Cisco announced that Telstra is believed to be the first carrier in Australia to introduce a software driven orchestrated assurance solution for its enterprise and business customers, based on the Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO), enabled by Tail-f, which will enable automation of both provisioning and assurance of the IP networks and services.
The deployment is designed to enable to Telstra provide its customers with an enhanced level of service leveraging the Cisco NSO, which offers faster time to service delivery and less delay in new service introductions or changes.
The Cisco solution is designed to improve service delivery as it is software rather than hardware driven, with virtual probes and detectors immediately installed, replacing traditional devices and providing the same or a higher level of carrier class assurance faster and at lower cost. In addition, upgrades and enhancements can be introduced to the automation process via software downloads that continuously update the system.
The NSO solution is also proactive, providing carriers with automated assurance, whereby a virtual probe can be instantly enabled on the system to constantly monitor the service and proactively notify the carrier of potential problems before they affect the customers. This allows improved SLA compliance and reduced cost for the carrier.
Cisco noted that although orchestrated provisioning is being adopted by carriers, Telstra is believed to be the first to automate the full lifecycle of its network and enterprise services.
Telstra's deployment of orchestrated assurance is based on a recent ETSI NFV proof of concept based on open, third-party software designed to be easily deployed and activated on demand. The implementation is part of Telstra's strategic migration to cloud based services, leveraging virtual test agents and other software to ensure services are delivered correctly, and to provide constant QoS measurements, individual end-to-end services and applications along with network KPIs.
In 2015, Telstra and Cisco announced plans to extend a strategic collaboration to provide Telstra's domestic and global business customers with a unified, on-demand suite of cloud and managed network services. Under the initiative, the companies planned to focus on delivering virtualised managed network and cloud services based on an open architecture.
The open architecture was to be based on Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP), which offers a virtualisation and orchestration software platform designed to enable the creation, automation and provision of services in real time across compute, storage and network functions. Telstra had previously announced it would adopt Cisco's global cloud platform, Intercloud.
Commenting on the project, Gee Rittenhouse, SVP and GM, Cloud & Virtualization Group at Cisco, said:
"Extending orchestration beyond provisioning is a huge step for customers as they make the transition to cloud-based infrastructures… service providers will be able to see in real-time the health and performance down to a specific customer level, even for NFV-based services".
A key component of the Cisco Evolved Services Platform, Network Service Orchestrator lets operators configure service activation testing, ongoing monitoring, and service-level agreement assurance functions synchronously with fulfilment, all using the same common data model".