Planet Orchestrate, being announced today, is based on technology developed in proof-of-concept trials with carriers during the past year. It’s being unveiled in Chicago at Light Reading‘s inaugural Big Telecom Event.
The specific target is carrier Ethernet services, the idea being “to change the way a standard black-and-white Ethernet service may be offered, coloring it with firewalls, load balancing, WAN optimization — whatever,” says Joe Cumello, Cyan’s chief marketing officer.
Blue Planet can provision services across the metro network on proprietary telecom equipment such as Ethernet switches or optical transport gear (or Cyan’s own packet-optical gear, of course). You could think of it as overlay networks for the wide-area network (WAN) rather than inside the data center. Other companies inhabiting the WAN include Alcatel-Lucent, with its CloudBand platform, and Ciena, with its packet-optical gear and associated software — and Cisco, with its WAN Automation Engine.
Blue Planet’s operation requires a bit of software that Cyan calls an element adapter, which the company has managed to produce for 50 devices from 22 vendors, Cumello says. (He notes that some of those 50 cases don’t include orchestration but are just for simple, stats-gathering functionality. Cumello also points out that OpenFlow ubiquity would obviate the need for element adapters, since there would be a standard way to manage all this gear.)
The Planet Orchestrate announcement extends those ideas to servers. No element adapter is necessary; Cyan can manipulate virtual machines by using APIs available for OpenStack and other environments. In this way, Planet Orchestrate would let an operator manage the virtual network functions (VNFs) that are the heart of NFV — deciding which server to place a virtual machine in, or assigning a VM the right amount of memory, or implementing a backup plan should a VM fail.
Cyan also sees chances for incremental carrier revenues — in cloudbursting for enterprise services, for example. If an enterprise’s virtualized service starts getting overloaded, the carrier could allow the provisioning of more instances inside its own cloud, rather than watch the enterprise take the extra business to Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Planet Orchestrate combines WAN automation developed for carrier customers Colt and KVH; NFV orchestration; and cloud services orchestration in one package. Customers are also free to implement pieces of this to put together a customized orchestration platform.
Cyan has found its way into a few NFV PoCs. One is a four-vendor PoC, sponsored by CenturyLink, to demo multivendor NFV; another is a deterministic-NFV project sponsored by Telefónica I+D. (The ETSI Industry Specifications Group (ISG) requires each official PoC to have a carrier sponsor.)
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