“This is the first extension in Blue Planet that is separate from orchestration,” says Joe Cumello, VP of portfolio marketing for Ciena.
Ciena data scientists developed the platform internally. Blue Planet Analytics will comprise applications that help customers analyze and use data.
Today, Ciena debuted the first application — its Network Health Predictor (NHP). It’s designed to help operators anticipate network failures. The application is based on a computational framework that collects data from multiple sources and puts it into a data lake. It then normalizes the data and uses machine learning to interpret the data.
Customers of Blue Planet Analytics do not need to be Ciena customers, and they don’t need to use Blue Planet orchestration.
Two unnamed companies are already using NHP. One of them is a North American service provider that is using the app in its IP network. “They’re analyzing data on their router network, predicting when failures might occur,” says Cumello.
The second customer is a power utility that is an existing Ciena optical customer. It operates an optical backbone to monitor the power grid. It’s using NHP to analyze its network to prevent failures.
“One of the main business issues that’s solved is that sometimes service providers have to pay penalties for downtime as part of their service level agreements,” says Cumello. “This technology, if it catches faults, can save millions of dollars along the way.”
Ciena is working on three other applications it plans to add to its new Blue Planet Analytics platform. The company isn’t saying what these apps are, but they will solve network challenges.
Network functions virtualization (NFV) is driving some of this by using APIs to serve up data in a more open way.
“In the past, devices only provided information about themselves in a closed system,” says Cumello. “But now, these devices actually provide information about themselves that we can collect and use to make smart decisions.”