Networking giant Cisco took advantage of the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2017) event in Barcelona this week to announce a new feature for its Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) technology. The feature, known as Layered Services Architecture (LSA), is designed to increase horizontal scalability and performance on the company's service orchestration platform.
The goal of LSA is to give providers the ability to manage as many as 1 million devices connected to a single network at once, according to the company.
"As service providers look towards demands of cloud-scale networking, their legacy management tools and process are stretched to a breaking point of scalability and complexity," the company said in a statement. "Cisco NSO with LSA gives service providers the capability to manage over one million devices in their networks."
Network Automation for Service Providers
Cisco's NSO service is designed to help companies automate network functions and simplify their operations. Many service providers use the NSO platform to automate services across both traditional and virtualized networks, often in situations involving multivendor networks, according to the company.
Network automation can allow service providers to cut activation time from months to minutes, Cisco said. It also lets enterprises create, modify, and remove services in real time using data models and transaction-based network changes.
The ability to make changes to a network on the fly, modify services, and reconfigure devices while in live production is another important feature of network automation, particularly when it comes to maintaining consistent service and uptime.
NSO allows enterprises to automate more than 50 percent to 70 percent of their customers' operations workflows, while offering full life cycle management for designing, updating, and deleting network services, according to Cisco.
More than 10 Billion Devices
But that proposition has become more difficult as the number of networked devices has skyrocketed in the last several years. According to Cisco's Mobile Visual Networking Index Forecast, more than 10 billion devices are expected to be networked by 2020.
Mobile data traffic, meanwhile, is expected to reach as much as 49 exabytes by then, increasing the strain on the networks of service providers, enterprises, and cloud providers, according to the forecast.
LSA, however, should help alleviate those issues, the company said. "Since its inception, NSO has helped our customers meet their customers' changing demands, while driving revenue growth and reducing operational concerns when deploying and managing new services," said Charles Stucki, Cisco's vice president and general manager of the Network Function Virtualization Business Unit, in the statement.
With the new LSA feature, Cisco aims to continue to meet the needs of its customers by solving scalability concerns in the network as devices and connections increase over the next few years, he said. Cisco has not yet announced when LSA will be implemented on the NSO platform.