Cisco trumpets Orange orchestration win

Orange has decided to deploy some Cisco orchestration tech and Cisco wants you to know all about it.

The announcement was made at the Cisco Live corporate fest in Barcelona, presumably intended as a dress rehearsal for Mobile World Congress later this month. ‘Join us in Barcelona to transform your outlook, your career, and your potential with 5 days of education, networking, and fun!’ says the #CLEUR landing page. What’s not to like?

Luckily for those of us unable to attend Cisco is sharing some of the top news to come from the event with the telecoms trade press and so far this seems to be the biggie. Orange, being the forward-thinking operator it is, realised it needed to get with the programmability if it’s going to stay ahead of the game in the 5G era, which is where Cisco comes in.

‘Orange knew they could reduce CapEx and OpEx by implementing new architectures on platforms ready for mass-scale networking, and automating a large number of tasks and operations,’ explains the release. Luckily Cisco had just the ticket, in the form of its Network Services Orchestrator software platform, which Orange wasted no time in snapping up.

“Cisco’s model-driven approach to network automation and service orchestration is enabling Orange to drastically speed up the delivery of services across our entire lifecycles,” said Christian Gacon, VP of Wireline Networks and Infrastructure at Orange. “This global deployment of Cisco NSO also provides us with uniform configuration management tools and consumable network APIs for business applications and customer self-service portals.”

“Visionary service providers like Orange recognize the value network automation and SDN offer to drive innovation in their markets,” said Yves Padrines, VP of Global Service Provider EMEAR at Cisco. “Cisco’s network automation software and product portfolio enables carriers to simplify their operations through sophisticated data analysis and proactive control to help them continue to deliver superior customer experiences without interruption.”

It’s intriguing to see Cisco looking to make a big noise about an operator deal win, in Barcelona of all places, since it had seemed to be deprioritizing CSPs in favour of enterprise IT customers. Could this be the precursor to a larger than expected presence from Cisco at MWC and a sign that the pendulum may be swinging back again? We’ll find out soon enough.

ONAP sparks up its first release – Amsterdam

The Open Network Automation Platform has served up its first release, which is designed to to offer a unified architecture for network automation.

Such is the mind-boggling complexity of virtualizing and automating networks that open source collaboration is widely considered to be the most effective way of doing so in an interoperable way. ONAP claims this is the first open source project to unite the majority of operators with the majority of vendors in building an automation and orchestration platform. Apparently ONAP’s members account for 55% of the world’s mobile subscribers.

“Amsterdam represents significant progress for both the ONAP community and the greater open source networking ecosystem at large,” said Arpit Joshipura, GM of Networking and Orchestration at The Linux Foundation, which runs ONAP. “By bringing together member resources, Amsterdam is the first step toward realization of a globally shared architecture and implementation for network automation, based on open source and open standards.”

The two specific use-cases covered by Amsterdam are VoLTE – specifically virtualizing the core network to allow the management of a VoLTE service – and residential vCPE – allwing CSPs to add new services quickly and easily. As you might have guessed, this starts a sequence of capital city release names in alphabetical order. The next one will be called Beijing and is scheduled for the summer of 2018, which may coincide with 3GPP release 15 for 5G.

In its thorough analysis of the release, Light Reading is cautiously positive about the release, noting that ONAP seems to be gathering the kind of critical mass of contributors that will be vital for it to be an industry-wide platform, although AT&T seems to be doing much of the heavy lifting. Here’s a vid.