While the world’s increasing usage of data is changing the ways networks are being configured, new network technologies are also having an impact on end-use applications. Software defined networks (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) are enabling new operations. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the Internet of Things (IoT), which is seeing unprecedented numbers of devices connected to networks. Increasingly, networks are having to move away from being static to dynamic as more devices are connected and customers expect improved levels of communication.
To unleash the benefits of virtualization and software defined technologies, while increasing the efficiency of network operations, the industry must enhance NSM (network and service management) network automation, according to a recent blog post by Deutsche Telekom. To further this aim, more than a dozen companies formed a consortium to run a cross-industry project called “Zero Touch NSM” to analyze and evaluate the current challenges associated with NSM. The three-month project will run from March to June of this year. Participating companies 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 goal is to gain a better understanding of how NSM needs to be improved.
“Automation is the future of network management,” said Dr. Kim Kyllesbech Larsen, SVP Technology Economics and 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.”
The fruits of this consortium – the challenges it aims to overcome – are expected to be new developments in edge computing (a distributed IT architecture in which client data is processed at the periphery of the network, close to the source of the data), low-latency networks, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning. These concepts, which will be furthered with NSM automation, will all come into play with the upcoming introduction of 5G technology, which some carriers (including Verizon and AT&T) say is ready for introduction this year.
At this point, the Deutsche Telekom consortium believes that the most urgent need is for standards when it comes to NSM.
“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, SVP Group OSS Strategy & Architecture at Deutsche Telekom. “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.”
Edited by Alicia Young