Ensemble Continues to Make NFV Easy – and Cloudy

cloud jigsaw pieces

We in ADVA Optical Networking’s Ensemble division have been working for almost five years to bring virtualization to the access network. We continue that drive with our latest release of Ensemble software. This new release builds on our past work to improve the deployability, cost and cloud-centric nature of network functions virtualization (NFV).

Cloudiness for All

Many in the NFV space have talked about cloud-native solutions, but they have focused on data center deployments of NFV. Doing so ignores one of the best use cases for NFV: universal customer premises equipment (uCPE). Operators can use uCPE models to replace closed appliances with software virtual network functions (VNFs) running on standard COTS servers. 

Perhaps this use case has gone under the radar because of problems that needed to be solved to enable this deployment model. The latest release of Ensemble solves these issues with some innovative features that are a direct response to concerns and requirements from our current customer engagements:

  • Zero touch provisioning: Empowers an operator to ship an unconfigured COTS server to a customer site and commission it automatically
  • Embedded cloud: Supports putting the OpenStack controller on the end node to solve the scalability problems of deploying OpenStack in the distributed telco network
  • LTE wireless support: Enables turn-up of sites that don’t yet have wireline connectivity, as well as provides an economical means of resilient access
  • Resource optimization: Shrinks the footprint of the NFV infrastructure down to a single Intel® Atom™ core

More Than uCPE

Ensemble is about more than just uCPE applications. Its ability to provide a cloud-native environment on low-cost COTS servers enables other valuable use cases:

  • Secure hybrid cloud over L2/L3 access: Hybrid cloud works best over a transparent and secure Layer 2 connection, which can now be provided over any access link: IP or Carrier Ethernet, on-net or off-net.
  • Software SD-WAN: Service providers can now deploy SD-WAN as a software VNF on a COTS server, rather using than a closed appliance. At the same time, they can retain the value of the zero touch deployment model and ship unconfigured servers from the manufacturer directly to the customer.
  • On-demand deployment: Using LTE, operators can now enable customer sites even when they don’t have wireline access. 
  • Wireless backup option: Operators can now employ LTE as a backup in cases where a second wireline connection is not economical.

Bring the Power of the Cloud to the Telco Network

Operators intended for NFV to bring the power and promise of the cloud to the telco network. However, the telco network is very different from the cloud’s home in the data center. The features and openness of Ensemble bridge that gap. With Ensemble, telcos can deploy dynamic and innovative services on cloud-native infrastructure, enabling them to address competitive threats and to grow their markets. Ensemble makes NFV easy … and cloudy.

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