Cloudify launched Spire, an orchestration platform to connect and control distributed networks, devices, and applications from the data center to the edge.
The new platform uses what Cloudify calls a “micro-orchestration” architecture that manages network services across domains. It is intent-based and vendor-agnostic. And it connects and manages distributed containers, network elements, and edge devices in the cloud or on physical servers. Existing configuration and automation tools can be incorporated in the platform, which provides a single point of access across distributed networks.
ACG Research Chief Analyst Paul Parker-Johnson said that Spire uses a standards-based plug-in and API framework that incorporates distributed resources in OpenStack, Kubernetes, VMware, and other virtual environments. Representational State Transfer (REST) enables integration with BSS and OSS applications, he said.
Moving to the Edge
Companies are challenged in moving to the edge and incorporating IoT, 5G, and other distributed architectures in physical and virtual environments. Attempting to do this without proper orchestration will fail, Cloudify CEO Ariel Dan told SDxCentral.
“It’s always a better idea to figure out orchestration before implementing these new technologies,” Dan said. “Spire solves the orchestration question by scaling elastically into a synchronized system of orchestration services that can meet the needs of each individual application. And by being vendor-agnostic, Spire can be implemented into any device, allowing enterprises and service providers the freedom of not being locked into one vendor.”
There is a need for what Cloudify and others in the space are doing, according to Shamus McGillicuddy, Enterprise Management Associates’ research director for network management. EMA research found that 92 percent of enterprise network teams want to employ greater levels of network automation, he said in an email.
“However, there is technology gap,” McGillicuddy said. “Most enterprises are relying on older tools such as NCCM [Network Change and Configuration Management] or domain-specific solutions (SD-WAN or data center SDN) to achieve this automation. They lack an end-to-end solution that can orchestrate and automate across the entire network. Cloudify has aspirations to address this gap.”
Cloudify, which spun off from GigaSpaces during the summer of 2017, wants to fill that gap. Last autumn, it began working with AT&T on the Edgility, a project that helps operators manage computing resources across their networks.
McGillicuddy said that he believes Cloudify sees open source, open core vendors cloud-based Ansible and Terraform as competitors. He also points to ONAP in the telco domain and infrastructure orchestration. Cisco and Juniper Networks also are tackling the challenge.
“It’s an ambitious vision and there is a need for something like this, especially in complex networks,” McGillicuddy said. “However, network teams are also highly conservative, so Cloudify will have to prove itself.”