Coming Soon: An Open Architecture for Orchestration and Management

There have been a number of commitments by network operators to new technologies like the cloud, SDN, and NFV.  Last week, Metaswitch earned its carrier stripes with a win in Europe, one of the first (of many, I’m sure) non-traditional IMS deployments.  Their stuff has been used in at least one NFV PoC. Verizon and AT&T are both committed to the cloud and operators are deploying SDN too.  But I’m sure you agree that all these deployments are islands—no operator has committed to a complete infrastructure refresh based on next-gen technology.

The benefits operators hope for largely center on “service agility” and “operations efficiency” and yet the “island” nature of these early trials makes it impossible to realize these goals because there just hasn’t been enough of a change in infrastructure to drive agility up or opex down overall.  Truth be told, we didn’t need these revolutions to meet the agility/opex goals, we needed a revolution in management in general, and in particular in that new wonderful thing called “orchestration”.

Many of you have followed my discussions on management and orchestration models, and even engaged in a number of lively dialogs on LinkedIn on one or more of the blogs.  Some have asked whether I’ll be presenting a complete view of my management/orchestration model, something that starts at the top where services start and ends with resources.  People want something that works with the cloud, SDN, NFV and legacy network and IT technology, that does federation among technologies and operators, and that’s compatible with an open-source implementation.

Well, the answer is that I’m going to be publishing a complete orchestration model later this summer.   I’ll be releasing a complete vision based on the two key principles I’ve blogged about—Structured Intelligence and Derived Operations, and it’s based in large part on my ExperiaSphere open-source project, though it expands on the scope considerably.  The presentation will be made available as a YouTube video on my channel and as a PDF on SlideShare.  The material will be free, links can be freely distributed for non-commercial attributed purposes, and all the concepts I’ll illustrate are contributed into the public domain for all to use with no royalties or fees.  I’ll be using the ExperiaSphere website to communicate on this material as it’s released, so check there for news.

I want to stress that I’m not starting a project here; I can’t contribute that kind of time.  What I’m doing is making a complete picture of a suitable orchestration-layer architecture available, in fact making it public-domain.  If standards groups want to use it, great.  If somebody wants to launch an open-source project for it, likewise great.  Vendors can implement it or pieces of it if they like, and if they actually conform to the architecture I’ll give them a logo they can use to brand their implementation with.  None of this will cost anything, other than private webinars or consulting that a company elects to do on the model.


That’s a key point.  Some people already want to do a webinar or get a briefing, and as I said I can’t donate that kind of time any longer.  I will make a complete video and slide tutorial (likely two, an hour each) available when I can get it done.  Meantime I want to get the idea exposed where it counts, with the network operators and some key standards bodies.  Therefore I’m going to start by offering service providers who are members of either the TMF or the NFV ISG the opportunity to attend a single mass webinar at no charge.  This will be scheduled in May 2014 at a specific date and time to be announced.  I’m asking that service providers who are interested in signing on contact me by sending an email to Say that you’re interested in the “SI/DO Model” and please note your membership in the TMF or NFV ISG, your name, company, and position.  I promise not to use this for any purpose than to contact you for scheduling.  Slots are limited, so I can’t accept more than five people per operator for now, and even that may have to be cut back.  You’ll have to promise not to let others outside your company sit in.

At some point in June I’ll be offering for-fee private webinars to network equipment vendors (and to service providers who want a private presentation), billed as a consulting service and prepaid unless you’re already a CIMI client.  These sessions will be exclusive to the company that engages them but you’ll still have to provide email addresses of the attendees, and you may not invite people outside your company.  If you like you can host these private webinars on a company webinar site rather than mine, but if you record the sessions you must not allow access outside your company without my permission and under no circumstances can the material be used in whole or in part as a part of any commercial or public presentation or activity.  If you’re interested in participating in one of these webinars, contact me at the same email address and I’ll work out a time that’s acceptable to both parties.

At this same point, I’m offering the TMF and NFV ISG and also the ONF the opportunity to host a mass webinar for their members, at no cost.  This will be a shorter high-level introduction designed to open discussion on the application of my proposed model to the bodies’ specific problem sets.

I’m expecting to have the open public video tutorials and slide decks will be available in August, and these will include feedback I’ve gotten from the operators and standards groups.  Anyone who wants to link to the material can do so as long as they 1) don’t imply any endorsement or conformance to the model unless I’ve checked their architecture and agreed to it and 2) they don’t use it in any event or venue where a fee is paid for viewing or attendance.  I want this to be an open approach and so as I’ve said, I’m releasing the architecture into the public domain.  I’m releasing the material with these simple restrictions.

Contact me at the email above if you’re interested, and be sure to let me know whether you’re an operator, a member of the standards/specification groups I’ve noted, or a vendor or consulting firm.  I reserve the right to not admit somebody to a given phase of the presentations/webinars if I’m not sure of where you fit, and if you’re not committed to an open orchestration model don’t bother contacting me because everything in this architecture is going public!

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