How Does Inter-Carrier Service Orchestration Deliver Optimal Customer Experiences?

CENX-Logo-PantoneCarrier Ethernet is on a massive uptake trajectory. However, its application in transport networks relies increasingly on third party access vendors (AVs) to fill coverage gaps and increase the service provider’s transport  footprint.

In this paper, CENX explores the service orchestration challenges of off-net circuits. It highlights the  need for a new generation service orchestration approach that enables critical inter-carrier use cases such as  audit and inventory, ordering, fault isolation, and SLA management required to ensure an optimal customer experience across multiple carrier domains. Finally, it discusses why inter-carrier service orchestration will remain highly relevant in the transition from today’s IP network to the next generation software defined network (SDN).

Introduction:

The explosive global demand for data services coupled with rapid application and device innovation is driving massive investment in network capacity, with an increased focus on network intelligence, quality connectivity and carrier interworking. Service providers are transforming networks, expanding fiber infrastructure, and leveraging software and cloud-based infrastructure to better scale and manage networking assets, reduce costs and improve service agility. Mobile operators are introducing 4G technology in parallel.

These dynamics are fueling key transformative initiatives – from TDM-based transport services to Carrier Ethernet transport services; from IP networks to new generation software-defined networks (SDN).

Carrier Ethernet has now become the transport technology of choice in the WAN. It is replacing aging but familiar TDM-based technology because it can transport large amounts of data in a fast, assured and cost-effective manner. It brings flexibility to service definition and support for over-subscription, with the flexibility to adjust bandwidth levels on the fly in granular increments without port changes, as well as offering flexible protection options. While offering these benefits, Ethernet can also be engineered to be “good enough” to carry all of the mission critical applications that are running over today’s transport networks.

For the enterprise and data center markets, quality connectivity and customer experience are top of mind, driving demand for high speed Ethernet connectivity between branch offices, cloud services providers and other data centers. By 2017, Ethernet will make up over 75% of business bandwidth, propelled by 1 Gbps and 10+ Gbps services, and high bandwidth applications such as video. Competition in Ethernet services is changing according to a Heavy Reading survey which highlighted greater emphasis on performance and quality of experience.

Carrier Ethernet is on a massive uptake trajectory. However, its application in transport networks relies increasingly on third party access vendors (AVs) to fill coverage gaps and increase the service provider’s transport footprint. The use of off-net circuits, while essential for service completion, poses a significant service orchestration challenge across multiple carrier networks.

Unlike the simple TDM world where a DS1 is a DS1 and an E1 is an E1 regardless of who is providing the service, in the Carrier Ethernet world each AV will have its own unique Ethernet service definition specifying different parameters and options such as a committed information rate (CIR), protection, topology and transparency. This results in complex operational workflows, making it virtually impossible to easily orchestrate services without significant manual processes and human intervention that drives up time to revenue and service turn-up to 100+ days in many cases.

This white paper explores the service orchestration challenges of off-net circuits. It highlights the need for a new generation service orchestration approach that enables the critical inter-carrier use cases, such as audit and inventory, ordering, fault isolation and SLA management, required to ensure an optimal customer experience across multiple carrier domains. Finally, it will discuss why inter-carrier service orchestration will remain highly relevant in the transition from today’s IP network to the next generation SDN.

Click here to download the full whitepaper.

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