“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 ; )
I am glad to share that I will be presenting as well as joining a panel discussion at Software Telco Congress. I picked the below two topics because the more we talk about operations and making things happen in the context of NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) the more making the business case as well as understanding behavioral economics happen to be of the essence.
When working on emerging technologies, technological prowess alone might not move the needle close enough to the tipping point. The fact is that “brain-ware” and organizational dynamics can be overlooked and, in turn, become harder to address than just figuring out and debating hardware and software roadmaps.
Presentation: The Impact of NFV on Service Provider Economics.
Tuesday, 08/12/14 10:00-10:45am
“While many of the questions around NFV focus on the roadmap to achieving a virtualized network infrastructure, the ultimate question is how will it impact the service provider from an economic perspective. Without that proof point, it’s difficult to make the case for NFV. What kind of impact should operators expect NFV have on OPEX? What markets will NFV open for SPs to pursue with greater success? Will the introduction of NFV open up the opportunity for new lines of revenue and new service offerings? How will this transition impact end customers in both SMB and Enterprise markets?”
Panel discussion: Making the Transition to Software – Are We Ready?
Wednesday, 08/13/14 10:45-11:30am
“One of the barriers to achieving the software telco is the support of the existing infrastructure, especially at the edge of the network, and while most providers can ill afford to make wholesale network changes for fear of negatively impacting revenues, they also realize the move to software is a necessity. How can new SDN and NFV technologies be deployed? What strategies are being discussed and which make sense and which don’t? There are number of opportunities that do not require service providers to boil the proverbial ocean.”
Looking forward to seeing you at Software Telco Congress, collocated with IT EXPO, which is promoted as the “business technology” event.
“More than 300 IT decision-makers and leading IT vendors—including conference underwriters AT&T, Nuage Networks/Alcatel-Lucent and Ruckus Wireless Inc.—will gather in each city to listen to the advice and insight industry experts and analysts have on subjects such as big data, migration to the cloud, support of consumer mobile devices and security improvements, as well as exchange ideas with their peers.” – “Top IT Challenges Addressed at the 2014 IT Roadmap Conference & Expo Series” by NetworkWorld.
This past Tuesday I attended NetworkWorld’s IT Roadmap. Chicago is the first stop of this conference series that will also be held in Denver, Boston, New York, San Jose, Dallas and Washington, D.C. later this year.
I was mostly interested in following talks on cloud technologies as well as telco related topics, namely:
- – “Network-Enabled Cloud Solutions: The Next Phase of Cloud” by Randall Davis, Director of Marketing at AT&T.
- – “Plan You Migration To Next-Gen Communications & Collaboration” by Ken Greene, Director of Enterprise Sales at Comcast.
- – “The Datacenter Network Future State: Dynamic & Responsive” by Houman Modarres, Senior Director of Marketing at Nuage Networks.
I first listened to Houman’s keynote, which grabbed everyone’s attention in the plenary session as seen above. We last met at Nuage Networks’ launch in the Silicon Valley this time last year and managed to reconnect and catch up after his presentation.
Nuage Networks involves SDN (Software Defined Networking) with a solution where programmability serves the purpose of automating network resources, which then become readily available and provisioned to meet applications’ needs. Here is a context where this is meaningful and relevant: network engineering and operations teams are often working under duress given highly dynamic requirements set by today’s data communications. Budgets, time, efforts and talent get literally consumed by figuring out patchworks and implementing upgrades. Unfortunately, when adding costly complexity the side effects are: little room to advance innovations and slow reaction times to necessary changes… digging an even deeper hole.
Therefore, programmability, policies and automation are of the essence. Houman also talked about the need for coupling these with “abstraction.” This is centered around how applications interact with and what they need from the network. The more network operation and development teams get to address the kind of constrains and trade-offs that stifle innovation, the more the need for a JIT (Just-in-Time) operational model optimizing for service delivery because “networks should follow at speed of cloud apps.”
Left: Ken Green, Comcast. Right: Randall Davis, AT&T
AT&T’s presentation discussed NetBond in the scope of “network enabled clouds.” The service provider’s MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) private network can be part of a “cloud in the network” architecture. Security being a salient point as enterprise customers get to use VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) instead of accessing cloud services over public internet infrastructure.
In turn, this also talks to SLA (Service Level Agreements) covering network and cloud infrastructure. That end to end approach implies centralized management and clear accountability. Comcast also highlighted the value that the network brings to cloud computing in a discussion focused on communication services for enterprises.
This event’s presentations will be available from http://www.itroadmap.net/Chi2014/agenda.