Light Reading
The success of NFV and SDN will depend on service assurance, big data, end-to-end orchestration, and a centralized catalog.

Service Assurance Is Critical for NFV & SDN

Ari Banerjee
4/18/2014
50%
50%

SDN and NFV both promise hardware vendor independence, improved operational efficiency, standardized and open interfaces, and the dynamic chaining of network functions to create new services. Both require centralized orchestration and management. NFV's initial focus is on the virtualization of individual network functions, while SDN's focus is on stitching together network topologies in a programmable way. There is no doubt in the minds of the operators that quality of experience (QoE) will be the critical factor in making SDN and NFV initiatives successful and realize their dream of a programmable network.

From a service management standpoint, the challenges can be very interesting. SDN's goal is centralized management and control of networking devices from multiple vendors in order to improve automation and management by using common application programming interfaces (APIs) to abstract the underlying networking details from the orchestration and provisioning systems and applications.

Operators today have multiple siloed fulfillment stacks that lack end-to-end network device management or configuration management capability. In fact, most service fulfillment offerings today do not have horizontal service-centric device management capability. This prevents service providers from having an end-to-end view of network devices, services running on those services, and customers and applications impacted.

QoE will make or break SDN and NFV initiatives. End-customers, whether they are consumers or enterprise customers, do not care about the underlying technology, as long as they get the best services at affordable price points. Service assurance processes must be able to work in close alignment with service chaining and service fulfillment and must perform real-time tracking and monitoring of network resources.

Next-generation service management platforms need to borrow principles of self-organizing networks (SON), and have self-healing capabilities to take care of device constraints or provisioning issues proactively, based on service quality, before the issues impact the customer experience. The dynamism of a next-generation hybrid virtualized service world demands self-monitoring for anomalous events in the network and the ability to diagnose and fix those issues dynamically. This enables load balancing. It also optimizes network resources, which provides economic benefits to service providers. Next-generation service management platforms should be able to arm service providers with the ability to preempt service degradation by constantly monitoring, measuring, and maintaining their service metrics in real time.

There needs to be an underlying big data/advanced analytics platform supporting performance management and assurance. Big-data predictive analytics needs to be a key component of next-generation service management systems, which will help to identify trends, patterns, and subscriber behaviors. This will help in service assurance by examining data on network performance, availability, and latency to support customer experience and operational planning, and will ensure compliance with cloud services SLAs.

In my recent report, End-to-End Service Management for SDN & NFV: Part 1, I discuss this topic in detail and examine how today's myopic standards need to evolve to provide a holistic service management strategy. In an upcoming webinar sponsored by Monolith Software, Decoding the Importance of Service Assurance in a Virtualized World, on April 30, we will discuss the critical role of service assurance in this context.

Please also read Carol Wilson's note on the same topic, Report: NFV/SDN Standards "Myopic" on Service Management.

— Ari Banerjee, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
@mbushong
50%
50%
@mbushong,
User Rank: Moderator
4/22/2014 | 10:30:43 AM
QoE or Application/Tenant Experience is not small
This is actually a big deal. The implication here is not just that commectivity is no longer the bar but also that IT environments have to be sufficiently instrumented to measure the appropriate experience. This could mean anything from completion time to jitter to reliability. There will undoubtedly be a few buckets, so users shouldn't have to specify in gory detail for every application, but this does muddy the waters some. You can't just declare 5 9s reliability and call it a day. These metrics will then roll up into the rest of the business, which means a tightening of the link between the business and IT - a good thing IMO.

Interesting stuff here.

 

-Mike Bushong (@mbushong)

Plexxi
Yulot
50%
50%
Yulot,
User Rank: Moderator
4/21/2014 | 9:40:55 AM
QoE in SDN?
This is going to be interesting to say the least. Most operators are already lost on real QoE analysis in todays mobile data networks (voice is reasonably under control), essentially because they fail to really synchronise end-to-end user plane analysis with that of the control plane, as well as produce meaningful measures, so QoE in SDN seems like another gap to bridge.

Another issue is although they all agree it is needed, the day they have to spend money they will rather do it on mission critical/active part of the network rather than QoE.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/19/2014 | 3:34:48 PM
Multiple schools

From what I've seen centralized management and control is one goal for one school of thought for SDN. Another school is looser, just focused on separating the control plane from the data plane for improved progarmmability and management. 

More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Enterprises increasingly realize that in order to run their businesses economically they need to fundamentally change ways in which they operate their businesses in the connected IP world.
There's plenty of activity in the emerging G.fast broadband technology sector, but will it come to anything?
Here are some steps that service providers could take to boost the reach, awareness and success of their multiscreen video ventures.
Telecom operators are deploying new technologies in their data center environments to reduce costs and increase revenues.
The cloud debate has moved on to the network capabilities needed to meet customers' demands, with SDN and NFV at the heart of discussions.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration

11|21|14   |   04:29   |   (7) comments


At the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how SDN has reshaped the discussion around packet and optical integration.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
LRTV Interviews
Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
LRTV Documentaries
FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
LRTV Documentaries
Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
LRTV Interviews
Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
Light Reedy
Telecom Analytics Grows Up

11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Compass

11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 12, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
$38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
Last Chapter (11) for Aereo
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 11/21/2014
Google, AT&T, BT Unite on Network Data Models
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 11/20/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed