Cloud in a cloud. Using ONAP in the Microsoft Azure public cloud yields rapid time to market and ease of scale

Why, as we build the “Telco Cloud”, does the industry feel obliged to use traditional on-prem infrastructure?

We are seeing a real-life use case where real-time orchestration and management, in the form of AmdocsONAP-based SD-WAN/NFV Package, being delivered for production use by a CSP in the public cloud – specifically Microsoft Azure.  Public cloud-based deployment has many potential advantages; it deploys quickly, scales easily and with minimal upfront investment, and also provides a testbed for public cloud technology such as Azure, which can be applied to other aspects of the telco cloud as well.

Much more than SD-WAN – A dynamic library of services

We also see evidence in this announcement that both Amdocs and SES view the long-term opportunity to be significantly broader than SD-WAN and a few initial NFVs – and this validates our prediction that the industry is really focused on developing a new “dynamic enterprise edge”.

Azure Public Cloud moves toward the edge

As various edges develop (network edge, mobile edge, enterprise edge), it will become increasingly feasible to dynamically instantiate – or host – a wider variety of VNFs.  Microsoft notes that they are rapidly expanding their distributed Azure Network Edge Compute capabilities, which could provide low-latency hosting for VNFs that need not be at each customers’ premises (as must the SD-WAN edge), but demands better latency than a remote, hyperscale datacenter.  And as this occurs, there will be an increasing need for sophisticated, cross-service, dynamic orchestration and management.  Which brings us back to Amdocs’ and SES’ ambition.

Dynamic, Multi-service Management and Orchestration

The Amdocs management solution delivered here is specifically its “SD-WAN/NFV package” – a subset of Amdocs’ full ONAP based solution that comes with out of the box pre-integration to leading SD-WAN and other VNFs vendors, and with service modeling templates, tested and validated.  Amdocs’ motivation is to reduce the implementation time and cost through pre-integration.  Amdocs’ solution name is clear, descriptive, but under-sells its potential and Amdocs’ ambition.  This “package” is ONAP-based and is likely the basis for future services well beyond “SD-WAN and NFV” – possibly expanding over time to include most a CSP’s future, dynamic, cloud-based services (SD-WAN, SDN, NFVs, edge capabilities, etc.).  The Azure-resident solution is intended manage VNFs and VIMs across multiple clouds, including private cloud and CSP-operated NFV-I.

Appledore Research has emphasized in our extensive SD-WAN research stream that the real agenda for CSPs appears to be (and should be) the creation of a “Dynamic Enterprise Edge” that re-shapes their ability to deliver a growing library of scalable, on-demand services, not just SD-WAN.  SES agrees and put it as follows:

“SES’s vision is to make satellite-based networks a seamless and wholly integrated part of a global, cloud-scale network ecosystem, and implementing standards-based orchestration is key to our network modernization strategy,” JP Hemingway, CEO of SES Networks

Promised Benefits – Faster time-to-market, reduced cost to implement, better scaling – and “RAIN”

Amdocs (the Management software supplier), SES Networks (the Satellite-based CSP, the customer) and Microsoft (the public cloud infrastructure provider) announced their intent to deploy Amdocs’ package solution in Azure for SES’ SD-WAN and associated NFV based services.  Amdocs claims that this will reduce both the time and cost to market, and then allow for easy and elastic scaling and demand.  The solution will handle SES’ SD-WAN offer and a growing set of NFVs.  It is worth noting that SES can offer multiple (diverse) underlay WANs since it operates both MEO and GEO satellite networks, a step toward Appledore’s concept of “RAIN” – a Redundant Array of Inexpensive (or in this case at least “independent”) Networks”.

Appledore believe that this is more evidence that the industry is migrating both to our forecast “Dynamic Enterprise Edge” and to utilizing leading edge cloud resources, such as Azure, rather than building its own cloud infrastructure technology.