Ciena organized a webinar on ‘Delivering on promise of Adaptive IP’ today. Opening the session, Brian Lavallee, Senior Director of Solutions Marketing, Ciena, asked: What are the market dynamics today? What keeps the network operators up at night? Business drivers affecting the network operators around the world are:
* New and emerging apps require increased Layer 3 (IP) functionality closer to the network edge, leading to significant increases in the number of IP nodes and related complexity.
* 320% traffic growth (2017-22) coupled with flat to declining revenues and margins lead to reduced Capex/Opex that challenge network scaling using traditional architectures.
* Legacy approach of adding more IP protocols, and more and bigger routers, rapidly increases the operational complexity with a direct and negative impact on capex, opex, TTM and TTR.
There has to be a better way to build networks. Yesterday’s legacy (IP) connectivity is not3 optimized for tomorrow’s apps. Yesterday’s IP connectivity were designed to scale clients (devices/nodes), hardware-centric network designs, rigid topology and architecture, integrated control and data planes, proprietary, but standards-driven innovation, too many legacy protocols, and success metrics dependent on speeds, feeds and protocols. Together, these have resulted in more complexity, processing, storage, footprint, and power. They have also contributed to higher opex and capex. The business impacts are in agility and performance. New cases require a new and different way to deliver IP services.
There is a better way to provide open, standards-based IP connectivity. We need to intercept where the market is going. Tomorrow’s IP connectivity should be capable of scaling clients and resources on-demand. There should be software-centric network designs. There should also be flexible and agile topologies and architecture, and disaggregated control and data planes. There should be a lean set of supported existing/new protocols. The success metrics should be agility, simplicity and usability. Intelligent automation based on real-time streaming telemetry is important.
The networks should be focused on automation, open architecture or vendor ecosystem, and lean protocol stack. These can be based on segment routing, real-time telemetry, data-driven analytics, and programmable optics.
Ciena’s adaptive network vision
Let us look at Ciena’s adaptive network vision and framework. There is closed loop automation leading to the ultimate network end state. Services accelerate with intent-based policies, analytics and intelligence allow predictive analytics and ML based on big and small data. There is software control automation, leading to federated inventory, open domain control and multi-layer orchestration.
A programmable infrastructure provides a dynamic pool of virtual and physical network resources, instrumented, open, scalable and secure. The goal here are agility, speed and optimization of the network.
Adaptive IP is close to the automation. It is a use case of the Adaptive network vision to provide IP connectivity, from access to metro. Adaptive IP is not just about routers and boxes, and a massive list of legacy, existing, and emerging IP protocols. Adaptive IP is a complete ecosystem to support the next evolution of IP network architectures.
Ciena’s Adaptive IP is intercepting where the networking industry is driving. It is capable of scaling clients and resources on-demand. There are disaggregated control and data planes. Adaptive IP is open, lean and automated. It is very much driven by automation. Looking at the business benefits of moving to segment routing, it optimizes, simplifies and improves the scalability of existing IP/MPLS transport networks. There is better utilization of the existing network for an improved overall structure.
Segment routing advantages
Nihar Panda, Head, Business Development & Solutions Architecture, Blue Planet, Ciena added that there are segment routing advantages and benefits. It is simplified — away from the complexities of signalling protocols, eg., LDP/RSVP-TE, and known scaling issues. It also leverages the known IGPs, eg., ISIS/OSPF and BGP for label distribution. For traffic engineering, there is policy-driven path engineering, native ECMP and multi-domain, minimal state in IP core, and automated traffic steering.
There is high availability, with topology independent LFA (TI LFA), micro-loop avoidance, sub-millisecond fallover in almost all scenarios, and protection for node, link, and SRLG. For programmability, there is SDN, and deploying SR in centralized distributed or hybrid fashion through controllers.
There is application-based traffic engineering as well. The flex algorithm is defined to achieve a common objective for a set of new prefix SIDs. Eg., you can avoid a certain SRLG or prefer a certain low latency path. It also complements SR-TE. There are user-definable algorithms, as well.
Next, there is a unified fabric, multi-domain. There is also access to edge to COE. There are several options to also learn the topology, eg., BGP-LS, IGP, NETCONF, coherent QoS across segments, network slicing, etc. Segment routing can be a mainstream routing technology for SPs over the next 12-24 months.
Blue Planet automation platform
Ciena’s Blue Planet closed-loop automation platform is purpose-built to align the IT and network, and accelerate the digital transformation. Intelligent automation solutions and products are built on a common microservices-based architecture.
There is an inventory federation, and multi-domain service orchestration. There is unified assurance and analytics, as well as route optimization and analysis. It also leverages real-time network information to automate the business processes across the IT and the network.
The multi-domain and NFV orchestrator have a crucial role to play. It breaks down the intent further, and dedicates activities to different parts of the network. The assurance portfolio analyses faults. There is route optimization and analysis (ROA) as well. It is tightly related to segment routing. It provides real-time views. The resource adaptation layer communicates with the ROA. It is very flexible.
Ciena is delivering the standards-based IP differently with Blue Planet automation platform. ROA, MCP and MDSO are making the intelligent automation software layer. There is intelligent, data-driven automation architecture of Ciena’s segment routing solution.
ROA learns the IP topology and services. It has constraint-based IP path computation. It monitors the IP network events and performance. It also has IP network assurance and analytics. MDSO learns the transport network topology and services. It receives network service requests, and queries ROA for SR paths and orchestrates the multi-vendor environment. MCP is the Ciena domain controller. It learns the L0-3 infrastructure /LSP topology, and also configures L0-3 services.
Ciena’s Adaptive IP solution is an open, standards-based solution building blocks. It provides choice to customers, allowing them to build best-in-breed IP networks via the open architecture. Ciena’s Adaptive IP is open, automated, and lean to deliver standards-based IP, albeit differently. An open architecture allows operators to pick-and-choose to build the best-of-breed IP networks. Segment routing allows for simplicity and scalability, with advanced protection and traffic engineering.