NFV Should Be Catalyst for OSS Rethink – Report

Widespread adoption of NFV will only be possible once network operators have defined and implemented "robust management, orchestration and OSS architectures," according to a new report from Heavy Reading that highlights the need for a greater focus on how OSS systems should evolve as virtualization strategies are put into practice.

Heavy Reading Senior Analyst James Crawshaw, the author of Next-Gen OSS for Hybrid Virtualized Networks, notes that "operators that seek to implement NFV without preparing their OSS to support it are unlikely to be successful in capturing the new revenue-generating and cost-saving opportunities." He adds: "OSS should not be an afterthought; it will continue to be central to the operational efficiency and agility of the service provider."

Key to what needs to determined is the interaction between existing or "traditional" OSS systems and the NFV MANO (management and orchestration) systems that are being integrated to take care of the NFV infrastructure (NFVi), as hybrid services are set to be on the roadmap of almost all operators.

The importance of enabling the co-existence and integration of virtual and legacy physical systems was highlighted recently by BT's Neil McRae during a presentation at Light Reading's OSS in the Era of SDN & NFV event in London. (See BT: Virtualization Must Include Legacy.)

Of course, there are many challenges. OSS transformation projects have a poor track record, notes Crawshaw, while enabling integrated management and implementing an evolved OSS will require a new set of skills, process engineering and "a change in mindset that is open to concepts such as DevOps and fail-fast," notes the analyst.

The analyst goes on to identify the "key criteria for future-ready OSS," discuss the OSS requirements for an NFV world, review work done by industry bodies such as ETSI and the TM Forum, look into how MANO developments are driving the need for OSS evolution and take a close look at Vodafone's proposed OSS architecture that is part of its Ocean virtualization strategy. (See BCE 2016: Vodafone to Make Waves With Its 'Ocean' Virtualization Strategy and Vodafone: Desperately Seeking Cloud-Centric Tech.)

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

bgraham 12/16/2016 | 9:08:25 AM
Great report Great report James and Ray. We at TM Forum couldn't agree more with you that the key to successful NFV implementation lies in rethinking and transforming operations and management. If your readers are interested to learn more about the work we have been doing, we've produced some informative ebooks and reports explaining the things our members are doing in this area – most of them are free to download from our website.

The reports capture some of the key learnings of the ZOOM project and more than 40 Catalyst proof-of-concept projects championed by companies like AT&T, BT, China Mobile, Verizon and Vodafone. From this vast body of work, we have uncovered several requirements for what we call the Operations Center of the Future (OpCF) that align with many of the points you are making.

·         Open, dynamic APIs exposing standardized network and management functions are required at all layers

·         Closed loop control and automation is necessary, with orchestration and management being real-time and zero-touch, and requests being executed rapidly without human intervention

·         Real-time data analytics should be used to ensure and enhance customer experience

·         Transparent end-to-end management across partners' boundaries is essential

·         Orchestration can be used to increase profitability

·         Security must be designed in from the beginning and provided at multiple levels
[email protected] 12/15/2016 | 7:02:51 AM
Hard to create a blueprint - should be an SI goldmine There are certain thnngs that will be relevant to all operators and none that will be relevant to all... in theory, a very smart OSS/NFV savvy systems integrator should be cleaning up RIGHT NOW in this market.
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