ORCHESTRATION:GET READY FORTHE PLATFORMREVOLUTION
September 2016 | www.tmforum.org
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The Big Picture
Section 1What is orchestration and why is it so important?
Section 2Service providers speak: why theyre adoptingorchestration and how
Section 3What do we need for orchestration?
Section 4What is the role for standards and open source?
Section 5Make it happen: strategies for implementing orchestration
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ORCHESTRATION: GET READY FOR THE PLATFORM REVOLUTION
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Orchestration: Get ready for the platform revolution2
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Service providers could save, on average, the equivalent of their entire capital budget through orchestration,according to some. This is just from greater operational efficiency, without taking into account the increasedagility it could deliver. Yet orchestrating services end to end across virtualized and physical infrastructure,including partners networks, is proving to be one of the most difficult operational challenges forcommunications service providers and their suppliers.
Part of the problem is defining what it means. Yes, its aboutautomation, but automating what and where exactly? How isit implemented? What are the most important steps orarchitectural features? How should it be accomplished?And perhaps most importantly, wheres the business case?
These are the kinds of questions we set out to answer in this,our inaugural Insights Research report on the topic. Wesurveyed more than 50 people at 33 service providers(respondents were fairly evenly split between the networkand IT sides of the organizations) to ask them how they defineorchestration and why its important to their businesses.
ITS ALL ABOUT AGILITY
One thing is clear: The biggest reason service providers areinterested in both network virtualization and automation isagility. About 75 percent of all survey respondents ranked theability to offer service on demand, with updates in real time,and to deliver services to customers more quickly in their topthree drivers. By comparison, only about 10 percent putreducing capital expenditure in the top three. For mostoperators, the end goal is supporting zero-touch customerself-service, and this requires comprehensive end-to-endautomation of both operational and lifecycle processes.
Its also evident from the survey that service providers include service assurance and other processes beyond provisioning whenthey talk about orchestration. Several respondents said our definition which read, end-to-end management through zero-touch (automated) provisioning across virtualized and physical components should have read, end-to-end servicemanagement through zero-touch (automated) provisioning, configuration and assurance.
34% ability to deliver services to customers more quickly
6% eachreducing CapEx, ability to adapt to new business or market conditions, and ability to participate in ecosystems of partners to deliver services to end customers
from a startup
28%ability to offer services on demand with updates in real time
THE NO. 1 DRIVER FOR ORCHESTRATION?
Source: TM Forum, 2016
A PLATFORM REVOLUTION?
Our interviews with IT and network executives wereparticularly illuminating. They see orchestration as a keycomponent in their transformation strategies, which ofteninclude plans to turn the network and supporting operationsinside out, making them platforms that give customersmore control. The idea is for network operators to becomeplatform curators, connecting digital ecosystems ofpartners, similar to how Amazon has monetized itsinfrastructure investment through Amazon Web Servicesand Amazon Marketplace.
To do this, communications service providers need tobecome much more software-driven, which is changingtheir relationship with suppliers. While the service providersinterviewed for this report were adamant that they do notintend to become software companies themselves and cutsuppliers out of the equation, they acknowledge that theterms and conditions of their relationships with suppliersare changing fast.
The immediate answer is not hiring another thousandpeople and writing everything ourselves, Verizons CIO,Radhika Venkatraman, said during her keynote address atTM Forum Action Week in July. The timeline and optimizingthe timeline become extremely important, so itsincumbent on both operators and suppliers in thisecosystem to be very mindful of whats hard to do andwhats not. How can we partner? Do we need to embraceopen source a little bit more because theres a lot of opensource code available? I understand everyone has theirsecret sauce, but maybe we dont need the secret saucefor everything in the virtualized environment.
READ THIS REPORT TO UNDERSTAND:
How service providers define orchestration
Where orchestration happens
Why automation is necessary
What the business drivers are
How service providers are implementingorchestration
What the most important architecturalconsiderations or steps are
What the biggest challenges are for deployment
What the role is for open source
How TM Forums strategic programs andCatalysts can help
WHATS MOST IMPORTANT FOR ORCHESTRATION?
Source: TM Forum, 2016
have either built their own orchestration
systems using open source technology
or plan to do so during the next two
30%said there are no mature solutions
available from suppliers
32%are using or plan to
use multiple orchestrators
77%expect to use an orchestrator of orchestrators
MANY SERVICE PROVIDERS SEE ORCHESTRATION ANDOPEN APIS AS KEY COMPONENTS TO HELP THEM
BECOME PLATFORM PROVIDERS
COMMON INFORMATION MODELS AND APIS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS FOR SERVICE PROVIDERS WHEN IT
COMES TO ORCHESTRATION.
HOW ARE OPERATORS IMPLEMENTING ORCHESTRATION?
WHAT ARE THE KEY STEPS OR ARCHITECTURAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR ORCHESTRATION?
Standardized patterns to follow for
1 3Setting a clear
technological migration path/strategy
5Developing a clear cultural
2 4 6Autonomic control
loops to enable rapid (in many cases real-time) response to requests
Service monitoring and assurance to inform customers
and to refine policy
Security that is designed in from
the beginning and automated
62%of operators believe open source
is important for NFV and SDN
AUTOMATION ABSTRACTS THE COMPLEXITY AND DRIVES MODULARITY IN SERVICE PROVIDERS NETWORKS. IT IS REQUIRED FOR INTERNET OF THINGS APPLICATIONS LIKE DRIVERLESS CARS.
WHY IS AUTOMATION NEEDED?
If you look at the latency requirements associated with IoT applications that, in turn, are driving a lot of the 5G requirements, they are for 2 millisecond round-trip time between a 5G data plane and control plane function hosted in a cloud. Obviously there is no time for human interaction, and when things go wrong, the system has to self-heal.Eric Troup, Chief Technical Offi