Ciena today introduced a DevOps toolkit for its Blue Planet network functions virtualization (NFV) orchestration platform. The toolkit is similar to a software development kit (SDK), and it can be used by network operators’ in-house personnel to modify new services and add new virtual and physical network resources.
Blue Planet has always offered its customers the ability to program the software themselves for customization but often had to provide “extensive training for them to do it themselves,” says Joe Cumello, VP of portfolio marketing of Blue Planet with Ciena. “This ‘templatizes’ it, so it’s easy for them to do. We do have professional services, but they only need to use those when they want to. It makes the customer self-sufficient.”
With the new toolkit, network operators can on-board new virtual network functions (VNFs) such as virtual firewalls, as well as physical network domains such as Layer 2 metro networks, and virtual domains such as a third-party cloud.
The company is also building a Blue Planet Developer Community.
Cumello says Blue Planet is built on more than 25 open source components, and the developer community portal will facilitate open-source-like collaboration with online documentation, training tools, and libraries of available resource adapters and service templates.
Cumello says a lot of operators are moving toward DevOps-type cultures, building their own DevOps teams. For example, recently, XO said it developed its own NFV software stack, creating a DevOps environment in the process.
The Blue Planet NFV orchestration platform has been doing well for Ciena. In December 2015 the company said it didn’t expect Blue Planet to drive revenue this year, but in its first-quarter earnings call, Ciena CEO Gary Smith said, “Overall, the Cyan [Blue Planet] integration has been extremely smooth. Customer interest is frankly beyond our expectations.”