MYCOM OSI, the leading independent provider of Assurance, Automation and Analytics solutions to the world's largest Communications Service Providers (CSPs), recently participated in the Catalyst '5G Service Operations: Real time Service Assurance' during TM Forum Live! 2017 in Nice, France.
A TM Forum Catalyst is a proof of concept project developed collaboratively by TM Forum members with the aim to create innovative solutions to common challenges. The 5G Service Operations Catalyst was championed by AT&T, BT, NTT, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telenor and Vodafone and demonstrated agile closed loop operations to deliver 5G network slice assurance for multiple industry verticals whilst continuously optimizing infrastructure utilization and meeting SLA commitments.
It focused on real-time service assurance of 5G service class - uRLLC (ultra-reliable low latency communications) for connected factories - deployed on a common 5G RAN and NFV Core infrastructure.
The Catalyst provided CSPs with critical operational insights into the Service Assurance components required to serve high demand SLAs for mission-critical services, so that the CSP can deliver high quality services for connected factory verticals with confidence.
The 5G operators will be able to take on new verticals as customers and meet their stringent SLA demands in real-time, owing to the complete visibility of the network/service performance for each dedicated network slice through:
- Dynamic 5G network slice optimization using closed loop orchestration
- Service assurance/orchestration specific to industry vertical's QoS policies
- Use of open source metrics/counters (i.e. OPNFV /ONAP Virtualization Event Streaming (vES)) and TM Forum Open APIs, for rapid and frictionless integration and interoperability of Service Assurance components in the CSP ecosystem
5G CSPs face key business challenges with the real-time management of multiple industry verticals (such as connected factories and connected cars), specific QoS requirements, offering of connectivity services and dynamic reaction to the SLA demands of each industry vertical.
5G network slices need to be monitored for the offered and guaranteed QoS/SLA through the use of closed loop management systems, which can orchestrate the network slice in real-time for dynamic capacity and quality and manage its failure conditions in real-time.
The CSP will be successful in meeting the high reliability, low latency and high bandwidth needs of the verticals only when it maximizes the usage of shared resources across all network slices, guaranteeing differentiated SLAs through closed loop and real-time service assurance and orchestration functions, enabling dynamic network slice management and resource optimization.
In the Catalyst, the Service Assurance systems used policy-based automation and closed loop Assurance, as well as TOSCA as a reference for modeling based on data from a domain/service Orchestrator. The Catalyst outcome showed how ecosystem integration can be carried out through TM Forum concepts and API operations in TM 628 Performance Management API, TR 255 Resources Function Configuration and Activation API (aka Entity Provisioning API), Service Assurance using intent based SLA/OLA approaches as well as standardized event streaming for metrics/counters based on use of open source vES (OPNFV/ONAP).
In the Catalyst, the MYCOM OSI's solution for 5G network slice real-time Service Assurance included:
- ProAssure™ - A proactive digital Service Quality Management system within the EAA™ portfolio that assures digital QoS, resolving potential issues before the customer is impacted. For the Catalyst, it offered critical 5G KPIs of latency, reliability and throughput, in addition to carrying out 5G network RAN and Core slice modeling, proactive SLA monitoring, root-cause analysis and dashboards for connected factory robot cameras use case.
- ProActor™ - A closed loop automation system within the EAA™ portfolio that helps CSPs increase operations/engineering efficiency through process automation, and fully benefit from hybrid (physical and virtual) networks by supporting network/service orchestration. For the Catalyst, it offered QoS policy-based closed loop automation and integration with domain/service orchestrator.
MYCOM OSI EAA™ (Experience Assurance and Analytics™) provides pre-integrated end-to-end Assurance, Analytics and Automation to manage digital services in highly automated virtualized network environments, especially the digital experience of its corporate customers and Internet of Things (IoT) partners.
"5G network operators will be challenged by new customer groups: those that deliver, amongst other services, connected automotives, connected factories, distant healthcare and smart cities," explains Mounir Ladki, President and CTO of MYCOM OSI.
"The challenge lies in managing the complexity associated with the management of the slices - for example mapping an IoT service to the most suitable network slice or mapping a bundle of IoT services to a network slice - and the need for a closed loop system to orchestrate the network slice in real-time. This is where a digital Service Quality Management system plays an essential role. MYCOM OSI ProAssure™ and ProActor™ enable the CSPs to manage a service and orchestrate changes based on QoS policies/SLAs. This is critical to the constant negotiation of the network slice to support the guaranteed service."