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March 26, 2013

Overture Introduces New SDN-Based Solution

Overture earlier this month introduced its Ensemble Open Service Architecture. Today it unveils the first product family, the 6500 series, under the Ensemble OSA umbrella.

The Ensemble OSA architecture, which embraces the principles of SDN and network function virtualization, brings the benefits of cloud – including automation, accelerated innovation, and more – to the metro edge, according to Overture Director of Marketing, Mark Durrett.

The 6500, which comes in three versions, is the first and only carrier Ethernet 2.0 aggregation solution that can support any access method, says Vijay Raman, Overture’s vice president of product management and marketing. It will initially be available for active Ethernet over fiber. Later releases will be for Ethernet over copper, Ethernet over SONET/SDH, and Ethernet over TDM.

Use cases for this product include multiservice aggregating; ring homing, which Overture says is big in cellular networks; and wholesale Ethernet.

The Ensemble OSA architecture has three layers. The resources layer includes elements that provide connect, compute and storage functionality. They may consist of physical devices such as switches, servers and storage arrays, and/or software functions running on virtual machines. The orchestration and control is software for data plane control, resource abstraction, and network management.

And network applications include software packages that leverage the orchestration and control part and tie into a service provider’s back office systems and that of their business partners to create a service or network function. 

Overture offers some of the components found within each layer, but Durrett says the company doesn’t expect to do it all for all service providers, so it built OSA as an open platform, and all the layers are connected via open APIs.

Overture last year did a proof-of-concept for OSA with two applications – a bandwidth on demand one and virtual firewall one. As part of that work, it did basic orchestration and control (including OpenFlow and VM support), and at the resources layer it added OpenFlow and another API to the 6500. It tested all this and shared it with Overture’s carrier customers.

The firm then started investing in this in a big way – creating and hiring for a team. This year, Overture is working on customer proofs-of-concept and custom projects; building out an ecosystem partners; doing the first customer installs; and introducing Ensemble-powered hardware.

By next year, Overture expects to introduce a wider array of Ensemble OSA products; move all its products under the Ensemble umbrella; integrate with third-party applications and device; and perform additional customer installations.




Edited by Braden Becker




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