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Overture Announces Two New NFV Products

By Casey Houser April 30, 2014

This week, Ethernet solutions provider Overture announced two new network functions virtualization (NFV) software solutions it has released for use by communication service providers and vendors. Ensemble Service Orchestrator (ESO) and Ensemble Network Controller (ENC) are part of the company's Ensemble Open Service Architecture platform and can work independently or in tandem to provide businesses with control over their network virtualization implementations.

The company provides, in its announcement, brief descriptions about the functions of each piece of software, and its website expands on those definitions with complete product descriptions. ESO gives businesses the ability to “[coordinate] virtual resources and physical network elements to create, activate and assure services using one or more virtual network functions,” the announcement states. It is capable of handling virtual machines, virtual switches, and top-of-rack data center switches and uses the OpenStack cloud controller to manage those responsibilities. It can handle virtualized network functions in central data centers as well as in multiple data centers, and it is able to manage such functions in businesses' offices or across multiple point of presence (PoP) nodes.

ESO can operate independently or with network controllers such as Overture's ENC or other third-party controllers. ENC can create, detect, and manage network elements. It monitors entire Ethernet networks to provide IT departments with a complete picture of their existing functions. With that picture in full view, IT can then create new network elements that do not interfere with current business operations.

NFV works by allowing businesses to deploy virtual machines either locally or in the cloud that are then responsible for running software or processes. Virtual machines make it easy for IT to manage a number of services without the addition of managing complex hardware. According to an Altec Lucent white paper, usage of NFV can help businesses reduce costs and power usage while, at the same time, providing services for themselves and their clients quickly and more efficiently.

Overture's products help businesses achieve those goals. A number of officials that already use their products have praised Overture's products, including Nav Chander, research manager at IDC Telecom Networks & Services, and Martin Taylor, CTO of Metaswitch Networks.

“[Overture has] a comprehensive working solution, which I have seen. It is impressive and has been well received by a number of Tier 1 service providers," Chander remarked.

“Overture’s Ensemble OSA helps bring to life the original NFV vision of service velocity, on-demand scaling and network agility,” Taylor added.

Edited by Alisen Downey

Contributing Writer

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