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Learn How Cisco NSO Provides the Best Orchestration Platform for Supporting NFV and SDN-based Services

March 30, 2016 - 2 Comments

NFV and SDN technologies offer Service Providers immediate opportunities for meeting their business customers’ requirements for simplicity and agility in IT operations. As my colleague Ben Bekele pointed out in his earlier blog, studies indicate that IT decision makers have a consumer mindset when making purchasing decisions. That is, their strong desire for personalized experiences does not end at home, but rather, carries over to their workplace. Whether or not a virtualized service can truly live up to its promise of providing this personalized experience depends a lot on its implementation. A critical part of this implementation is orchestration.

The role of orchestration involves the coordination and alignment of all processes required to design, create, fulfill and assure a defined service. Its role spans the entire lifecycle of a service. Just as the role of a conductor is crucial for creating a flawless music performance by an orchestra – it is quite easy to imagine how the same would apply to an orchestrator that is tasked with the role of pulling together an end-to-end service experience. Whether it’s music, a product or service, the consumer desires and expects a perfect end-to-end experience.

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Traditional methods of orchestration consist of time consuming manual workflows, which simply cannot scale in today’s, dynamic environment. Automation is key. At the same time, many solutions available today address only one part of a service, or automate orchestration for only a single network domain. To ensure seamless delivery and management of a truly reliable end-to-end service, Service Providers must consider these four essential attributes, or “pillars’ of orchestration:

1. Orchestration Across Multiple Domains: Today’s networks contain both physical and virtual elements that span multiple network, technology and service domains. The orchestrator must effectively support the lifecycle of services across all of these layers in the most intelligent and efficient manner.
2. State Convergence: Traditional methods for creating, modifying or deleting a service use multiple, pre-defined workflows. This involves significant overhead and time. These methods are not designed to handle on demand service creation or any post-deployment changes at the required speed – that is, in real-time. A new methodology, called ‘state convergence’ solves this issue.
3. Orchestrated Assurance: In modern day networks, service assurance cannot be an afterthought. The idea behind orchestrated assurance is to have assurance triggered and activated at the time of service instantiation.
4. Data Models and Mapping: The old methods of manual coding for translating service intent to actual device level configurations again, are not effective for supporting on-demand services. This is where the YANG modeling language comes in. It provides the foundation for automating service lifecycle tasks such as configuration.

The Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) provides these powerful attributes and more.

Starting April 6, we will be presenting a series of webinars through the Cisco Knowledge Network (CKN) so you can learn more. We will start with a presentation on how ITaaS provides market opportunities to Service Providers. This will be followed by a series of presentations focused on how the Cisco NSO can help you deliver the best service experience for your customers.

For information on how to register, visit our CKN page.

Have questions or comments? Tweet us at @CiscoSP360.

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  1. Hi Mina,

    Thanks for sharing.

    We will make sure our customers join and participate in the upcoming Cisco Knowledge Network sessions.