SEATTLE -- Open Daylight Summit -- Telstra has a laser focus on providing its enterprise customers new services, such as virtualized VPNs that can be spun up or down based on customers' needs and an SD-WAN optimization service that can be provisioned in minutes instead of the previous nine-month time frame.
While Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS) is giving customers what they want today, it's also planning for the future demand for bandwidth, which would quadruple by 2020, according to Crispin Blackall, director of enterprise product engineering for Telstra.
Blackall said that ten years ago voice accounted for 80% to 90% of what went through Telstra's network while data was just 10%.
"Now ten years after that, that is inverted," he said during his Tuesday afternoon keynote at the OpenDaylight Summit. "Of course the voice traffic hasn't gone down, it's just the data that has grown up massively. And the implications of that are that over the next five years, our network is going to have an enormous amount of demand on it."
Symphony for Telstra
Telstra's Crispin Blackall talks about his company's Symphony project at the OpenDaylight Summit.
Compared to what it will need by 2020, Telstra has about 20% of that bandwidth capacity today.
"We will have to build 80% of a new network in order to deliver what we see our customers needing in that four-year timeframe, and that is a fairly big change for us to go through," he said.
While Blackall didn't provide any details on how it will increase its network capacity, he did spend part of his presentation talking about how Telstra is meeting enterprise customer demands through its "Symphony" program. Since the government took over Telstra's broadband network, it also faced additional demands there as well.
"When we started this journey, we talked to our customers to say, 'What is it you are looking for, what are you not getting today?' " he said. "They wanted virtual services on demand. They wanted data elasticity. They wanted connecting the cloud. They kept saying, 'Why is it so difficult, why do I have to go to so many different portals to have a common experience we are supposedly getting from you. Why can't I have better consumption model? Why don't you guys do what Amazon [Web Services] does and have your network sort of on demand?'
"So we looked at that, [and] we said there's got to be some kind of convergence in the experience, to deliver this on-demand elastic, secure cloud connectivity, to give customers that differentiated experience."
Out of those enterprise and government demands, Symphony was born. Blackall said Telstra had specific goals for Symphony, including defining a unified product experience, increasing speed to market through zero-touch provisioning of devices, and activating services for customers in real time.
In order to reach those goals, Blackall said Telstra needed to create an abstraction layer across all of the assets that were previously lodged in their own silos.
"I don't want to go into 12 different places, and do seven different order forms to create this, I want it to just happen. I want it to be intuitive," he explained. "When we started going into the detail behind that, of course, it was about how do you abstract away from all of these things and take it up to some kind of intelligent network so you are not plugging deep into the bowels of your network every single time. And how do you abstract that so it enables you go get into your OSS and BSS systems, your back office. Because as any service provider will tell you, that is where the cost is."
Telstra started with three key product launches. The first was a virtualized firewall that could be spun up on demand for customers that had an existing MPLS service, which allowed them to trial the VPN without buying and installing a piece of equipment.
The second was a software-defined WAN service for Internet branch and remote access capability that could be turned up on demand with zero-touch provisioning of customer-ordered CPE.
The third product was an SDN-based data center interconnect, which included assets from Telstra's deal to buy Pacnet. Blackall said Pacnet had done most of the heavy lifting on the data center interconnect through its work with Mirantis.
"What we did was we took those and we brought them into this common fabric so then we could start building new products based on this functionality and be able to bring in new capabilities like self-healing, enabling the self-service and integration across all of those products," he said. "And we set up a sandbox capability such that when we start to talk with new vendors or partners, or with our own developers, we can actually build things much more rapidly."
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation