Netcracker 2017 NFV MANO Report Webinar Q&A: Service Automation Is The Operational Goal Of SDN

12:13 pm PT

Thanks to all who joined us for the Netcracker 2017 NFV MANO Report Webinar: Service Automation is the Operational Goal of SDN/NFV, where NEC/Netcracker discussed the full scope of functions that are needed to meet the operational goals of SDN/NFV. After the webinar, we took questions from the audience but unfortunately ran out of time before we could answer everybody’s questions. You can read the full Q&A below.

What tools are you using to automate the DevOps process?

Netcracker offers clear guidance on how to leverage Agile methodologies and adopt DevOps best practices. These are complemented with comprehensive tools, techniques and experience.

For mature service lifecycle processes we use leading Agile/DevOps tools, that are mostly opensource,  and technologies that support automation and close collaboration between operations, developers, business, vendors and partners during the whole service lifecycle: Eclipse Cloud IDE, Jira, Jenkins, Git, Maven, JFrog Artifactory, Puppet, Ansible, Chef and others. Netcracker also offers own know-hows and tool kits for new processes in cases where there are no generally accepted instruments for them.

The processes and methodologies are of critical importance to drive automation. We leverage process automation tools and bring teams together to collaborate. We help service providers make organizational and cultural changes that drive collaboration between development, marketing and operations without risking security, reliability or performance. This collaboration environment allows responding to market changes rapidly and deliver services to customers on demand.

How does OSS need to evolve to cope with hybrid services?

Service providers must evolve their operations so they can effectively manage the complexities of hybrid network and IT environments. As service providers bring new technologies to the market, they face the risk of creating siloed operational environments. Because transitioning to virtual environments will impact all network segments and domains, service providers must be careful not to create silos, as doing so will negatively affect time-to-market and TCO, minimizing the overall value of deploying virtualization.

The inherent differences between virtualized and traditional network domains force service providers to manage virtualized environments with a new approach that incorporates IT standards management, real-time and automated assurance, on-demand planning as well as scaling and healing capabilities. This means certain OSS functions must evolve to be close to real time and hybrid as systems such as resource inventory and service orchestration have to support a mix of virtual and physical functions in a service. In addition, service providers need the flexibility to choose multiple partners for their virtualized services and the ability to access a real-time collaboration environment that goes beyond pure VNF onboarding toward end-to-end service creation. They must also utilize analytics-driven ecosystems to foster real-time decision-making.

Current service providers’ operations need to evolve with new agile business processes. As network complexity is constantly growing, the centralized management and operations automation in hybrid environment covered in one single point solution becomes essential. Gradual transition to virtual environments requires operators to leverage a standards-based, technology-, vendor- and network-agnostic solution that covers all operational processes for both physical and virtual networks, and has built-in capabilities for supporting new services and integrating existing business and operational processes with virtual domains.

What is the typical composition if cross functional teams are created?

Netcracker widely utilizes different solution delivery methodologies, such as Agile/DevOps, that provide continuous business benefits to our customers. Together with the customer we setup cross-functional teams to collect 360-degree view on the solution requirements, including functionality, operations, billing, network environment etc. The service introduction process continuously goes through design and development, testing, pre-integration deployment and production simulation environments, providing the immediate feedback from the customer and allowing Netcracker to adjust the service introduction process according to  customer requirements. The Agile/DevOps approach minimizes the risk of transition from the pilot stage to a large full production. This approach synchronizes the short- and long-term project goals with the customer’s strategic business direction, development roadmaps and organizational changes.

Is your Platform an NFV-Platform, a MANO or VNFM, or something completely different?

NEC/Netcracker Hybrid Operations Management (HOM) is focused on enabling virtual and traditional networks to operate simultaneously at scale. HOM leverages years of proven expertise in end-to-end service management, resource management and MANO, and fills the gaps in today’s solutions for automating hybrid network management, including assurance, continuous optimization, security and stability. The major components of HOM are:

  • ETSI-compliant NFV Management & Orchestration – enables service providers to overcome the complexity of moving to a cloud model by efficiently solving NFV-based operational issues, such as vendor-agnostic VNF onboarding, interoperability, scalability, security, accounting, licensing, automation, etc.
  • Multiple microservice-based products divided by subdomains (Service Assurance, Service Optimization and Service Security) – providing full automation for extended lifecycle management for services and network functions, covering not only classical telecom operations but also new operations added from IT.
  • End-to-End Service Orchestration – binding all the components together and delivering a new level of abstraction – End-to-End Hybrid Service.

HOM is a part of our Agile Virtualization Platform and Practice (AVP). NEC/Netcracker AVP provides a set of tools, best practices, methodologies and professional services designed to help CSPs effectively deploy SDN and NFV with minimal risk and speed up monetization of the new virtual services. One of the key features provided by AVP is an agile collaboration environment designed to automate end-to-end service lifecycle management.

AVP also provides Business Enablement Applications designed to accelerate the commercialization of new digital services that leverage virtual and software-define networks. Delivered through an architecture built on microservices, these applications enable a plug-n-play approach to expanding existing BSS functionality vs. today’s options of carrying out expensive upgrades or full-scale transformations.

NEC/Netcracker HOM is built on a microservices-based, cloud-native platform that provides a foundation for all Netcracker products that can be deployed in any type of cloud environment, including private, public or hybrid. Netcracker’s Cloud Platform provides comprehensive capabilities for cloud and application management and leverages open-source technologies to achieve superior interoperability and compatibility with other service providers’ systems.

Is it OpenStack or are you using specific OEM software?

NEC/Netcracker is actively participating in Open Source community and continuously adapts our solution in accordance with the latest trends and releases, as well as creates best practices for the industry and reuse benefits of latest architectural concept.

Moreover, Netcracker NFV Management & Orchestration solution provides pre-integrated Virtual Infrastructure Management (VIM) based on OpenStack with additional functional extensions created to overcome current release OpenStack limitations crucial for NFV-specific, carrier-grade cloud management functions. Netcracker solution can also work with 3rd party VIMs such as VMWare or 3rd party Open Stack based Solutions.

Why is the cost of being driven more than if you drive yourself. Is it because innovation comes at a cost?

Netcracker sees the innovation as a key strategic concept that ensures long-term business success. Innovation also provides a competitive edge in being able to enter new markets faster and deeper. The benefits of an innovative business can outweigh any benefits gained from simply sharing or copying other ideas. Moreover, businesses that fail to innovate run the risk of losing ground to competitors, or simply operating inefficiently. To run business successfully, you will need anticipate future trends and develop ideas, processes, products and services that will allow you to meet future demand rapidly and effectively.

We constantly develop and provide new innovative products to the market, enriching traditional portfolio of telecom providers. Our solutions aren’t not only focused on providing the technology improvements, but also enable new business models and facilitate the future developments of our customers, allows them to go beyond their traditional areas of business and open up new revenue stream.

Netcracker is an active participant and valuable contributor to industry organizations focused on bringing telecommunications to the next level with better services, technology and standards.  Our innovative solutions have transformed businesses of many customers of different scale and nature, equipping them with the robust but flexible solutions and tools which allowed them to enable the future mode of operations, introduce next-gen digital services and keep continuous control over costs.

Netcracker 2017 NFV MANO Report Webinar>

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