Digital transformation is a market demand for CSPs. Better services and lower prices are the pursuit of end customers. SDN/NFV development offers carriers the opportunities to create intelligent and automated networks. In the telecommunications industry, innovative products are launched continuously. New technologies and concepts like big data analysis, machine learning, micro services, policy-driven management have become a focus for the O&M.
Traditional network elements and equipment can become virtualized and carried by virtualized machines. The cloud platform aggregates computing, network and storage resources, delivering unified management. Through cloudification, NFV decouples hardware from software, network functions from dedicated hardware, and it allows for flexible resources sharing and fast service creation and deployment. It supports auto deployment, dynamic on-demand scalability, fault isolation, and self-healing.
Considering telecom service trends, progress in international standards making, and major global operators' service trials, cloudification, digitization, automation, and intelligentization technologies have bright prospects, but they are also facing new challenges.
- Difficult in fault demarcation
- Long time for fault recovery
- Massive tickets with low efficiency
Based on the trends and challenges mentioned above, ZTE has put forward the CloudMasterTM, the next-generation O&M solution based on microservices architecture to management both legacy network and telco cloud. All the O&M activities in the solution evolve around automated user experience with an aim to improve O&M efficiency and quality.
Putting Telco Cloud Assurance into Practice
The CloudMaster solution provides an open service assurance management platform to help carriers centrally manage different vendors and fields and SDN/NFV networks. It provides centralized alarms and performance, unified O&M process management, and unified portal management to implement network O&M quickly, flexibly and efficiently and at a low cost.
The advanced root cause analysis module achieves intelligent analysis through AI and big data analysis, dynamically adjusts policies based on real-time conditions, monitors the effectiveness of the policies, and continuously optimizes them. Based on the big data collected from a large number of historical events, the AI analyzes rules and forms policies. Driven by events, the policies automatically optimize network settings. This O&M method has evolved from decision-making based on analyzing and computing real-time data to proactive network maintenance and from planning to prediction.
An automatic closed loop is capable of automatic service recovery but not capable of solving hardware-related faults automatically. When a hardware fault occurs during O&M, the CloudMaster eFlow identifies the fault and assigns a trouble ticket to the technicians. It is through the automatic trouble ticketing, resource scheduling, vehicle path navigation and other maintenance policies calculated by AI algorithms that the efficiency of a manual closed-loop is improved.
All the functional components of the CloudMaster are based on microservices and operate in a cloud-based virtual PaaS environment for easy scalability and agile and flexible deployments. Through the centralized network management, the CloudMaster solution provides carriers with compressive analysis and visibility of end-to-end faults and performance, and with one set of data to save resources and facilitate correlation analysis. With the O&M, orchestration & scheduling policies, carriers can achieve closed-loop management from orchestration to service assurance.
The Way to the Future NetworkAssurance
The age of intelligence has arrived when AlphaGo beats a human. Machine learning will play a greater role in more fields. Meanwhile, the development of the telco cloud, SDN/NFV network and 5G is accelerating. We can foresee that the related O&M will also be optimized for improved cost savings and performance. Machine learning technology has begun to be applied in the O&M field.
ZTE's next-generation OSS solution will further improve O&M experience and create more value for users. ZTE is actively participating in the development of 5G standards and related technologies. When new technologies (e.g. 5G Network Slicing and IoE) are triggering the rapid development of new types of networks, ZTE will continue to take the lead in this technology tide.
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