The PoC showed the companies were able to make near instantaneous bandwidth changes in each other’s production networks. This can support broader enterprise management of network needs and costs regardless of physical location.
David De Klerck, associate director for EMEA carrier product and strategy at Verizon, said the Ethernet-based connection was in a production environment between endpoints located at company facilities around London. It used existing production orchestrators embedded with the Verizon and Colt networks. Fahim Sabir, director of architecture and development for network on demand at Colt, said both orchestrators were proprietary, with Colt’s from its Novitas platform.
The capabilities tie into Verizon’s broader strategy to create an end-to-end SDN experience for customers, and as demonstrated in a slide provided by Verizon:
“The proof of concept reveals that users could reserve ports, order a point-to-point Ethernet service, flex the bandwidth up and down, and turn down the service in near-real time.” Sabir noted. “Currently, Colt’s Network On Demand capability is only available to Colt on-net endpoints. Extending this capability to off-net [to Colt] endpoints extends the reach of On Demand services, making networks dynamic and able to flex to enterprise customer’s locations that are beyond the Colt footprint.”
The two companies are also working with industry trade group MEF on inter-carrier business and operational lifecycle service orchestration (LSO) APIs. The MEF last October launched its LSO Sonata software development kit (SDK) that featured standardized open APIs for orchestrating connectivity services across multiple service providers worldwide. It also released the LSO Presto SDK that relates to service orchestration over multiple network technology domains.
Sabir explained the network control capabilities were “technically ready but operational processes need to be designed and embedded.”
“The standardization of APIs will help with scaling this on a broader basis, but the proprietary APIs are completely able to support this capability between Colt and Verizon,” Sabir said.
Back and Forth
Verizon made heady claims about the success of the PoC.
“Today’s demonstration is the first time anyone in the world has been able to flex network capacity in both directions across network boundaries,” said Peter Konings, EMEA head of product development at Verizon, in a statement. “This will be a game changer for enterprise networking.”
Colt last year worked with AT&T and Orange on a proof of concept showing an automated, real-time ordering and provisioning of SDN-based services across AT&T’s network and Orange’s network. The PoC involved the interaction of both operators’ SDN architectures.
The demonstration also used elements of the MEF LSO integration points to show orchestrated, on-demand, API-driven, customer control of network resources. Those included cloud and on-premises infrastructure from a single enterprise controller.
De Klerck backed up the “first time” claim by explaining that the AT&T/Orange/Colt demonstration was one way only, was not in a production environment, and was focused on highlighting MEF’s Sonata SDK.
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