Adtran added a piece to its virtualization puzzle today with the launch of a new Mosaic Cloud Platform. This platform gives control and orchestration capabilities to its Mosaic SD-Access platform so that service providers can orchestrate on-demand provisioning of services, applications and resources across the entire network.
On-demand provisioning capabilities are essential in meeting changing end-user demands, according to Robert Conger, associate vice president, Cloud and Portfolio Strategy, Adtran.
"From an end-user perspective, one of the biggest transformations we are going through as an industry is, as a consumer, I'm accustomed to booking hotels, flights, rides through an app-based model," he told media and analysts at the company's annual press event in Huntsville, Ala., two weeks ago. "As users get more comfortable doing that, they are going to want the same thing for their broadband service -- whether it's adding parental control, changing security features, [changing] bandwidth settings, or if you are a small business, adding voice features or data services. You want to be able to do that immediately."
Service providers must be ready to react to this natural progression of customer behaviors, Conger said.
"Software-defined access, NFV, SDN are all just means to an end," he said. "That end goal is, 'I need a fully programmable network so that users can go to a portal, select services, modify services and do that in an automated manner without any intervention or customer support involvement.'"
To that end, Adtran's Mosaic Cloud Platform is an open source based platform made up of modular, component-based management and control applications that lets service providers seamlessly deploy and upgrade services to subscribers, and do the same for network elements on the network. It provides control and orchestration for the Mosaic software-defined access platform which the company launched at the end of July. (See Adtran Pieces Together a Software-Defined Access Mosaic.)
The platform uses a multi-layered approach that includes an orchestration layer for the logical creation and provisioning of services, a management and control layer with an open source SDN controller and a device abstraction/aggregation layer that connects underlying physical and virtual network elements. This approach lets service providers deploy services at the network level instead of having to manually provision services on the device or subscriber level. (See Adtran Brings Mosaic Architecture to Life With Cloud Platform.)
This modular, open system type of architecture, like Mosaic, is regularly used in other industries including the automotive and defense industries, noted Conger.
"If you think about networks being made up of modular interchangeable parts -- hardware and software -- that you can scale on demand and create new services on demand to drive innovation, that's the way of the future and the way networks are going to be built," he said.
While modularity is important, one key part of the Mosaic Cloud Platform is its openness, noted Conger. "If you want to meet the full intent of these future networks, you really have to build it on an open platform," he said. "Whether that’s in the network element layer, or in the control and orchestration layer, it needs to be an open source platform because otherwise you've just built a bigger silo. A great way to get away from that is to adopt open source platforms."
— Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Managing Editor, Light Reading