For carriers, the API could also be a way to connect Blue Planet into their operations support systems (OSS) — meaning an operator could use its own provisioning system, rather than Cyan’s graphical interface, to program Blue Planet.
Blue Planet’s management and orchestration capabilities can stretch across multiple vendors’ equipment in both the packet and optical domains. But Cyan is a small player — notice how a halt in spending by top customer Windstream threw Cyan’s earnings off-kilter — so it needs ways for carriers to easily adopt Blue Planet. APIs could help.
The MEF northbound API is actually Cyan’s second. The first, named Optical Wave Services, was custom-built for just a couple of customers. Cyan is in the process of revising the optical API for more general use, but that won’t be available until the company’s next code release, in mid-2014, says Abel Tong, director of sales and marketing.
With the work that’s ongoing in the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and the Telemanagement Forum (TMF), “there’ll be, soon, more APIs than you’ll know what to do with,” Tong says, and he doesn’t mean it in a bad way. If anything, Blue Planet is supporting the assertion, made by the ONF and others, that the industry will need multiple northbound interfaces.