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Re-inventing Network Inventory for the Virtual Age

  • October 2015
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 34 pages

The report begins with a look at the effect of virtualization on operations support systems (OSS); then, drills down into network inventory, where we analyze how physical, logical and virtual views of the network and its services must come together to support emerging architectures.

We note the extraordinary level of OSS transformations currently underway—some with the impetus of virtualization, and some without. Back office systems need to automate and become more agile, regardless of the type of network they support. Because virtualization for the network infrastructure is driven by the CSP and supplier members within the European Telecommunications Standards Institute’s (ETSI) Industry Specification Group for NFV, this report drills down to the perspective of MANO—the management and orchestration working group within ETSI. MANO is defining the future of management and support in the Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) environment.

Next, the report explores the concept of inventory as one part of a bigger process that coordinates network information from multiple sources; and how that affects what has historically been known as the database of record. Lastly, Stratecast examines the varied approaches that leading network inventory suppliers are taking to ensure that inventory, and the OSS it drives, can continue to play an important role in the new networks.

Executive Summary
Maintaining physical inventory has never been an exact science. As long as the maintaining process has to account for the human element, it will never be exact. Humans make mistakes. They type sevens when they mean to type sixes. They put a card in a slot on shelf two, when it was supposed to go in shelf three. But humans also improvise, intentionally, in the name of customer service; and they find ways to turn up network services despite what an inaccurate inventory tells them. One day, for better or worse, automation may eliminate both inaccuracies and improvisation. But until then, network inventory solutions and processes must adapt to support virtual and hybrid environments, with increasing accuracy and speed. This report describes the challenges ahead for Communication Service Providers (CSPs) and their suppliers, as this niche area of inventory plays a much more important role at the center of fulfillment, planning, maintenance, analytics, service creation and service enablement.

The report begins with a look at the effect of virtualization on operations support systems (OSS); then, drills down into network inventory, where we analyze how physical, logical and virtual views of
the network and its services must come together to support emerging architectures. We note the extraordinary level of OSS transformations currently underway—some with the impetus of virtualization, and some without. Back office systems need to automate and become more agile, regardless of the type of network they support. Because virtualization for the network infrastructure is driven by the CSP and supplier members within the European Telecommunications Standards Institute’s (ETSI) Industry Specification Group for NFV, this report drills down to the perspective of MANO—the management and orchestration working group within ETSI. MANO is defining the future of management and support in the Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) environment.

Next, the report explores the concept of inventory as one part of a bigger process that coordinates network information from multiple sources; and how that affects what has historically been known as the database of record. Lastly, Stratecast examines the varied approaches that leading network inventory suppliers are taking to ensure that inventory, and the OSS it drives, can continue to play an important role in the new networks.

Table Of Contents

Re-inventing Network Inventory for the Virtual Age
Table of Contents
Executive Summary .5
Introduction..6
Network Transformation's Perennial Question7
What about the OSS? .7
The MANO Point of View10
A Model for Network Inventory 11
Inventory as the Anti-Warehouse .12
To Overlay or Not to Overlay.13
OSS Suppliers and the Virtual - Physical Network Inventory Conundrum14
Amdocs Navigates the Future14
Cerillion fills GE Gaps in Wireless ..16
Comarch Virtualizing OSS in Tandem with NFV/SDN.18
Smallworld Partnering to Extend Outside Plant Inventory 20
Ericsson Brings Just-in-Time Concepts to Inventory23
NetCracker Rides J2EE from Physical to Virtual 26
Nokia Goes All In on Telco Cloud..28
Oracle Breaks with Tradition—Its Own..30
The Last Word..33

List of Exhibits
Exhibit 1: Evolution of OSS and BSS to a More Far-Reaching Business Environment .6
Exhibit 2: ETSI NFV MANO Architecture Model.8
Exhibit 3: Amdocs Network Navigator Taps into Multiple Data Sources..15
Exhibit 4: Cerillion Network Inventory Bolted to GE Smallworld..17
Exhibit 5: Cerillion CNI Product Capabilities18
Exhibit 6: Comarch Placing Apps Closer to the Customer with NFV/SDN.20
Exhibit 7: Smallworld Network Inventory and APIs to External Apps.22
Exhibit 8: Ericsson Adaptive Inventory as Part of the Fulfillment Process 24
Exhibit 9: Adaptive Inventory Components Share Network Knowledge .25
Exhibit 10: NetCracker 10 OSS BSS Integrated Solution Framework 28
Exhibit 11: Nokia's Telco Cloud Architecture 29
Exhibit 12: Oracle Unified Inventory Deployed as Part of Rapid Service Design and Offer
Delivery 31
Exhibit 13: Process Changes for Adding Virtual Network Functions 32

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