Industry leaders collaborate to identify new approach for managing networks

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  • Industry project “Zero Touch NSM” established to address Network and Service Management (NSM) challenge
  • Industry goal: Automated management of networks 
  • A related initiative aims to harmonize standards approaches for information modelling

More than a dozen companies have agreed to run a cross-industry project called “Zero Touch NSM” to analyze and evaluate the current challenges associated with Network and Service Management (NSM). The three-month project will run from March to June 2017. The participating companies, Amdocs, China Mobile, Ciena, Deutsche Telekom, DELL EMC, Ericsson, HPE, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Infosim, NEC/Netcracker, Nokia, Orchestral Networks, Telefonica and Viavi Solutions will get a better understanding how NSM needs to be improved.

“Automation is the future of network management,” said Dr. Kim Kyllesbech Larsen, SVP Technology Economics & Transformation at Deutsche Telekom. “As an industry, it is essential that we come together to find a solution to the issues that are hindering the automation of operations and Network and Service Management functionalities.”

Network and Service Management automation as key industry issue

Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV), are having an enormous impact on network operations today. For instance, there are internet of things (IoT)-based networks with massive numbers of devices, network behavior is going from static to dynamic, and customers are continue to expect an improved level of communication experience. To unleash the benefits of virtualization and software defined technologies, while increasing the efficiency of network operations, the industry must enhance NSM network automation.  Developments in edge computing, low latency networks, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and machine learning offer additional benefits that again can only be realized with NSM automation. Finally, the coming introduction of 5G further raises the stakes.

“The evolution of network and control technology will enable more flexibility in service creation, capacity and change management as well as more efficient network operations. This also adds more complexity to networks, particularly in the area of NSM. To offset this complexity, our industry needs to ensure all NSM functions are based on open standardized solutions,” said Arash Ashouriha, SVP Group OSS Strategy & Architecture at Deutsche Telekom.

The goal of “Zero Touch NSM” is to deliver a concrete guidance proposal to the industry on how the capability can be improved. The outcome is also expected to have an impact on network operations in the 5G era.

Harmonizing standards approaches regarding information modeling across TM Forum, ONF, MEF and other standards development organizations is an important enabler for NSM. “Zero Touch NSM” will be supported by a related initiative established to analyze and resolve the challenges associated with a Common Information Model.