Light Reading

In the Cloud, Repurposed BSS Won't Cut It

Caroline Chappell
12/10/2013
50%
50%

The recent acquisition of startup cloud services enablement vendor ServiceMesh by leading IT services company Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) (NYSE: CSC) may not be typical Light Reading fare, but it caught my eye, as ServiceMesh is a company I’ve been following for some time now. (See CSC Gains Cloud Management Capabilities With ServiceMesh.)

Not only is its Agility Platform a leading example of a new wave of hybrid cloud orchestration and management systems that have hit the enterprise market in past five years, but ServiceMesh stood out as one of the few startups in this area to be interested in the telecom industry. It turned up at TM Forum's Management World in Nice this year where it participated in a Catalyst, and counts telcos with enterprise cloud plays among its customers: Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) is quoted in the CSC acquisition press release.

In a recent market survey I conducted on telco plans for enterprise cloud services, most telcos said they want to reuse as many BSS and OSS systems as possible for managing enterprise cloud services. But just as current OSS installations don't provide the orchestration and management capabilities needed for NFV, operators' existing "heavy" BSS suites, designed to support order-to-cash processes for enterprise communications services with their long timescales for fulfillment, are ill-suited to support dynamic, provisioned-on-demand, enterprise cloud services.

And enterprise customers are beginning to expect from cloud service providers the management capabilities and interfaces available in the tools they are using in their private clouds. This is the advanced functionality provided by a growing number of companies, including: ServiceMesh and its rivals, including RightScale and interesting (but as yet little known) Gravitant; UK startups Flexiant and Abiquo; and mainstreamers Dell and VMware, with its vCAC (pronounced vCake).

Such enterprise customer requirements have been pushing leading telco cloud providers such as CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) towards the realization that they need a new management and orchestration layer rather than merely repurposing existing BSS; they also explain why BSS vendors have had limited success to date selling into operators' enterprise cloud services environments.

Among its competitors, ServiceMesh was one of the few enterprise-grade cloud orchestration and management product vendors with the ability and desire to support cloud service providers -- a strategy vindicated by CSC's purchase. There are plenty of enterprise-grade cloud management tools out there but few that address the scale and multi-tenancy needs of telcos. Response to this opportunity from traditional BSS and OSS vendors has been weak. Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) bought Nimbula, which seems to have dropped into a company black hole and is certainly not surfacing on the Communications side of the business (I keep asking). Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has taken a small stake in Parallels Inc. .

But the situation may be changing. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has a BSS re-engineering initiative for cloud underway with its Business Enablement Suite. And Ericsson AB has re-engineered Telcordia and ConceptWave assets for the cloud: At a recent analyst event, the demo of its coming Cloud Manager looked like a proper cloud management and orchestration system, with the added benefit of carrier-grade features that enterprise tools can't provide.

However, Ericsson has yet to make it entirely clear that operators will need to implement Cloud Manager separately from their traditional Telcordia/ConceptWave systems. Ericsson's move confirms that repurposing existing systems for cloud services won't work. Other BSS vendors should take note.

And expect more acquisitions along the lines of IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and SoftLayer; Centurylink and Tier 3; and CSC and ServiceMesh, as IT and telco cloud service providers square up in the growing market for hybrid cloud. (See IBM Puts SoftLayer At New Cloud Unit's Core and CenturyLink Shows Cloud Is Still Critical.)

— Caroline Chappell, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
12/11/2013 | 3:29:59 PM
Re: Does any legacy BSS have legs?
Seven, I actually asked Ericsson specifically about TIRKS at the recent TM Forum Digital Disruption event in San Jose and was told they have a way of extracting the information they need from it and using that info in creating virtualized services so that it isn't replaced but it doesn't slow down the virtualization process. 

I don't have your depth of understanding (well, duh) but it sounded to me like TIRKS continues to do what it's done for existing assets but isn't used going forward. 

I've always assumed TIRKS would be around for years after I stopped writing about telecom. 
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/11/2013 | 10:56:48 AM
Re: Does any legacy BSS have legs?
I guess the thing I always think about is TIRKS.

Even in FiOS they kept TIRKS and did the rest all from scratch.  Wonder how you do link NFV and TIRKS.

I guess that is what I think about.  Instead of looking at the mountain and going OMG.  How about we look at 1 function and see if we can figure out how to handle Cloud based inventory managment.

seven

 
C Chappell
50%
50%
C Chappell,
User Rank: Blogger
12/11/2013 | 4:43:41 AM
Re: Does any legacy BSS have legs?
Well, they'll last for a long time yet - nothing is retired in telco, right? But I think it's becoming clear that for cloud-based service delivery, state of the art orchestration systems are not based on existing BSS. Some would argue that this has been the case for some time -  it's just that many telcos had hoped it wasn't.
Ray@LR
50%
50%
Ray@LR,
User Rank: Blogger
12/11/2013 | 1:20:28 AM
Does any legacy BSS have legs?
It would appear that cloud/SDN/NFV all need new approaches to OSS and BSS and so far it doesn't appear to be coming from the traditional set of suppliers (if anywhere) -- will traditional telco BSS and OSS be redundant in a few years' time?
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Most telecom and network equipment manufacturers are now shipping products with 100G ports.
In part 2 in a series of blogs on 'Accelerating NFV Implementation,' Caroline Chappell looks at the long-term vision for NFV and how operators can get there.
In part 1 in a series of blogs on 'Accelerating NFV Implementation', Caroline Chappell looks at why OpenStack is set to play a key role in the NFV Management and Orchestration (MANO) stack.
What are the biggest SDN questions facing service providers today? Heavy Reading's Sterling Perrin highlights the major talking points as he prepares for a full day's debate in Denver.
As the quest toward the Gigabit City continues, it is becoming clearer that public-private initiatives may be the key to success.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
Between the CEOs
Affirmed Networks CEO: Digging Into NFV

5|28|15   |   40:26   |   (2) comments


Hassan Ahmed, CEO of Affirmed Networks, is making some big claims for his NFV startup. I sat down with him at the Light Reading HQ in New York City to get the skinny on what this Acton, Mass.-based startup is up to.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyeing SDN for Headend, Home Uses

5|26|15   |   05:57   |   (1) comment


CableLabs is looking at virtualizing CMTS and CCAP devices in the headend, as well as in-home devices, says CableLabs' Karthik Sundaresan.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Procera has gathered facts, stats and customer experience feedback from a survey of 540 users from across the globe.
Hot Topics
Charter Seals Deals for TWC, Bright House
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/26/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent Trials 400G in Czech Republic
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/26/2015
Will Carriers Follow Facebook's Networking Lead?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 5/28/2015
Charter Plans Business Services, Wireless Push
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/27/2015
Facebook Reinvents Data Center Networking
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 5/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
On May 29th 1 PM ET, Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, will be drilling into the "pains and gains" of NFV with Saar Gillai, SVP & GM for NFV at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (HP). He has defined a four-step NFV model describing a sequence of technology innovation. It's a must-read doc for any network architect looking to get to grips with their NFV migration strategy. Join us for the interview, and the chance to ask Saar your NFV questions directly!
Hassan Ahmed, CEO of Affirmed Networks, is making some big claims for his NFV startup. I sat down with him at the Light Reading HQ in New York City to get the skinny on what this Acton, Mass.-based startup is up to.
Cats with Phones