This turned out to be another intensive year (more on that in my next post) and the above pictures capture our team’s presence at Carrier Network Virtualization, the last public event on the Lean NFV Ops program for 2015. I like to thank Christie Rice for her invitation to present at Intel Network Builders Summit in Palo Alto, and couldn’t be happier to hear that my presentation, Communication Networks Reloaded, was well received (see slides below) by the workshop participants. I would also like to thank Sue Morehouse with our Events Team and Andy Mast at the Cloud Innovation Center for all the work that went into getting our team organized for CNV15.
Photo album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskptDZXC
“In this panel our guests will discuss key issues facing orchestration providers, including the standardization efforts for descriptors and information models, intelligent workload placement options with Intel architecture, and operator priorities for NFV-O and MANO in 2016” – Intel Network Builders Summit. San Francisco, August 17, 1:30 pm.
From left to right: Jose de Francisco, Ted East, Bob Haddlenton, Valerie Noto. Alcatel-Lucent’s Lean NFV Ops Demo Station at IDF15.
The Lean NFV Ops Roadshow is back after a short summer break. Our team would like to thank Intel for inviting us to join Network Builders Summit, Partner Summit, and the prominent Developer Forum (IDF15) this past week in San Francisco. The above pictures were taken at Alcatel-Lucent’s station, which featured a live interactive demonstration. See my earlier post “Gearing for IDF15” for more information on that.
Additionally, you can see a new element: a Galileo powered retro Whack-a-Mole machine, WAM for short : )
Long story short, IDF15 attendees were able to have fun by testing our Lean NFV Ops system when playing this game, which is designed to create catastrophic failures.
On a serious note, the higher the game’s score the more critical the issues experienced. This exemplified zero touch healing and recovery executed in real time to sustain a High Availability (HA) environment. In these pictures you can see Intel’s Diane Bryant, SVP/GM Data Center Group, and Sandra Rivera, VP/GM Network Platforms Groups, putting our demo to the test.
I would also like to thank Renu Navale who moderated “The State of Management & Orchestration”, a panel discussion where I joined Ciena’s Recep Ozdag, Overture’s Scott Vandiver and Rift.io’s Tony Schoener in a fairly engaging discussion.
We discussed opportunities and challenges involving ETSI NFV’s Management & Orchestration (MANO) architecture, standardization efforts across the board, information models and enhanced platform awareness (EPA) among other topics.
There were 50+ people attending this session. Those providing feedback on this session mentioned that topics and viewpoints expressed there were followed with interest. My understanding is that the video will be available in a couple of weeks.
Regarding questions on the underlying fundamentals behind Lean NFV Ops: this link provides a brief paper on the topic just to begin with.
Generally speaking, “Lean” practices couple (a) effective quality management with (b) efficient end-to-end systems. That summarizes Lean’s paradigm across any industry we happen to look into, whether we are talking about manufacturing, services or software for that matter.
Our conversation on Lean NFV Ops has been well received since first presented this at Mobile World Congress earlier in the year. Proven interest has to do with addressing quality by discussing Reliability, Availability and Serviceability (RAS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) in the telecommunications context. These are critical success factors in an industry concerned with a carrier grade tradition facing which is now conflicting views when confronted with with compelling cloud economics.
I created the above chart on Lean NFV Ops to clearly show that we are optimizing for both Service Level (SLA) and Return on Asset (ROA) since High Availability (HA) and High Utilization levels shape dynamic network behaviors. Simply put, Lean NFV Ops is abut effectively delivering timely “service(s) of value” by operating at “resource efficient levels”. Making a return on the Communication Service Provider (CSP) investments (ROI) in NFV depends on achieving that. Otherwise, virtualization critics will keep reasonably doubting the need for any changes.
Equally important, sustaining a competitive advantage means that early implementations can be based on nimble architectures, which remain streamlined (and, therefore, stay lean vs. becoming bloated and over-engineered) as they rapidly change scale and/or scope. With that in mind, embracing Lean NFV Ops’ agile “continuous improvement” and making room for incremental innovation happen to be of the essence.
One more thought, Lean NFV Ops is not about a mechanical one to one implementation of known Lean principles. This conversation is centered on understanding the nature of the telecommunications sector so that we can come down to defining “how-to” guiding principles.
Lean \ˈlēn\ adjective: athletic, strong and healthy, absence of excess.
Circling back to IDF15, I am happy to share that we had good meetings with a number of partners throughout IDF15. Everyone’s feedback on Lean NFV Ops was very encouraging, most openly saying to be impressed by our end-to-end solution approach:
- Operations Support System (OSS) – Motive Dynamic Operations
- Software Defined Networking (SDN) – Nuage Networks
- Sophisticated Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) – Rapport
- Appliances deployed as VNFs – CloudBand Ecosystem
- All running on CloudBand 3.0, the platform discussed in this interview.
Tieto, a CloudBand Ecosystem Member, was also present at IDF’s Network Builders zone. Tieto’s team had onboarded a VNF on our platform and Daniel Nilson was kind enough to share his latest paper.
I would like to take this chance to give Ted East and our Cloud Innovation Center (CIC) team “kudos” to acknowledge the hard work going into all the timely system upgrades, which continue to make the Lean NFV Ops live demonstration an invaluable asset (WAM’s latest retrofit included : ) Last but not least, thanks to Andreas, Asaf, Debbie, Erez, Guy, Ken, Phil and Val for all the couching and guidance when preparing for IDF.
Click above to access this album on Flickr.
“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.