& cplSiteName &

Assuring the Telco Cloud

Sandeep Raina
2/20/2017
100%
0%

As CSPs undergo a digital transformation -- running their business from a cloud environment, selling digital services and operating like webscale Internet companies -- assuring the telco cloud environment and business processes will take high priority. With networks virtualizing, services digitalizing and IoT looming large, the business risks are much higher than envisaged. Assurance of the telco cloud network and services will be key in assuring the new telco cloud business.

The telco cloud is defined as a virtualized telecom infrastructure to run digital services and agile operations. Accuracy, speed and error-free operations of the telco cloud are critical to the success of a digital business. Clever solutions, which derive and offer customer intelligence in addition to service assurance, will play a critical role in the success of the telco cloud business.

Certain OSS concepts will need revisiting to make them relevant to the telco cloud unknowns. These are Service Quality Management, creating a faultless telco cloud and enabling the digital service provider to be an "intelligent platform."

Service Quality Management for the telco cloud
Service Quality Management (SQM) is not a new concept; however, it will be an important one in the coming years. Current SQM focuses on proactive monitoring of customer-facing services, which have not always required reliable, secure, fast and always available networks. However, with the anticipated increasing rollout of telco cloud services in 2017, the current functionality of an SQM system will be stretched to cover the higher speed and scale of a digital services environment.

NFV, the underlying technology of telco cloud, has partly evolved as a consequence of the growing appetite of consumers for faster, on-demand and reliable services. Some of the most popular digital services in the new networks will be video streaming, telemetry, mobile gaming and home automation.

In addition, NFV is associated with demanding SLAs between the service provider and its customers. With VoLTE, ViLTE (video-over-LTE) and other advanced communication services launched as digital services, high levels of corporate SLAs will be required to compete with the slick services offered by the OTT providers. The SLA situation worsens with IoT, where inter-communicating sensored devices become the new "customers" and may make high demands on reliability and availability, if they are "mission-critical" connections such as those between autonomous cars or related to remote surgery.

The importance of SQM in the telco cloud can be assigned to the following key reasons:

  • Since virtualization/telco cloud promises higher agility in creation, delivery, alteration and retiring of services, it gives rise to a proportional need for agility in managing and maintaining QoS. The iterative and continuous deployment and tearing down of services expects the SQM systems to monitor high-revenue short-life services that might only last a few days or even a few hours.

  • The virtualization of network functions introduces elasticity and "dynamicity" of network resources. The dynamic adjustments to network element capacities -- scale-up and scale-down, topology configuration, redirecting of traffic routes and so on -- have an immediate impact on the services offered. The SQM needs to respond to such changes much faster under such circumstances.

  • In the inevitable hybrid (physical and virtualized) networks that will exist, digital services will be delivered using both physical and virtual elements/functions. Therefore, the SQM system should act as an overarching "manager of managers" for uniform, unbiased reporting and orchestration

    In its digital avatar, SQM helps CSPs to address the new service challenges posed by the telco cloud.

    A faultless telco cloud
    The cloud-based digital services are expected to run on highly reliable and error-free networks. Digital services require real-time dynamic adaptation and customization of the communication network, which drive expectations or objectives for network/service/device failures to be reduced to a minimum.

    Moreover, in an IoT world, failed devices or connections might not only breach SLAs with massive penalties but, more importantly, they might impact life-critical or mission-critical communication. Although complex mesh topologies with high availability and inbuilt redundancy will reduce the impact of such failures, they still require a system to discover, interpret and manage the faults.

    With the network disruption induced by NFV and IoT, every new piece of equipment, software and device will bring its own failure points. In this environment, traditional network/device fault management needs to be raised to the next level.

    Other than the mentioned technology turn (NFV and IoT), the revamping of fault management is necessitated by the demand for higher speed of service delivery and problem resolution. Monitoring and assessing the impact of failures on the new network elements and user devices is critical, especially when services are time-critical and, in many cases, life-critical too.

    This justifies the evolution of current NOC/SOCs to a zero-touch operations center, where extensive automation will speed up the reporting, fault-finding and remediation. By feeding fault data to SQM systems, CSPs can instantaneously understand the impact of faults on services and, with the use of predictive algorithms, prevent faults from occurring.

    Many use cases can be served through a highly automated, predictive fault management system:

  • Telco cloud orchestration: This uses fault data in SQM system, which highlights policy violations, followed by automation/orchestration across physical as well as virtualized networks.

  • Predicting IoT failures: Achieving this requires the management of IoT traffic using analytics on top of fault data to forecast patterns and prevent IoT network/service/device failures. This includes building dashboards for service availability, incident/unavailability breakdown by region/location and also geolocation-based service impact.

  • Protecting SLAs: When integrated with fault data, machine learning offers powerful predictive capability to anticipate problems and helps CSPs in protecting their customer SLAs.

  • Service impact: With SQM based on faults, faster service impact visualization is possible for the hybrid, NFV and IoT networks.

  • Zero-touch operations center: Automating network outage recoveries, device configuration and integrating fault management with the OSS ecosystem (troubleticket, inventory, orchestrators, SQM, CRM, workforce management, and more) will lead to an automated, zero-touch operations center.

    The automation of operations center processes is key to achieving success in the virtualized and digitalized telco cloud environment. CSPs are working towards realizing a fully automated, zero-touch operations center using closed-loop corrective actions, complex algorithms and machine learning. And to support the dynamic SLAs of the telco cloud, the OSS is expected to support on-demand capacity configuration and dynamic topology changes, which can happen only through automated real-time network feedback and automatic configurations.

    Analytics to evolve to an 'intelligent platform'
    CSPs are ready to shake off the label of being the "dumb pipe" through the use of sophisticated analysis of the massive and valuable data traversing their networks. As digital service providers, they are looking at monetizing customer behavioral data as well as connectivity as they aggressively launch new digital services to challenge the growing popularity of OTT services.

    Analytics capabilities can deliver trends on performance, capacity and faults using machine-learning tools. But more than the operational benefits of analytics, they provide critical intelligence that can be used for network monetization and service personalization, by understanding the usage of the telco cloud, the services it offers, its customers and devices. As an example, CSPs can proactively identify low-congestion zones/locations ("free zones") and rapidly fill spare capacity with revenue-generating traffic from new service offers such as video streaming, mobile TV or smartphone apps, contextualized by location, time and customer need.

    In addition, with CSPs extending their business to become IoT service providers, machine-learning based analytics will be popular to manipulate data and generate critical business intelligence for each of the IoT industry verticals.

    Underlying technologies to make telco cloud management successful
    The next-generation telco cloud promises the creation and deployment of new services in shorter time periods, down from a few months to a few days. To respond to this need, CTIOs are now developing new architectures for service assurance, of which SQM, automation and analytics form a key component. The architectures are based on open APIs, Big Data clustering and OpenStack capabilities.

    Other than the introduction of these new technologies to the underlying platforms, it is important to develop a microservices architecture, which uses DevOps-enabled iterative processes to quickly respond to customer needs by developing services faster. This is how the customer expectation of using new features every week or every few days will be realized. This also helps in conducting root cause analysis faster and resolving customer issues quickly.

    An integrated approach of analytics, automation and SQM requires some drastic changes in the way data is churned, visualized and actioned. For a successful launch of the telco cloud, long-term assurance of digital services and the creation of business value out of data, it is critical to re-define the features of SQM, zero-touch predictive operation centers and analytics for data monetization.

    — Sandeep Raina, Product Marketing Director, MYCOM OSI

    (0)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    More Blogs from Column
    Status and next steps on spectrum policy for Gigabit LTE and 5G in the US and beyond.
    Will social media platforms be the next big disruptor of the pay-TV industry? Could be, but pay-TV providers have ways to respond to this and other threats.
    Gigabit LTE is a must-have, not a gimmick, for operators around the globe.
    What organizations can expect when becoming GDPR compliant and how they can effectively navigate it.
    Is there an upside to Moore's Law slowing down? Actually, there are many.
    From The Founder
    Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Charting the CSP's Future
    Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

    7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


    Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

    7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


    At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

    7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

    7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


    When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

    7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


    Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Masergy's NFV Journey

    7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Mavenir on RCS Cloud Platform & Multi-ID

    7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Guillaume Le Mener, head of marketing and corporate development at Mavenir, discussed RCS and the recent launch of Multi-ID, which supports T-Mobile's DIGITS, the revolutionary new technology that breaks down the limitation of one number per phone and one phone per number.
    LRTV Custom TV
    ADTRAN Executive Outlines Trends in Next-Generation 10-Gigabit Cable Networks

    7|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Hossam Salib, VP of Cable and Wireless Strategy at ADTRAN, outlines key trends as MSOs begin to deploy next-generation Gigabit and 10-Gigabit cable networks. In the interview, Hossam outlines the advantages of a Fiber Deep architecture, FTTH options including EPON and RFoG, and the importance of SDN and NFV in building next-generation high-bandwidth cable networks.
    LRTV Interviews
    Global Capacity: Bandwidth Demand Driving Ethernet Growth

    7|6|17   |   6:37   |   (0) comments


    At Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, Global Capacity's VP of Marketing Mary Stanhope talks about how the demand for bandwidth is changing the way service providers deliver broadband services.
    LRTV Interviews
    Colt's Services Chief on Digital Delivery

    7|5|17   |   16:12   |   (0) comments


    Rogier Bronsgeest, the chief customer experience officer (chief CEO!) at Colt, discusses the way in which the service provider interacts with its customers these days and his aggressive net promoter score (NPS) targets.
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    BT VP: Women Should Fill Security Talent Gap

    7|5|17   |   6:00   |   (2) comments


    By 2020 there will be six security jobs for every qualified worker, and Kate Kuehn, vice president of Security for BT in the Americas, says BT wants to encourage women to fill the shortage in jobs.
    LRTV Interviews
    Colt Sales Exec on Services Trends

    7|4|17   |   12:59   |   (0) comments


    Colt's sales director for enterprise, James Kershaw, sheds some light on the services currently in demand and how network upgrades are influencing customer demand.
    Upcoming Live Events
    September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
    October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
    November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
    November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
    November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
    November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
    Hot Topics
    Mobile to Power Online Video Consumption – Zenith
    Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 7/19/2017
    Can Mushroom Sprout in Crowded SD-WAN Field?
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/18/2017
    AI Will Be Ubiquitous in 2020 but Overhyped in 2017 – Gartner
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 7/18/2017
    Facing the Facebook Video Threat
    Gary Miles, Chief Marketing Officer, Amdocs, 7/17/2017
    Brocade, Broadcom Merger in Doubt
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 7/19/2017
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
    One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
    Animals with Phones
    Fuzzy Quick Fix Click Here
    If you can't access it, is it really broken?
    Live Digital Audio

    Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.