As service providers go through a major transformation in their OSS/BSS and operational best practices driven by the evolution to NFV/SDN and 5G-enabled service, service assurance will face a major architectural change.
The shift to DevOps will impose tougher requirements on service assurance to evolve architecturally, including the ability to:
- Model monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities so they are easy to include in any orchestrated or automated workflow
- Support cloud nativeness to eliminate the need for element manager silos
- Provide open APIs (standard when applicable)
- Design system functions into microservices to increase resiliency and availability
SD-WAN, DevOps and 5G network slicing will enable new business models where DevOps teams can evolve their operations from one-size-fits-all assurance to the best tailored assurance for any given service.
OSS/BSS and operations will transform from monolithic systems with large network operations centers (NOCs) focused on network connectivity performance to multiple service operations centers (SOCs). The SOC will be customized to automate and manage all the operations tailored to the nature of this service.
Increasingly, services will be designed and delivered by multiple providers under a single SOC managed by one service provider. The Blade Runner Catalyst is a good example of that. The ambitious project aims to show how multiple service providers can model 5G services and then expose them between operators using common information models and TM Forum Open Application Program Interfaces (APIs). The service is managed end-to-end by Vodafone, while EXFO covers service assurance. For more information on the Blade Runner project, read Dawn Bushaus’s TM forum article.