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Amartus Adds OpenStack to Service Orchestration

Carol Wilson
6/17/2014
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CHICAGO -- Light Reading's Big Telecom Event -- The Chameleon SDS is changing its spots. Amartus is integrating its real-time service orchestration platform, Chameleon Software-Defined Services, with OpenStack. The move is intended to let service providers use its on-demand service turn-up capabilities for cloud services as well as wide-area network services.

Here in Chicago, Amartus is using BTE to demonstrate the way in which Chameleon SDS can support the full-service lifecycle of new services, giving service providers the ability to turn up and turn down services on-demand for both the WAN and the cloud. The service orchestration platform, introduced last August, is designed to let network operators get started delivering services over a combination of virtual and physical assets without having to first transform their massive existing operations and support systems. (See Amartus Boasts an OSS for SDN.)

Integrating OpenStack allows service providers to do end-to-end service orchestration, encompassing cloud services and the WAN, using the Chameleon SDS catalog-driven approach, says Michael Kearns, Amartus CEO and founder.

"One of the key attributes that Amartus is bringing here is the concept of a run-time programmable service orchestration platform," Kearns says. Initially Amartus did this for WAN services, traditionally delivered as Layer 2 Carrier Ethernet or Layer 3 MPLS, but it's now incorporating that same service-catalog-driven approach for the cloud.

As network operators look to operationalize NFV and SDN, Amartus believes it is offering a platform that lets them quickly move to a more agile deployment model and get new services out more quickly.

The idea is to offer the full service lifecycle off the Chameleon SDS and to separate that process from the individual services. The Amartus platform can handle the rapid provisioning of new services across virtual and physical resources, Kearns says, and interface as needed to legacy systems without trying to drag those systems or their software architecture forward.

The integration with OpenStack allows Chameleon SDS to be the common platform that serves as both the WAN controller and the means to also deliver compute and storage capabilities.

Amartus has extracted all references to specific WAN technologies out of the platform into a meta-model which is defined in XML. The services can then be described in a service technology-agnostic model, and deployed in a service catalog-driven fashion. Amartus is using the TM Forum 's service catalog models.

New XMLs can be created to describe new network services or functions or OpenStack components and these can be assembled through an automated process that leads to on-demand provisioning of network services and cloud computing.

"This speeds the time to market for new services because you don't have a long software cycle to creat things," Kearns says. "Also, we are providing the full service lifecycle support on a single unified platform. "

So beyond the design, which is done through the meta-modeling process described, Chameleon SDS also incorporates automated provisioning and on-demand scheduling that can take changes into account in real-time to allow services to grow or shrink. The platform also integrates assurance so that any reported faults are correlated back to the affected service, whether the fault occurs in a physical or a virtual resource.

Kearns is seeing many camps within the network operators eager to move ahead and deploy platforms that will enable rapid service deployment but admits that is not the universal view within the operator community -- most companies have internal struggles over whether to try to transform their existing support systems as part of the move to virtualization.

"Groups are coming together inside the operators to try to determine how to make the existing infrastructure more agile, with a much more abstracted service layer," he says. "We are offering a leaner, more agile approach."

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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