Satellite company SES deploys world's first large-scale public cloud virtualisation and automation infrastructure

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Ashesh Mishra, Chief Architect, SES & Oren Marmur, Head of NFV, Amdocs

Traditionally focused on the enterprise domain, satellite operator SES intends also to penetrate further into the networking and telecoms sector. Thus it is redefining and standardising its interfaces with MEF certification, working with Amdocs on automation and orchestration and moving connectivity all the way to the cloud with Microsoft Azure as it moves to meet the changing comms needs of its customers.

Most SES customers use satellites to push their workloads into the cloud or to get to their headquarters offices and that makes it critical for SES itself to deliver a new, simpler and easier connectivity mechanism in a way that is still familiar to its clients. Ashesh Mishra's says that the entrenched notion that satellite communications is a niche and complicated market has prevailed for far too long and his intent is to prove that is not the case.

He points out that these days customers are digitising even their most remote assets such as maritime vessels and oil rigs and this is driving the need to provide an intelligent edge mechanism because when customers have such a mechanism the number and types of VNFs they deploy increase very quickly indeed.

He adds that most customer want to use their connectivity to ensure their workloads reside in the cloud and to enable the crossing of immense geographical distances at high speed and with very low latency and this chimes perfectly with SES's plans for the future of its network and systems architecture. SES is already a 'cloud-scale' enterprise as its footprint and offerings encompass 99 per cent of the world's surface, but Ashesh Mishra is fully aware that the company must become fully cloud native - and that means the standardisation, automation and orchestration of the entire SES service life-cycle.

In seeking help to help solve the challenges for the company's technological and organisational transformation in moving from what was predominantly a manual provisioning business to an orchestrated organisation capable of bringing new services to its customer very much faster, SES chose Amdocs as one of its strategic partners.

Commenting on the choice Oren Marmur says Amdocs was intrigued by the project with SES from the very outset, not least because his company, which has traditionally focused on the fixed and mobile sectors, saw the endeavour as new and unique challenge that would both test Amdocs' mettle and increase its knowledge base and areas of expertise. The company was also eager to work with Microsoft Azure in a public cloud project.

As Oren Marmur says, "As far as we know, this is the first large-scale public cloud deployment of NFV virtualisation and automation and is unique." It allows simplification of the introduction of NFV whilst permitting the avoidance of the high investment costs associated with building an in-house, own-owned, telco cloud and also provides genuine global scale and reach. It is a proof point that public cloud is a great way to expedite NFV adoption and the technology's operational business benefits."

Ashesh Mishra sums up by saying that SES's growth plan calls for new capabilities to be introduced over the coming 18 months that will greatly increase both capacity, the number of system end points and the overall size of the SES system by an order of magnitude - and that means it is absolutely necessary that the entire SES service provisioning model be automated. And it will be.​


  • Ashesh Mishra, Chief Architect, SES
  • Oren Marmur, Head of NFV, Amdocs

Filmed at SDN NFV World Congress, The Hague, 2019

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