“Breakthrough” in cross-carrier automated network provisioning demonstrate

17 November 2017

The MEF’s LSO framework offers open and interoperable automation of management operations over the entire lifecycle of L2 and L3 connectivity services.

The MEF’s Lifecycle Service Orchestration framework offers open and interoperable automation of management operations over the entire lifecycle of L2 and L3 connectivity services.

The concept of the customer controlled network is said to have moved a step closer to reality.

This follows the recent demonstration of an  API (application programming interface) for autonomous control of multiple networks.

At present, it's claimed "long and expensive" bilateral and proprietary implementation projects are necessary when two operators want to bring about a level of automated interaction between their networks.

Moreover, once built, the automation is not reusable.

At a proof of concept carried out at MEF17 that took place in Florida earlier this week, Colt Technology Services, AT&T, Orange, Ciena, Amdocs and Fujitsu demonstrated the feasibility of orchestrated, on demand, API-driven customer control of network, cloud and on-premise infrastructure from a single enterprise controller. 

According to the partners, this allows for finer cost control without compromising customer experience, even in environments with wildly fluctuating demand.

It’s claimed the demo validated the power of the first release of the Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) Sonata SDK announced by the MEF (Metro Ethernet Forum) in October 2017. 

Described as a “groundbreaking” open API, the Sonata interface is designed for automated real-time ordering and provisioning of SDN-based services between interconnected service providers. This is said to enable interaction between different providers’ SDN architectures in near real-time. 

Colt and its partners demonstrated a number of LSO integration points using Release 1 of the SK which covers address validation, serviceability and ordering use-cases between carriers and cloud providers.

The companies say their breakthrough brings end customers closer to benefiting from a “consistent” experience in network provisioning no matter where they want services delivered or through which network partner.

In addition, Colt also demonstrated a production implementation of a customer facing SDN API. It says this allowed customers to take full autonomous control of their networks and integrate them into their wider service delivery platforms.

The company says it sees the API requirement growing in importance as customers continue to demand greater control across multiple service domains, on-premise and remote, through their own orchestration platform.  

Chris Rice, AT&T’s SVP of domain 2.0 architecture and design, believes that the LSO Sonata framework is “especially powerful” when two carriers interconnecting through the API are both using ONAP, the open source network operating system for Sonata and MEF. 

Pierre-Louis Biaggi, VP of network domain for Orange Business Services, adds: “This demonstration clearly shows the power of TM Forum Open APIs and the MEF LSO framework to extend the capacities of regional operators. Together with our operator partners, we are highlighting how to combine our assets and create global and elastic ONAP-based connectivity services.”