In the first part of this series we introduced the concept of a Business Driven Network (BDN) and highlighted why it is an attractive proposition to today’s network operators. This post highlights the steps to achieve a BDN, starting with a real-world example of a proof of concept delivered by Aria Networks, as part of a joint collaboration with Ericsson and Viavi, in May 2015. The proof of concept (POC), which recently won an award, was sponsored by AT&T/NTT and was delivered, in real time, at the TM Forum as one of the live catalyst sessions.

The Catalyst was designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) to optimize a network against a number of different business objectives. It demonstrated how video streamed from four different data centres to two points of presence could be orchestrated against these business objectives to deliver a reliable and profitable quality of service. Viavi and Ericsson integrated their off the shelf products to provide cloud and network analytics, cloud and WAN orchestration and end to end business driven optimization whilst Aria Networks’ Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine delivered the most efficient and cost effective data route for the video stream in real time.

The POC was successful, but it is important to reiterate here that business driven optimization is still a fairly new concept– one that Aria Networks does however believe can offer significant value in today’s market.

So where are you on the path to achieving a BDN?

  • Can you visualize your network? Yes! Level one.
  • What happens to your network when it fails? Can you confidently answer this? Level two.
  • Do you know if you have enough capacity in your network for new service deployments? Level three.
  • Do you know how much of your network generates revenue? Level four.
  • Is there a better choice of network optimization that is driven by a number of different business objectives (such as quality of service, cost, cost of power, time of day), rather than simply delivering data as quickly as possible? Level five.

Business Driven Optimization is ultimately about working to optimize the assets in the network against any number of criteria – some of which might seem to conflict (such as cost versus quality of service) to deliver the optimal network configuration for any scenario. Ten years ago Aria Networks was founded on the strength that we believed the best way to design a network, and ultimately manage it, was by doing three things:

  1. Virtualize the network
  2. Optimize it based on business objectives
  3. Enable the network to manage itself autonomously

Whilst we can all appreciate the benefits in moving through this process from a business delivery perspective, what are the figures to consider when it comes to return on investment?

Aria Networks can cite examples of level one customers moving to level two and seeing a reduction in capital expenditure of 21%. From level two to three, Aria Networks has seen customers reduce 9% of operating expenditure from better understanding how services were managed under failure conditions, and automating that process. But perhaps most significantly, a global OTT operator, running a multi-layer optimization initiative, said that they could aspire to achieve almost 60% savings by provisioning the right amount of 100 Gb connections in a network. At a time when maximizing network infrastructure is critical to support longer-term business success, how long can it be until the benefits of using Artificial Intelligence to optimize networks is universally applied?

Listen to our latest webinar where Jay Perrett, our Chief Technology Officer, will be helping you determine where you are in the evolution to a Business Driven Network and what you need to do to get there.

Read Part 3 of this series