makes the point. Better yet, silo busting simplicity becomes the immediate wow factor in a quite compelling way.
The second half of our conversation is based on stress testing. Here we discuss SFC (Service Function Chaining) and RAS (Reliability, Availability and Serviceability) in a distributed architecture featuring HA (High Availability). This part of the demonstration is designed to inflict pain and to create havoc by purposely triggering a series of failures and/or unplanned pent up demand.
That’s the kind of stuff proven to bring a conventional network down to its knees. Predictive analytics and RCA (Root Cause Analysis) keep service continuity going: a video session over VoLTE (Voice over LTE – Long Term Evolution) remains unscratched throughout the entire demonstration time after time. Smart placement and healing events take care of business in the background. Programmable automation is crucial. This is all transparent to the end user experience (consumers, enterprises) and, therefore, one other wow factor.
Understanding an innovating on human factors matters to a great degree. The NFV Ops Center screen delivers a “single pane of glass” fed by the above solutions thanks to APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). The system’s topology shows dynamic operations in progress. A sliding dashboard overlay helps visualize correlated KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) when needed, across domains and with extreme ease: no self-defeating UI clutter and convoluted navigation here.
We are unveiling this demonstration at MWC tomorrow Monday. We have already had a number of private sessions to test drive messaging, the value of the underlying conversation, various discussion flows and the overall demonstration experience. This is a highly engaging and interactive demonstration. So far, “very impressive” was everyone’s feedback without exception.
No need to be overconfident: MWC’s intensive demo schedule and our customers’ blunt assessments are this week’s performance indicators.