As we have discussed in this series, enterprise and service providers are consolidating network services from dedicated hardware appliances into virtualized on-demand applications running on branch office software with centralized orchestration and management. Eliminating the hardware need for each function at the branch and at the same time simplifying and centralizing operations and management – all of which adds up increased ability for operators to deploy network function virtualization (NFV) services on-demand and with greater speed and flexibility: Now you can do it all with software.
With its centralized orchestration and WAN network management, Cisco SD-Branch provides the ability to carry out and manage initial deployment, changes and new services additions to your IT environment from a single location—eliminating expensive, time-consuming visits to each individual branch office. In addition, orchestration includes managing existing SD-Branch services, new network service on-boarding, virtual network function (VNF) packages, network services lifecycle management, global resource management, and validation and authorization of SD-Branch infrastructure resource requests; all from a single point of management.
Some orchestration functions for the Cisco SD-Branch include:
- Service coordination & instantiation: The orchestration software communicates with the underlying Cisco SD-Branch platform to instantiate a service, creating the virtual instance of a service on the platform.
- Service chaining: Connect network services (eg: routing, firewalls, WAN optimization) and connect them in a virtual chain and optimize the use of network resources while improving application performance.
- Scaling services: When more services are added, finding and managing sufficient resources to deliver the service.
- Service monitoring: Tracks the performance of the platform and resources to make sure they are adequate to provide for good service.
Cisco offers several orchestration options for enterprise and service providers, depending on network applications and services types.
- Cisco DNA-Center provides orchestration for enterprise customers and is the network management system, foundational controller, and analytics platform at the heart of Cisco’s intent-based network. Beyond device management and configuration, DNA Center is a set of software solutions that provides a management platform for your entire network with a software-defined networking controller to automate virtual devices and services.
- Cisco vManage is a fully manageable, centralized portal to run and operate Cisco SD-WAN infrastructure with real-time analytics. With vManage you are able to orchestrate secure connectivity between Cisco SD-WAN endpoints with a single pane of glass for day 0, day 1 and day 2+ operations.
- Cisco Managed Services Accelerator (MSX) formerly known as Cisco Virtual Managed Services (VMS), is a service creation platform that helps managed service providers quickly and easily create and deliver managed network, security, and business services to enterprise customers. Using Cisco Managed Services Accelerator, service providers can create entirely new services from scratch or leverage pre-built service packs like SD-WAN and SD-Branch from Cisco.
- Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) is a multi-vendor orchestration technology. The Cisco NFV Orchestrator solution is proven to on-board simple and complex (multi-VM, multi-virtual deployment units) VNFs from over 20 vendors, supporting a broad range of VNF functions, including routing, vEPC, vPCRF, vIMS, load balancer, firewall, session border control and other security functions.
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