CENX today announced it is working with Brocade, Red Hat, and Rift.io to demonstrate service management capabilities in its new SDNFV innovation lab. CENX pulled together several familiar elements from the world of software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) to create the lab.
CENX’s SDNFV innovation lab “provides an ecosystem, aligned with the Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD) principle,” according to the company.
CORD’s goal is to make a central office more like a data center. The open source software takes traffic from disparate technologies, such as DSL, GPON, and HFC cable, and converts it into Ethernet packets, which can be controlled by one operating system that can handle virtual network functions (VNFs).
CENX, itself, is not participating in ONOS or its CORD project, says Marie Fiala Timlin, director of marketing with CENX. “Obviously, we’re following ONOS and CORD,” says Timlin. “The main point around CORD is the principal. Our software is installed at the NOC [network operating system]. We’re setting that up in our SDNFV lab.”
The multi-vendor demonstration announced today includes CENX’s Exanova Service Intelligence, Brocade’s vRouter, the Red Hat OpenStack Platform, and Rift.io’s NFV orchestrator (NFVO) and VNF manager (VNFM). The partners are showing use cases such as virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE), VoLTE using virtual evolved packet core (vEPC), and software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN).
Although both CENX and OSM are using Rift.io’s software, CENX has not joined the OSM open source group. “We haven’t made the formal decision to join,” says Timlin. “We’re investigating it seriously.”
CENX and LSO
In 2009, CENX started as Carrier Ethernet Neutral Exchange. It developed software to automate the manual processes of ordering, provisioning, monitoring, and assuring data connectivity services. It has since broadened its focus to provide lifecycle service orchestration (LSO) software to serve providers.
“We’re not limited to Ethernet and Layer 2,” says Timlin. “LSO is essential in deploying Layer 3 IP services as well. The new innovation lab crosses those layers.”
In addition to evolving beyond Ethernet connectivity, CENX has been responding to the advent of SDN and NFV. Its Exanova Service Intelligence provides a unified LSO interface to the multiple components within an NFV architecture, as well as physical network functions.
“On top of pure connectivity, our software sits above the NFVO and above the operations support system,” says Timlin. “We’re a layer on top and can ingest the underlying data from the network. Legacy OSS doesn’t bridge the physical and the virtual.”