Overture Networks is adding some NFV punch to its Ensemble Open Services Architecture (OSA) platform, announcing on Tuesday the addition of an analytics capability and a virtualized network function (VNF) for Carrier Ethernet.
Overture’s Ensemble OSA is a grouping of SDN– and NFV-related functions targeted at the service provider metro edge. Overture sells Carrier Ethernet equipment into that zone of the network, and like all equipment companies, Overture is trying to morph its business to focus more heavily on software. Ensemble is the umbrella project for that migration.
The first pieces of Ensemble OSA began shipping during the last year or so: first an orchestrator, then an SDN controller. Overture also gave NFV a nod with the introduction of virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE).
Today’s announcements are meant to add to the NFV side of Ensemble OSA.
Overture’s new Ensemble Service Intelligence (ESI) gathers data and other intelligence from the network. It’s important to not do this on a strict device-by-device basis, because virtualization means that functionality can move around the network, or that users can (in theory) prompt network changes.
The way to track things properly, then, is to collect information about the network and then correlate it with network events, says Prayson Pate, Overture’s CTO. ESI consists of a database — built from the Titan open source database and other off-the-shelf pieces — and a big-data repository for serving up analytics applications. The repository also acts as a glue function between the carrier’s OSS and IT systems.
This setup allows for keeping track of the dynamic network and collecting data on the life cycles of VNFs. Based on what the ESI is seeing, it can also tell the Ensemble Service Orchestrator (ESO) to add or remove VNFs, allowing for dynamic network scaling.
The other Tuesday announcement is a bit simpler: It’s a Carrier Ethernet VNF — that is, a piece of software that does the job of an Ethernet access device, which is a product Overture has traditionally sold as an Ethernet appliance. Overture is claiming the Ensemble Carrier Ethernet (ECE) VNF can handle 10-Gb/s speeds running on an off-the-shelf server, which doesn’t seem so outlandish in the face of Brocade‘s 80-Gb/s claim last year.
ESI (the analytics piece) is available now, while ECE (the Carrier Ethernet VNF) is due to ship later this quarter.