Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, TJ Randall

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, @CloudExpo, SDN Journal

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Post

Service Automation Creates New Silos By @FusionLayer | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

The existence of silos has been a common source of challenges in service automation initiatives

Service Automation Breaks Down Old Barriers, Creates New Silos

Services providers have traditionally organized the management and operation of different technologies into several teams with very specific domain knowledge. These teams have been staffed with specialists looking after routing, network services, servers, virtualization, storage area networks, security and various other technology domains. Over time, these functional teams have had the tendency to develop into loosely tied silos.

The existence of silos has been a common source of challenges in service automation initiatives. As most automated workflows span across different technology domains, one of the key requirements for a successful service automation initiative has been collaboration between the different technology domains touched by the project.

To tackle this requirement, many organizations have introduced new service owner roles. The thinking is that if someone's job depends on making sure that the automation project and the ensuing services are a success, one has the incentive to bring all the affected stakeholders around the same table. As most service automation projects have started from the application or more broadly the cloud side of the organization, this approach has often worked out rather well.

However, as new dynamic networking technologies such as Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) are making their way into real network environments, they are likely to increase the complexity associated with fully automated service flows. This is caused by the fact that rather than having just one orchestrated process used to deploy server workloads running applications, the number of automation technology domains will triple. The three automation technology domains include:

  1. Cloud orchestrators used to deploy applications and workloads on physical and virtual computing platforms. Examples would be VMware vRealize, OpenStack Heat, Microsoft System Center or any other commonly used cloud orchestrator.
  2. NFV orchestrators used to deploy and configure virtualized network services.
  3. SDN controllers used to activate and configure the underlying networks themselves

As both NFV and SDN markets are still relatively immature, it remains to be seen which vendors will end up dominating areas two and three above. Interestingly enough, however, I have already seen some service providers whose staff is busy creating new silos around them. When I have asked who looks after the interoperability between these three new silos, the typical answer has been a confused look followed by silence.

Therefore, while these three silos are still brand new, my recommendation to organizations expecting to proceed to the next phase of service automation is to first decide how the interoperability between these three technology domains will be implemented. At the end of the day, all these orchestrators and controllers will have to be able to work inside the same networks, so without a solid mediation strategy in place it will be extremely difficult to reap the full business benefits of service agility and automation.

More Stories By Juha Holkkola

Juha Holkkola is chief executive of FusionLayer, www.fusionlayer.com, (formerly Nixu Software) the technology company that streamlines cloud and application delivery in next generation data centers. He joined Nixu in early 2000 and has since held various business and sales management positions. Before Nixu, Juha worked for Nokia Networks and financial services company Danske Bank in marketing and treasury functions.

CloudEXPO Stories
Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, is an accomplished digital business executive with extensive global expertise as a strategist, technologist, innovator, marketer, and communicator. For over 30 years across five continents, he has built success with Fortune 500 corporations, vendors, governments, and as a leading research analyst and consultant.
Transformation Abstract Encryption and privacy in the cloud is a daunting yet essential task for both security practitioners and application developers, especially as applications continue moving to the cloud at an exponential rate. What are some best practices and processes for enterprises to follow that balance both security and ease of use requirements? What technologies are available to empower enterprises with code, data and key protection from cloud providers, system administrators, insiders, government compulsion, and network hackers? Join Ambuj Kumar (CEO, Fortanix) to discuss best practices and technologies for enterprises to securely transition to a multi-cloud hybrid world.
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by sharing information within the building and with outside city infrastructure via real time shared cloud capabilities.
In addition to 22 Keynotes and General Sessions, attend all FinTechEXPO Blockchain "education sessions" plus 40 in two tracks: (1) Enterprise Cloud (2) Digital Transformation. PRICE EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($295-Aug 31) ($395-Oct 31) ($495-Nov 12) ($995-Walk-in) Does NOT include lunch.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Kevin Jackson joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized cloud computing expert and Founder/Author of the award winning "Cloud Musings" blog. Mr. Jackson has also been recognized as a "Top 100 Cybersecurity Influencer and Brand" by Onalytica (2015), a Huffington Post "Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter" (2013) and a "Top 50 Cloud Computing Blogger for IT Integrators" by CRN (2015). Mr. Jackson's professional career includes service in the US Navy Space Systems Command, Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and NJVC Vice President, Cloud Services. He is currently part of a team responsible for onboarding mission applications to the US Intelligence Community cloud computing environment (IC ...