Everybody and their brother has been talking about, and working on, ways to automate networks in an effort to make them more responsive to new needs and services as they develop. And recently yet another new industry consortium has emerged that says it wants to help move that kind of thing forward. This new project is called Zero Touch NSM.
The NSM part stands for network and service management. The goal of the group is to provide guidance on how to improve network and service management to enable automation. And it say it’s work will include efforts to harmonize the approaches coming out of the MEF, ONF, and TM Forum.
The companies involved in Zero Touch NSM include Amdocs, China Mobile, Ciena, Deutsche Telekom, Dell EMC, Ericsson, HPE, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Infosim, NEC/Netcracker, Nokia, Orchestral Networks, Telefonica, and Viavi Solutions.
“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,” said Arash Ashouriha, senior vice president of group OSS strategy and architecture at Deutsche Telekom. “This also adds more complexity to networks, particularly n the area of NSM. To offset this complexity, our industry needs to ensure all NSM functions are based on open standardized solutions.”
MEF has been talking about Third Network services that provide an on-demand experiences with user-directed control over service capabilities and cloud connectivity. And it’s expanded its work beyond Carrier Ethernet 2.0 to develop orchestrated connectivity services at Layers 1 through 3, and orchestrated cloud services at Layers 4 through 7.
Meanwhile, the Open Networking Foundation, which recently merged with ON.Lab, has worked on the disaggregation of networking devices and control software. Its work has yielded the OpenFlow Standard, an SDN standard that allows for remote programming of the forwarding plane.
TM Forum has also been working on open source management and orchestration. And in an interview I did in late January with Barry Graham, director of product management at TM Forum, he talked about how his organization is uniquely positioned to bring the different open source efforts – including ONOS, Open Daylight, and the Open Source MANO Community – together.