Secure Green Clouds, Open-Source Deluge, Service Economics, Network Architecture, SDN/NFV Analytics, and More!

(Bi)-Weekly Round-Up: 11/17/2014 – 11/30/2014

Folks,

Given that I got a bit busy the past few weeks, I decided to provide a Bi-Weekly Round Up this time around :-) . This period saw over 35 discussions, 49 comments, from 16+ unique contributing members, and over 42 likes, so a very active fortnight indeed!

A clickable mindmap of the top discussions for this period. Clicking on the image, will open a new browser window that will allow you to click to the various discussions through the mindmap, thus making it easier to access the discussions referred to in this Bi-Weekly Update. Please don’t forget to tell us how you liked this feature, and what else we could do to make it easier for you to keep learning!

[Clearly, if you’re not on our Carrier Ethernet Group “network”, you can’t benefit from the interesting discourse :-) . Thus, a good reason to participate, and point out to colleagues/peers the value of being on this forum – FYI, you can easily invite colleagues to the Group by sending them the following pointer http://linkd.in/L645fy.]

Thank you Ray Le Maistre, Nir Cohen, Jules Pedersen, Daniel Bar-Lev, Asad Naveed, Ryan Yaeger, Craig Matsumoto, Clayton Clark, Scott Raynovich, Joshua Parnes , Tom Nolle, Bo Gowan, Ishkhan Martiryosan, Jon Kiefer, Lauren Menzies, Alex Iwane, et al for your posts on diverse topics! Thanks also to Dan Martin, Ishkhan M., Tom Nolle, Scott Raynovich, Jon Kiefer, Asad Naveed, Sohail Mohammad, Fahad, Azhar Khuwaja, Wayne Hickey, among others, for your insightful and thoughtful comments.

MP3 Audio Capsule of the Weekly Round-Up is at: http://bit.ly/1yK0Ced  (Right click the link and choose “Save File As” to download and save the mp3 file. Then enjoy on your favorite player!)

“A proud moment! CE Group member Anuradha Udunuwara of Sri Lanka Telecom with Ethernet inventor Dr. Bob Metcalfe, at the MEF GEN14 event in Washington D.C., Nov. 19, 2014.”

1. Secure Road to the Green Cloud!

Greening the Cloud …

Scott Raynovich of The Rayno Report http://bit.ly/1txvM2L held an excellent chat on how sustainable (read “green”) cloud services can help companies with big data needs without growing energy consumption in power hungry data centers. You can find a transcript of the chat here http://bit.ly/1H3zL0a.  The chat addressed some key questions such as the attitude of Fortune 500 companies towards green clouds, and how businesses can build sound big data processes while using green energy at the same time.

 to Rethinking Applications in the Cloud

Ray Le Maistre of LightReading, meanwhile, interviewed Alcatel-Lucent’s head honcho for IP and Transport, Basil Alwan on the road to the cloud. Basil talks about the need for so-called “agility” or the ability to abstract and reconfigure the network quickly, which is now a key with SDN, as opposed to merely reducing capex or the cost/bit, which is still important. Alu have also taken Nuage’s hardware-independent SDN strategy from within the DC to automating the connectivity of DCs. In moving to the cloud, the focus now is on having application requirements be understood by the infrastructure. Customers want them to rethink the applications so they run on a standardized virtual infrastructure, which requires a rethinking of elements like redundancy, resiliency. More here http://bit.ly/1rxDaAY.

… and Guarding Enterprises Against Threats to Ensure Business Continuity

Which ties into what Joshua Parnes of Integra Telecom posted about. Namely, the need for enterprises to have visibility into threats that can jeopardize their relationships with their customers, when web hackers attack customers visiting a company’s website http://bit.ly/129gr1S, with attacks like cross-site scripting, SQL injection, and malvertizing! Joshua also wrote about the need for enterprises to strategically, progressively, and transparently test their business continuity plan http://bit.ly/1xPKggG, which almost 70% of enterprises in one survey did not even have!

2. Open Source Tsunami?

What the heck is LSO?

Open source was in the news lately, as it has been for a while. Craig Matsumoto of SDN Central posted an article by our very own Scott Raynovich http://bit.ly/11AjoIF, talking of the MEF’s plans for Lifecycle Service Orchestration (revealed at the flagship GEN 14 event in DC in November) – a fancy name for the effort to create new standards for functions accomplished in the OSS/BSS; for instance, service fulfillment, performance, control, usage, analytics, and network policy. This could potentially lead to a new eco-system for open, interoperable, standardized OSS/BSS’s that could be a quantum leap for carrier operations.

White-Boxes – The Knight in Shinning Armor for Operators?!

Meanwhile, Scott also wrote http://bit.ly/1rxEGmM that Verizon’s supposedly huge trial of white-boxes (bare-metal, commodity servers running  networking software) , which includes Cumulus for it’s Linux-based OS, Pica8 for switching software, and Juniper for routing and switching, created some stir at the likes of Cisco and Juniper, who are more inclined (going to statements made by Juniper execs on a recent analyst call) to continue touting their hardware chops (although Cisco has certainly been speaking a lot about it’s version of SDN, ACI). Nonetheless, Verizon’s move certainly seems to advance the open-source, commodity-hardware movement!

… Yet Another Open Industry Body? – OPNFV

Ray Le Maistre of Lightreading, reported on the OPNFV (short for the Open Platform NFV project) effort  http://bit.ly/1zZT9HD to combine telecom standards with the open source world. It’s focus is the NFV-I (NFV-Infrastructure) and the virtualized infrastructure manager (VIM) mentioned in ETSI documents, and in doing so, it must bring together a diverse group such as standards experts, network architects, software developers and coders, and is slated to deliver code or detailed recommendations for performance improvements every 6 months. In other words, their focus is the practical issues surrounding NFV deployment, without, as Margaret Choisi OPNFV President, says, letting them “float into never-never land!”

Do you think VZ’s white-box trial will raise the stakes for Cisco, Juniper, Alcatel-Lucent and the like http://bit.ly/11AjoIF? Also, is the MEF’s LSO initiative is an idea whose time has come http://bit.ly/1rxEGmM?And, what about OPNFV – do we need yet another standards/industry organization (YASO!) to dip into the NFV/SDN stew http://bit.ly/1zZT9HD? Do share your views!

3. Data Center Technology

State-of-the-Art Data Centers …

We got to look at Telstra’s state-of-the-art data center in Melbourne here http://bit.ly/1txxaSM, which was revealing in it’s size – two 1000 sq. meter halls, generators that switch on within 3 seconds of a power outage, and greater than “n+1” redundancy, so that it can continue operation even after failure of one piece of power or cooling equipment. This DC adds 40%  to Telstra’s cloud capacity.

What do you think of such data center construction? How does it compare to the “green” data centers pioneered by Facebook and Google, that don’t need air conditioning and/or rely on geothermal energy? Do share your views here http://bit.ly/1txxaSM!

… OpenConfig BGP for Better Network Control

Meanwhile the effort by Google, Microsoft, BT and AT&T to develop YANG-based data models for next-generation packet networks is making progress, starting with Openconfig BGP – a vendor-neutral BGP configuration model for service provider networks that is supposed to speed up NFV deployment in telcos.

(For YANG see RFC 6020, or the short summary here http://www.tail-f.com/education/what-is-yang/. Also, note that OpenConfig itself is a collection of professionals interested in building an open, vendor-neutral model for network configuration and policy and could help telcos by, eventually, providing them with a way to communicate policy requirements between each other.

[See this excellent article series on OpenConfig by Craig of SDNCentral, http://bit.ly/1JUI6FN, http://bit.ly/13AsfL8)

Also see http://ubm.io/1tnIGXN , http://bit.ly/1zCAYqH, and http://bit.ly/1rqrMGP  - the latter being the slides presented on Openconfig BGP at the last IETF in Hawaii in early November.

Do you favor such open model development? Are you participating in or following such development? Do you think it this is a good evolution for the industry? Do share your views here http://bit.ly/1txxaSM!

4. Service Economics and Pricing

Pricing Models for On-Demand Services …

Bo Gowan of Ciena posted a very topical article http://bit.ly/1zCyqJa on the pricing of on-demand services – critical to not cannibalize existing revenue streams! This is an excellent article by Niloufar Tayebi, where she discusses 3 models for pricing on-demand services based on data quantity, connection status, or events, and explains how an operator would price on-demand services, and the conditions under which it would be beneficial for an enterprise to use these as opposed to fixed-price services. So, a great educational read (in fact, read entire series on this subject at the Ciena blog).

What is your view? Do you agree with Niloufar’s models? Are you an operator contemplating on-demand pricing models? If so, what are some of your questions in this regard? How close are you to implementing such models? Do weigh in here http://bit.ly/1zCyqJa!

 … Seeking Statistical Models of CE Service Provisioning in Africa

Ishkhan Matiroyasan from Uganda posted a very interesting question on the dynamics of the African market for Carrier Ethernet services, wanting to know if there was any analysis of how CE services were provisioned across providers in Africa or across certain regions of the African continent? http://bit.ly/1yjFTxi , while Scott Raynovich wrote about the issue of net neutrality and operator dynamics based on the discussions at MEF’s GEN 14 event http://bit.ly/1xYKmGT. Indeed, Bob Metcalfe, an ardent supporter of market-based innovation, was decidedly not in favor of regulating the Internet via the FCC or any government channel, and did not buy the net-neutrality argument, being particularly critical of Google’s support of it!

What is your view? Do you agree with Bob Metcalfe’s view? Or, do you see virtue in net neutrality, which, its proponents argue, would support the little guy – the consumer as well as small time companies and developers, who will not be nudged out by paid, high-priority services that could potentially clog the access pipe to the consumer. Let’s here your views here http://bit.ly/1xYKmGT!

5. Network Architecture and the 3rd Network?

Rethinking Network Architecture with OpenConfig BGP … and later OpenConfig MPLS!

The first steps to a more flexible, scalable approach to network design were made possible with the presentation of the Yang-based BGP configuration model at the IETF in early November http://bit.ly/1uQfr9E. This would eventually provide a vendor-neutral approach for operators to manage BGP configuration in multi-vendor networks, and allow them to more easily mix-and-match routing hardware and software from multiple vendors, and would thus, it is argued, accelerate SDN and NFV deployment as well. The group already has its sights next on … you guessed it MPLS!

… While Gearing Up for “The Third Network”!

This was close on the heels of Asad Naveed posting about the MEF unveiling “The Third Network” at GEN 14 http://bit.ly/1FzuzjM. The coming together of the CE 2.0 assured QoS services with an on-demand, ubiquitous Internet to create the “Third Network”, which would allow for a NaaS (Network-as-a-Service) offering for users, businesses, and cloud consumers alike. I recommend checking out the presentation, whitepaper and videos on the Third Network, here http://bit.ly/1x8SK6n .

… And Operationalizing SDN and NFV for International Cloud Interconnectivity

While Jules Pedersen posted an article by TechTarget http://bit.ly/1touGai on Pacnet’s use of SDN and NFV to offer WAN and data-center BOD (bandwidth-on-demand) services. The article is a good read and provides a nice recap of the three phrase approach Pacnet took to integrate SDN/NFV into its network, starting with basic BOD, evolving to allowing customers to view the hybrid cloud as a single topology, moving on to push SDN control to their new 100 Gb/s optical transport network, for which they are working actively with Ciena and Infinera for these vendors to expose API’s in their gear that Pacnet can use for provisioning.

6. SDN/NFV Analytics and Testing

We had, as always (!), some insightful articles by Tom Nolle on SDN and NFV, which I highly recommend. They discuss analytics and the VNF Manager (VNFM) component of the ETSI NFV architecture model.

In http://bit.ly/15FY9aT, Tom observes that the VNFM seems to have become a place holder for management functionality that didn’t seem to fit elsewhere in the model in ETSI’s latest NFV E2E architecture. Yet, it is a critical piece for which one has to answer questions about whether it should be centralized, how it interacts with the VNFs, and so on, and Tom mulls over some of these thoughts … a very useful technical read. While in http://bit.ly/1AYrwlD, Tom discussed a critical issue: how collecting and correlating of massive user and network data (“big data”!) would have to work in the NFV context, and the question of how we would make this data actionable. We don’t have all the answers yet, but Tom raises some damn good questions!

Have you given thought to the issue of the placement of the VNFM or how analytics would work in the NFV context? What problems do you see? Do you agree with Tom’s analysis? Comment http://bit.ly/15FY9aT and http://bit.ly/1AYrwlD.

Alex Iwane of QualiSystems shared a presentation on how SDN and NFV can be orchestrated to allow for a devtest model to operate within carriers http://bit.ly/1xPALOD – something that hasn’t been the case so far. Alex pointed out several barriers to doing so, and the changes that would be needed in carrier operations to make this happen. In particular, the evolution of skills and culture, and the adoption of an “innovate, permutate, validate, deploy” cycle in carrier operations.

So, how easy do you think it will be to adopt the DevTest model in carriers? Are you seeing a move in that direction? Does it depend on the type of carrier? What is your experience and/or thought? Do comment here http://bit.ly/1xPALOD!

7. Industry Rumblings

This period there was a number of industry goings on – from wireless RAN to virtualization, which you can easily access from the clickable Mindmap I’ve made available for all of the discussions.

SDN+NFV Conference in Feb. + Jon Kiefer’s New CE Book! … And More …

Two that I wish to call out are Ryan Yaeger’s announcement http://bit.ly/1zCC4Ta of the revised dates for the SDN + NFV Next-Generation Solutions for Management conference, now happening Feb. 4-6, 2015, and Jon Keifer’s announcement http://bit.ly/1FA1L8Z of his new book “Introduction to Carrier Ethernet” which has gotten many thumbs up from the members of the Group! Please join me in congratulation Jon on an excellent contribution to the community.

BTW, here is the MP3 audio link again http://bit.ly/1yK0Ced.

Would love your feedback on how you like the new formats, and what else we can do to make this more valuable for you. Until next time, may the bits in your byte and the bytes in your packets be profitable!

Best,

Vishal