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5 Reasons why MSPs should consider Network Service Orchestration

Outsourcing IT Infrastructure management is on the rise. However, the Managed Service Providers (MSP) need to ensure scalability and stability of their offerings while reducing OPEX. Network Service Orchestration streamlines operations and enables MSPs to meet customer demand in a complex multi-tenant environment.

Slash Service Delivery Time:

MSPs are facing intense competition from public cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, and Google. Customers and Tenants expect instant activation of their infrastructure. But, it is not uncommon for MSPs to consume multiple weeks to provision a tenant virtual network in a shared infrastructure. In many cases, the network infrastructure documentation is incomplete, and the existing scripts are broken. The network operator has the onerous task of consolidating customer input from multiple systems, auditing the existing configurations and then figuring out the necessary configurations for multiple vendor equipment. The current practice of manual provisioning results in too many delays and revenue loss.

Network Service Orchestration introduces consistency and obviates the need to learn complex CLI for multi-vendor equipment. Hence, service delivery time reduces by 75%.

Reduce Human Errors:

The Internet is full of horror stories related to network outages and security breaches caused by configuration errors. But, it is not appropriate to blame the overworked operators. Instead, the MSPs need to implement systems and processes that ensure checks and balances. The first step is to maintain accurate inventory and documentation of the infrastructure. Then a central orchestrator with validated service models ensures only the approved configurations are deployed in a controlled fashion.

For example,Tata communications eliminated human errors after deploying the NCX Orchestration platform.

Service Assurance:

MSPs pay significant penalties for SLA violations. On average, a trouble ticket costs the business at least $10,000. Inadequate documentation and human errors, as well as software defects, result in service degradation, security breaches, and billing mistakes.

Network Orchestrator provides a single pane of glass for the entire service regardless of the infrastructure differences. For any given tenant, admin can view the service status, provisioned operations, current and historical SLA metrics as well as any alarms related to service health. This information is available through REST API for integration with OSS/BSS for billing purposes.

During service provisioning, Network Orchestrator validates the service model against the existing infrastructure and ensures capacity before provisioning the network elements. The Network Orchestrator generates commands and APIs for multi-vendor infrastructure as per the recommended best practices. Further, these commands are sent atomically, so if any one device fails to provision, Orchestrator will roll back the configs from rest of the devices. After service is up and running, admin can schedule periodic reconciliation tasks. Network Orchestrator uses its service model definition to discover the existing configs and makes sure the policy is consistent with the underlying infrastructure.

Network Orchestrator constantly collects the SLA metrics, and if any parameters are violated, it executes the remediation steps to automate corrective actions as per the service model.

Automation at Massive Scale:

MSPs are going through consolidation in a race to achieve economies of scale. But, the M&A efforts are hampered by the disparate infrastructure and multiple tools to support them. MSPs can’t afford to introduce solutions that automate a portion of the network; else they risk creating islands of automation.

Anuta NCX delivers network service orchestration for greenfield and brownfield deployments. NCX is an intent-driven platform with YANG service models for multiple domains such as Branch/CPE, Data Center, Virtual MPLS, Carrier Core Networks and Cloud Interconnects. NCX has built-in YANG device models for PNFs and VNFs from 40+ industry leading vendors supporting hundreds of L2-L7 network functions using CLI, NETCONF, YANG, REST and SNMP. Click here for the latest list.

The NCX platform is built with micro services based architecture and is delivered as a software appliance (VM) for maximum flexibility.

NCX’s distributed server-agent model enables orchestrating minimal to gigantic deployments ranging from 100 to 150,000 devices.

Flexibility and Customization:

Given the diverse customer base, it is impossible for any vendor to provide an out of the box solution to automate network configurations. Instead, MSPs need a platform built with open standards so that they can extend and customize for many different use-cases.

Anuta Networks routinely publishes vendor, platform, and technology-specific models adapted from IETF, Open Config or customer developed. NCX includes productivity and development tools as well as auto code generation tools that introduce DevOps approach to networking. Further, NCX SDK allows all device models to be developed by customer or partners.

For instance, minor extensions can be implemented within hours while adding new vendor device models can take days to a maximum of 2 weeks.

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