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Real-Time OSS for SDN & the Cloud
Communications service providers regard enterprise cloud services as a key money-spinner for the future, with the potential to compensate for declining revenues elsewhere. As they ramp up their cloud businesses, however, the chasm between the abstraction and automation capabilities they have on the IT side of the house and the inflexible, unvirtualized network yawns ever wider. The fact that the network cannot be consumed in the way that IT resources can be consumed in the cloud is putting the brakes on service providers' ability to offer network-enabled cloud services that differentiate them from those of their data center-centric competitors.

Bleeding-edge service providers are already well advanced in building new management layers that can model multiple aspects of their infrastructure IT and network, physical and virtual, data center and WAN and orchestrate management processes such as provisioning across any, or all of them. Such an orchestration layer can act as a further abstraction of an operator's fragmented operations support system (OSS) estate, where individual OSS abstract and manage different network domains. It can link the network with the (IT) cloud automation platform and even bare metal IT management environments.

A complex set of infrastructure management requirements is emerging for the service provider cloud. In some ways, software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) may make the task of network management easier, but as network functions become resources that run in the cloud, they are raising even more questions as to their largely unscoped management needs. Meanwhile, an overarching orchestration layer, or real-time OSS, for an increasingly virtualized infrastructure will need to be highly available, scalable and trustworthy, dependent on the resilience of the environment it manages.

The converged cloud infrastructure will depend heavily on emerging SDN and NFV developments. However, it will take a long time for such developments to become ubiquitous across most operators' networks. As a starting point, however, operators are creating the carrier cloud, which allows them to abstract physical network resources, orchestrate resource provisioning in an automated way, as they do for IT cloud compute and storage resources, and to add in/replace them with software-defined and virtualized network functions over time.

Vendors are also seizing on the real-time OSS opportunity, especially network equipment vendors that are promoting SDN and NFV and that believe they can insert themselves into the cloud management/OSS value chain. The resources and management processes vendors can orchestrate vary widely at this early stage of the market, as does their support for advanced functions such as analytics, policy engines, PaaS and carrier-grade high availability and scalability. As networking and the cloud converge, market advantage is tipping back in favor of network equipment vendors over IT vendors as providers of the overarching orchestration layer for the cloud. Traditional OSS vendors, too, risk being left behind as SDN start-ups and network equipment vendors race to build the real-time OSS for the converged cloud.

Real-Time OSS for SDN & the Cloud looks at both vendor and operator approaches to the next-generation management of service provider infrastructure and the new imperatives for OSS as that infrastructure is transformed by cloud, SDN and NFV. It also profiles nine leading vendors and two leading operators in this market.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (spiti1212_toc.pdf)
There is a need for a new management approach to service provider infrastructure a real-time OSS that enables IT and network resources to be provisioned and monitored in a converged and automated way. And it seems reasonable to suppose that the cloud automation and management capabilities needed to oversee IT workloads in the cloud will also apply to virtualized network workloads. But the extended SDN controller implied by the IETF's definition will also have a comprehensive view of the state of the virtual network. There are many questions that operators and vendors are tackling as they build their next-generation cloud/network management layers a real-time OSS for the dynamic and changing world of Wave 3 cloud.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies profiled in this report include: Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU); Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO); Colt Group S.A. (LSE: COLT); Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC); Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ); Interoute Communications Ltd.; IPsoft Inc.; Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE); ServiceNow Inc.; Tail-f Systems AB; and VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW)
Total pages: 27
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