Orchestrating services across software-defined networking (SDN), network function virtualization (NFV) and operations support systems (OSS) domains is seen by communication service providers (CSPs) as the major obstacle to deploying SDN and NFV, according to a recent research conducted by Heavy Reading for Netcracker.
Analyst James Crawshaw noted that this reflects the fact that today’s implementations are often silo projects and not well integrated with existing operational support systems or even SDN implementations. He added, that given most network functions are still physical today, orchestrating across these three different environments is a necessary hurdle to overcome to get to real network and service automation.
“While it may be no shock that NFV is still in its infancy, it is perhaps more surprising how little operators are using a cloud model with orchestration to manage their virtualized networks,” Crashaw said. “Just 23% of virtualized networks used orchestration to automate services; the rest (77%) depend on manual operations. Without orchestration, CSPs will not experience the levels of automation they want and will not be ready with their telco cloud offerings for the 5G market.”
Telco Systems solutions addresses these problems in the most practical and cost effective way. The company identified the need for deployment and operation automation of distributed NFV (D-NFV) and universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) services and developed uCPE domain MANO (management and network orchestration) that addresses most of the challenges related to uCPE services automation supporting:
- Service design
- uCPE deployment automation
- Virtual network function (VNF) lifecycle management
- Monitoring and operation modules
- Integration to network MANO or legacy OSS/BSS
The study, which included representatives from 69 different CSPs, indicated that respondents are currently only fifth of the way towards their virtualization targets. It indicated that the dominant market for NFV commercial deployments was enterprise communications with software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN), cloud VPN and security, followed by mobile core with VoLTE and VoWiFi. Providers also said that their target was to virtualize some 40 percent of their network.