The LSO framework is defined by the MEF (a global community of operators and technology vendors) to standardize open APIs for orchestrating connectivity services across multiple networks. This approach, combined with Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), enables service providers to transition from a silo-structured BSS/OSS environment toward more open, agile, and automated networks, optimized for delivering virtualized services.

LSO is a framework describing the lifecycle of an end to end connectivity service across one or more network service domains.

LSO is designed to enable a vision for the ‘Third Network’ that combines the agility and ubiquity of the Internet with the performance and reliability of Carrier Ethernet 2.0. The framework allows for services between physical service endpoints like Ethernet ports, as well as virtual service endpoints.

LSO coordinates management and control across all network domains—regardless of whether they’re technology, operator, or layer domains. The goal is to streamline and automate the service lifecycle in a sustainable way. The capabilities of LSO fall into six categories:

  • Fulfillment, which includes:
    • Query product catalog
    • Order exchange, management, and tracking
    • Design, provisioning, and assignment of resources
    • Verification, test, and turn-up
    • Discovery and reconciliation of service and network resources, topology, and connectivity
  • Control, which enables:
    • Control of the elastic behavior of service instances (both connections and interfaces)
    • Turning on and off either instantaneously or as the result of actions tied to defined triggering events (for example, schedule), managed connections, and managed interfaces
    • Throttling up or back bandwidth associated with specific connections (or per class of service)
    • The addition or removal of endpoints in accordance with their specified dynamic service policies
    • The discovery of service capabilities
    • Migration of services to different resources
  • Performance, which enables:
    • The collection of service performance-related information across the network
    • The gathering of customer-provided quality feedback
    • The analysis of service quality by comparing the service performance metrics with the service quality objectives described in the SLA (‘SLS’ in MEF-speak)
    • The delivery of service quality analysis results and information about known events that may impact the overall service quality (such as maintenance events, congestion, relevant known troubles, demand peaks, etc.)
    • Capacity analysis and traffic engineering
    • Service quality improvement
    • Management of aggregate traffic flows though the network based on projected demands
  • Assurance, which provides:
    • Alarm surveillance that detects errors and faults
    • Fault verification, isolation, and testing
    • Reports that correlate alarms, performance events, trouble reports, etc., including the potential root cause of a trouble and identified impact on services
    • Control filtering of notifications
    • Trouble-related information that enables the orchestrator to track the status of trouble resolution
    • Fault recovery
  • Usage, which enables:
    • The provider to furnish usage reports describing the usage of service capabilities and associated resources to the end-to-end orchestrator
    • Collection and correlation
    • Capture of service events (change in bandwidth, etc.)
    • Exception reports that describe where service resources have been used beyond the commitments described in the SLA
    • Usage and traffic measurements
  • Analytics, which provides:
    • Prediction and trending of service growth, plus much more

Ciena’s Blue Planet was awarded LSO Solution Provider of the Year in 2015 at MEF’s GEN15 event. Blue Planet simplifies the creation, automation, and delivery of services from end to end across physical and virtual domains using the MEF LSO concept. The platform’s open and vendor-agnostic LSO capabilities give service providers more freedom to use the physical and virtual network components of their choice, enabling them to focus on delivering services instead of managing appliances.