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Alcatel-Lucent is first to unify service automation and real time network control for service providers’ IP and optical networks

by david.nunes

Alcatel-Lucent is first to unify service automation and real time network control for service providers’ IP and optical networks

Network Services Platform enables Carrier SDN, allowing operators to provision services in seconds, cut development time and costs by over 50%, and increase revenue-generating traffic

Paris, France, May 20, 2015

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is bringing the dynamism of the cloud to service provider IP and optical networks with its new SDN-based Network Services Platform (NSP). The industry’s first fully unified approach to service automation and network control empowers service providers to deliver a simplified, on-demand, end-user experience.

According to industry analyst firm ACG, the Alcatel-Lucent Network Services Platform streamlines definition of new services, allowing innovative offerings to be designed more than 58% faster and with at least 56% fewer resources than has been possible before. Once defined, the new services can be provisioned instantaneously across multiple layers, domains, and networking vendor platforms.  In addition, Bell Labs research shows that operators are also able to support 24% more revenue-generating traffic by using sophisticated algorithms to intelligently distribute new connections across their network.

To thrive and quickly deliver high-quality network services in today’s cloud-driven environment, operators are faced with many challenges. Development and provisioning of services is a laborious, time-consuming process, and long-cycle, offline network engineering makes it difficult for service providers to prepare their networks to meet their customers’ dynamic needs. On-demand services need to be delivered instantaneously with a real time understanding of the network.

The Network Services Platform bridges the gap between service design, provisioning and network engineering for the first time, to allow operators to cost-efficiently define new services and activate them in real-time. Using purpose built SDN-based software that blends Alcatel-Lucent’s expertise in service management as well as in the creation and management of large scale IP/MPLS routing and optical networks, it offers a unified approach to the automation and control of a broad range of services in carriers’ IP/optical infrastructures. It also gives full visibility of the state of the network across all layers at all times, allowing automatic multi-layer service provisioning, to use the best available network resources as well as real-time network optimization.

The 24% increase in revenue-generating traffic is made possible by innovative new technology from Bell Labs and its consulting group that allows service providers to manage their network more efficiently. Self-tuned adaptive routing algorithms use information such as link traffic and use, in addition to network topology and state, to establish the most efficient transportation path. For example, service providers can move paths to avoid network congestion or dynamically release locked bandwidth to allow additional customer services to be added.

About the Network Services Platform

The Alcatel-Lucent Network Services Platform is the industry’s first fully-unified software solution that:

  • addresses market demands in the most holistic way. Today’s Carrier SDN platforms only address a portion of today’s IP/optical networks, and a fraction of the functionality required.  They all lack the necessary integration to unify service automation with network automation.
  • allows operators to define and deliver profitable, on-demand network services across multiple network layers, quickly, cost-effectively and at scale.
  • combines network-aware service automation and service-aware network optimization by leveraging a unified real-time network view across IP and optical networks
  • automates complex multi-vendor IP/optical provisioning so operators can turn up services in seconds instead of days or weeks
  • reduces network complexity on IT so new network services can be defined more than 58% faster and for 56% lower cost
  • enables real-time network-wide path computation and optimization across IP and optical layers. KPI/analytics-driven to optimize the network to meet the changing traffic needs of deployed services
  • allows operators to support 24% more revenue-generating traffic by using sophisticated path computation algorithms to intelligently distribute new connections across their network
  • can provision IP, Ethernet and Optical  services across all network layers over any vendor’s equipment, and in hardware-based, virtualized or hybrid networks
  • will be commercially available in June 2015
  • leverages Alcatel-Lucent’s expertise in IP and optics, including proven code from the 7750 Service Router family, 1830 Photonic Service Switch and 5620 Service Aware Manager as well as extensive knowledge of SDN technologies.


Rob Shakir, BT End-to-End Network Architect said: “In order for SDN to mean we can really improve our customer experience and impact our network economics, we need approaches that consider the real-time state of the network and relate it to the requirements of the service we provide. Doing so allows us to assure performance, and optimise resource usage across all our network layers. Tightly coupling service requirements and performance with network control, as in ALU’s NSP, promises to deliver real-world benefits of centralised optimisation whilst exploiting the strength of our existing distributed network.”

Dana Cooperson, Research Director, Network Software and Virtualisation, Analysys Mason said: “End-users want the cloud experience for everything they do that requires a network connection. However, delivering on-demand services while efficiently managing network resources is a huge challenge for service providers, particularly with  their business customers. Alcatel-Lucent’s  NSP solves this demand-supply dilemma by combining service automation with network traffic engineering across the IP, MPLS, Ethernet, and optical layers, a comprehensive approach to carrier SDN. The company is leveraging its experience in unifying the service and transport layers through its Service Aware Manager and going to the next level with NSP: bridging the services-resource gap and enabling efficient use of network resources in the face of dynamically changing, on-demand network service requests.”

Paul Parker-Johnson, Practice Lead, Cloud & Virtual System Infrastructures, ACG Research said:

“The NSP is a uniquely complete service definition and management platform supporting a blend of streamlined service definition with a powerful mediation engine that automates deployment of those services in a multi-layer, multi-vendor WAN.  Using a mix of optimization and management technologies hardened over 1000s of operator deployments, as well as important protocol and data modeling standards being widely adopted in large scale cloud and operator infrastructures, the NSP advances the state of the art in wide area service automation with the functionality it supplies in a single unified solution.  It will undoubtedly be a key ingredient in turning many operators’ WANs into agile service delivery platforms.”

Basil Alwan, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s IP Routing and Transport business said: “I am proud of what the NSP team has created, working closely with our customers and leveraging our in-house expertise in IP/MPLS, optics and service-aware network management.  We have created a simple interface that can deal with the complexity of network control across multiple technologies. We built it from the ground up to enable a true carrier SDN that allows our customers to thrive in today’s cloud-driven world.”

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Alcatel-Lucent is the leading IP networking, ultra-broadband access and cloud technology specialist. We are dedicated to making global communications more innovative, sustainable and accessible for people, businesses and governments worldwide. Our mission is to invent and deliver trusted networks to help our customers unleash their value. Every success has its network.

For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on: http://www.alcatel-lucent.com, read the latest posts on the Alcatel-Lucent blog and follow the Company on Twitter: @Alcatel_Lucent.

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