& cplSiteName &

Service Assurance Is Critical for NFV & SDN

Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
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        ADD A COMMENT
@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
The shift to application and network virtualization by operators and CSPs requires a new generation of multicore processors that are being introduced by many vendors.
In the wake of a damaging cyber attack in 2015, Philip Clayson was tasked with creating a cyber breach remediation plan for over 600 applications across TalkTalk's consumer and enterprise divisions and to deal with the operator's 'tech debt.'
It's still hard to say whether carrier SDN is really a success or a failure, but the needle is moving on SDN commercialization – albeit not as quickly as some might hope.
The most recent Thought Leadership Council (TLC) survey finds that although most communications service providers (CSPs) prefer to have a solid plan in place before moving on a new market trend, it's not looking to be the same for automation, as most CSPs surveyed say they are moving forward without solid plans.
Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is the primary focus for cable in 2018, with fierce competition across the market.
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders grills Cisco's Roland Acra on how he's bringing automation to life inside the data center.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 22, 2018, Denver, Colorado | Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Federal Funds for Broadband? Unlikely
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/12/2018
Has Europe Switched to a Fiber Diet? Not Yet...
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, 2/15/2018
Will China React to Latest US Huawei, ZTE Slapdown?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, 2/16/2018
Net Neutrality: States' Rights vs. the FCC
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/13/2018
IBM, Microsoft Duke It Out Over Chief Diversity Hire
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 2/15/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed