Symphonica automates provisioning to capture double-digit growth in metro-ethernet services

The global market for metro-ethernet services is projected to more than double by 2027, from $35.7 billion in 2020 to $79.8 billion by 2027, according to Research and Markets. Capturing a greater share of that tremendous growth is a goal for ethernet service providers, which makes automating provisioning, orchestration, and activation of metro-ethernet services at scale central to service providers’ B2B growth, digital operations advancement, and customer experience strategies.

A path to network slicing

Metro-ethernet services are often used to create logical, private networks between offices or data centers moving large traffic volumes. Provisioning and managing these types of complex, secure, logical services is conceptually like creating and managing network slices in the 5G world. 

Intraway’s Symphonica provides the out-of-the-box ability to automate metro-ethernet services provisioning and can offer a model for automating network slicing in the immediate future.

Here, we look at how Symphonica, a true cloud-native, no-code orchestration, service activation and provisioning solution, automates the most common metro-ethernet service, e-line. This creates a robust, configurable, point-to-point, private metro-ethernet connection between sites. In this example, we consider a customer that has the physical connectivity in place over which orders for services like ethernet can be provisioned.

For a closer look at Symphonica’s automation capabilities, check out our Symphonica Demo Series.

Start with an order

As always, our provisioning example starts with an order which may be passed to Symphonica from any external system, typically a BSS or CRM. In our demos, we show Postman passing orders and inputs to Symphonica, but any external system can pass an order via Symphonica’s TM Forum 641 service order API. 

metro-ethernet services

Using the Intraway Tech Assist App a technician can claim a task or tasks related to provisioning this Ethernet service. Several components or domains need to be configured:

  • The service domain, where the service’s specifications are configured.
  • The workflow domain, where the workflow and rules for fulfilling the service can be configured and monitored.
  • The resource domain, where resource inventory, specifications, orders, and commands are configured.

The first task is to install a demarcation device, which Symphonica’s connector can communicate with using multiple options, including APIs. In this case, it uses SSH protocol for secure remote login. Working from the order specifications, Symphonica can identify and configure each of the ports, including the aggregator port, the Link Aggregated Group (LAG) which links ports together, and the demarcation port.

Configure the service

The next step is to fulfill the access and direct-internet-access (DIA) service orders – two component orders related to the composite order. According to Tech Target, DIA is an ethernet-based service delivered over a single fiber optic connection that can support configurable upstream and downstream capacities ranging from 1 Mbps to 10 Gbps. DIA was conceived, at least partly, to fill enterprise needs for bandwidth as they outgrew traditional T-1s and sought a configurable layer 2 solution with less management complexity than layer 3 multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) services. 

Whenever Symphonica receives an order, it assigns a token that is then attached to the header of every component order, request, or input related to the composite order. This is especially important as composite orders, and the sequencing of their component services become more complex. Using the Tech Assist app, a technician can review and execute all the component orders that make up the composite E-line service.

View execution in real-time

As Symphonica fulfills each part of each service component, it visualizes processes via the console or Tech Assist app so stakeholders can track the live status of every provisioning step. Users can see the process flow being executed at run time and in real-time, with simple color coding to denote status. For example, a green process block is done; a black process block is not yet in play; and a yellow block is pending completion, like manual equipment installations.

The user can click “complete task” to finalize the order when all processes are complete. The process visualization tool also provides access at this point to relevant information from any component, such as the input, output and logs recording the messaging between Symphonica and the network. This granular visibility provides added benefits like easier troubleshooting and simpler validation that commands were sent to the network correctly. 

Important information like this persists in Symphonica’s service and resource inventory. Once orders are executed, all their detail can be found in Symphonica’s service inventory, which shows the activated and suspended services associated with any customer, including each component of the composite service and its service characteristics, sub-characteristics, and relationships to other components.  

Don’t write code

For Symphonica, every aspect of this scenario can be designed and automated through configuration. Absolutely no new code needs to be written to deliver these services. Operations are configured in Symphonica and sent to the network, with all related information received from both the service order and the network stored in Symphonica’s inventory.

The automation and repeatability this approach permits can be seen in the ease with which Symphonica can issue suspend, restore, and cancel orders for this complex service. The user can click on the customer’s service, click suspend, and the rest executes itself. The service can be restored just as easily or deleted in the case of a terminate order.

Reap benefits and repeat

With this kind of user-friendly facilitation, Symphonica automates not only the complete lifecycle for metro-ethernet services but for all such composite services, including 5G network slicing. For CSPs, the benefits are measured in faster order-to-cash processes; more rapid rollouts of new services and features; lower operations costs and overhead behind every provisioned order; and far superior customer experiences as a result of process visibility, timing, notification, and automated fulfillment. 

Symphonica’s fundamental capabilities provide what service providers need to design, provision, activate, and ultimately closed-loop manage complex network services at scale, including E-line and the various forms of network slicing many are excited to bring to market. The types of component and composite service models and provisioning automation described here can be configured, repeated, and scaled to deliver new automation rapidly and enable complex services like 5G slicing.

For a closer look at Symphonica’s automation capabilities, check out our Symphonica Demo Series.

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