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Orchestrating Change at the Network Edge

  • 13 pages, published in August 2014
  • By Frost & Sullivan
  • Report Number: 2314489

Summary

Table of Contents

One area of operations for which new solutions have remained vague is management and orchestration. This operational question mark is the main focus in this week’s SPIE.

Introduction
If the current perception holds through the advance of Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) technologies—that % of CSPs feel they will be unable to bring their legacy OSS and BSS forward in support of them2—big questions will follow. Those questions will center on which support systems will make the transition, who will fill the gaps for areas with insufficient support, and where in the architecture this support will reside.

Only % of 10 Tier 1 CSPs from North America and Europe that Stratecast surveyed in September 2013—when NFV and SDN were just beginning to emerge—were confident they could extend current support systems to the new architectures as they were being defined. Another 20% felt it was too soon to tell. One notion that grows more apparent each day is that no supplier is assured a spot in these new architectures, nor the ecosystems that support them. Some OSS/BSS suppliers—which Stratecast now calls Operations & Monetization (O&M), to better represent the increasingly diverse and non-telecom ecosystem of CSP partners—are better suited for the emerging Virtual Network3 than others.

For example, with few adjustments, service assurance solutions can work in either legacy or virtual environments, because the processes for collecting, correlating and analyzing performance and other network data remains consistent across both types of environments. However, processes and interfaces for systems such as fulfillment, inventory, product and service catalogs, and monetization solutions may differ dramatically and require re-engineering or new approaches entirely.

One area of operations for which new solutions have remained vague is management and orchestration. This operational question mark is the main focus in this week’s SPIE. There is a distinction in the emerging standard architectures for NFV/SDN between OSS and “management and orchestration,” as if OSS and management are somehow different. Traditional OSS/BSS is shown in most models to primarily support legacy networks, while a new management and orchestration function is given the task of supporting the Virtual Network. Stratecast believes these models to be somewhat misleading, and that inherent in these models is the presumption that support activities could be as easily provided by equipment makers, independent platform providers or traditional OSS/BSS suppliers and next generation O&M suppliers.

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