APIs for #Cloud Service Control: From Service to Transport?
Be that as it may, we are converted. Now, one of the highlights of this year's TMW in Dublin was seeing how other vendors are catching on to this. It is now widely recognised that capabilities, reporting and control functions need to be exposed through abstracted interfaces. While we favour REST, there are many proponents of SOAP too, but the point is that we are moving away from those horrid, proprietary telco-APIs (anyone for S.100? Or the original, CORBA-based Parlay?) towards something that can be more easily embraced by the kind of web and IT developers who build stuff that works on the internet.
But so far, we hadn't seen anything that offered these capabilities directly from transport infrastructure. Now we have, or at least via the mediation of suitable OSS / BSS platforms. We learnt about this in a briefing with Michael Kearns from Amartus. Of course we had an opportunity to learn more about Amartus and their recent project with BT at the excellent bash to celebrate the launch of the Exemplar project, which was most enjoyable.
It appears that Amartus has created a mediation layer that enables the exposure of RESTful / SOAP APIs to both service providers and third parties. In other words, OTT and Cloud service providers can directly control resources within the network for the delivery of their services - "dynamically and on-demand".
If this model is embraced, it points the way forward for building much more interesting relationships with OTT and Cloud service providers. Rather than viewing them as parasites on the network or as consuming resources that do not accrue benefit to the network operator (who will have actually built and paid for the network in the first place), it may be possible to start introducing capabilities that enable OTTs and Cloud service providers to add elements of QoS, for example, to their services.
This is a topic of great interest to us - and our friends at GoS Networks. Many cloud services are non-real time and offer no service performance guarantees. But as more real-time services migrate to the cloud (think UC and video collaboration, for example), service guarantees will become more and more important, particularly if you expect someone to actually pay for a service.
The ability to offer provisioning, service reservation and activation capabilities in real-time at the level of the transport network will make a huge difference to those who want to ensure there service meets demanding SLA expectations from potential enterprise customers. These and other product announcements and initiatives suggest that the industry is inching towards a more evolved network in which control can be delegated to the edge - potentially helping create those elusive new revenue streams, as well as optimising processes and performance for service providers themselves.