November 12, 2014
Network management software maker WebNMS today debuts its platform for automating dynamic services in the carrier realm, building on its history of having open APIs and a customizable approach to letting network operators manage their resources. The new platform is intended to address the well documented problem of cutting across network management silos to orchestrate both existing physical resources and the newer virtualized network functions. (See WebNMS Launches NFV/SDN Orchestration Platform.)
WebNMS has worked with equipment vendors from across the public network landscape, developing element management systems for their technologies, including those providing legacy TDM, packet-optical, 4G LTE and WiFi technologies. With its new Symphony Orchestration Platform, the company intends to leverage that experience and two years of research and development on building a joint platform, says Prabhu Ramachandran, director of the WebNMS division at Zoho Corp., its parent company.
"We know how to manage all these varied set of telco networks," he comments. "We know that network operators need to manage today's network efficiently and get ready for the future but unifying their existing networks is a major problem because their networks are managed in silos, and there are separate management systems and separate products built on proprietary vendor applications."
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To make its systems compatible with a variety of vendors' gear, WebNMS has already developed open API technology and built on that experience in creating the Symphony Orchestration Platform, which is designed to automate workflows that will allow services to be dynamically provisioned. Those services can include existing Carrier Ethernet and MPLS-based services but also newer services that will be based on SDN and NFV capabilities. (See WebNMS Does Carrier OAM.)
Building on industry standard specifications such as those from the MEF , as well as its existing adapters for legacy protocols, and using Yang extension models and REST APIs to incorporate a variety of vendors' systems, WebNMS is offering a centralized method of controlling multi-vendor, multi-layer networks, Ramachandran says.
By partnering with major vendors and integrating with their SDN controllers and other element management systems, WebNMS works to provide the broadest possible range of specific vendor support and is also incorporating open source developments, although that is still a work-in-progress, he says. The company believes its new platform will enable service automation across the reconfigurable networks as SDN is rolled out.
The WebNMS Symphony platform is positioned to be ready for NFV as well, enabling a service provider to tie together the orchestration of its existing physical networks with virtualized network functions as those are deployed. And by focusing on automating service delivery, the Symphony Orchestration Platform will enable new services to be delivered more quickly at the expected level of reliability, he adds. The system offers a series of customizable provisioning control wizards, built on the open APIs.
The system today can provision Ethernet and MPLS services with the next frontiers being cable broadband offers and 4G LTE services, he says.
The WebNMS technology is already being used by network equipment vendors to automate the Carrier Ethernet technologies they offer and with this next step, WebNMS intends to position its Symphony Platform to do much more. The company has already partnered with major players including NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Omnitron Systems Technology Inc. (See WebNMS, Omnitron Partner for Net Automation.)
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading
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