Illustration: © IoT For All
Not way back, working a telecommunications community was a static, slow-changing course of. Networks had been constructed utilizing bodily capabilities, configured to offer a steady set of providers and, as soon as rolled out, to function for a few years with out important modifications. This additionally mirrored upon the operations and enterprise help methods, the OSS/BSS, which might unavoidably purchase legacy standing after a number of years in operation. In the present day, modifications that had been beforehand achieved manually through CLI at the moment are totally automated and replicated at scale for more and more sooner deployment occasions, higher SLAs, and an enhanced buyer expertise. Any legacy OSS/BSS will most probably not have the flexibleness and the automation capabilities to help it, due to this fact digital transformation initiatives are actively concentrating on this important set of methods that must be introduced up to the mark with the brand new traits.
The complexity that inherently accompanies the brand new strategy displays upon all layers, from infrastructure to the OSS/BSS. There may be, nonetheless, a catch. Altering the OSS/BSS layer is usually a multi-million greenback venture that spans over a number of years, touches on all lively elements of the community, and often begins with the migration of all legacy inventories to the brand new system earlier than a single new service may be rolled out. It creates a dependency on particular distributors and isn’t one thing most CSPs or MNOs are wanting ahead to.
So, is there an equally dependable, much less intrusive, and extra pragmatic various? All the things is in the end attainable in software program, and I imagine there’s a manner, loosely impressed by two ideas borrowed from the sphere of software program structure: the service mesh and the sidecar.
Introducing a Companion Automation Layer
Enter the brown-field state of affairs of a CSP that has made an enormous funding through the years and manages a heterogeneous, multi-vendor OSS/BSS ecosystem. The problem of latest product introduction is to keep away from the bespoke growth and integration effort related to adapting every of the OSS/BSS elements and with including the glue logic that enables them to help the brand new use instances end-to-end.
What if, as an alternative of touching upon all these methods or changing them with a brand new one, we hold their present performance and federated inventories? We are able to do that by introducing a companion automation layer to the prevailing OSS/BSS stack, successfully making a mesh between these methods and enabling them to take part in totally automated end-to-end transactions and accelerating digital transformation.
How will the Automation Layer work?
This strategy would convey all of the digital transformation advantages to CSPs and permit them to start out innovating instantly, with out first going by way of an costly OSS/BSS substitute train. Right here is how.
- It bypasses the stock migration conundrum, preserving the sources of fact with the methods that personal them and consuming knowledge straight from the supply.
- An automation layer can centralize the automation flows for all of the domains lined by the CSP’s community right into a reusable, easy-to-extend catalog that spans from SDN and knowledge heart automation to 5G slicing and eSIM connectivity.
- It will possibly simply usher in new and present methods into the mesh by exposing their APIs and knowledge to the automation layer, repeatedly increasing the automation scope in the direction of new use instances. The automation layer acts as a sidecar to all these methods, enabling them to take part in automation eventualities even when they weren’t initially designed for it. Arguably, that is higher than the initiative taken by many CSPs to reveal all OSS/BSS APIs beneath a unified API gateway, which consolidates entry however nonetheless lacks any automation capabilities.
- Coupled with ideas like low-code and no-code, an automation layer allows the CSP’s subject material specialists to outline new providers as end-to-end automation templates that seamlessly devour the APIs revealed by the totally different OSS/BSS elements and apply NetOps rules to them.
- It gives a central level for operationalizing the AI/ML fashions utilized in assurance eventualities throughout all domains, enabling superior assurance and closed-loop automation even throughout legacy methods.
- And final, it permits the CSP to reveal the automation layer to their very own MVNO prospects in a managed manner, offering them with the means to customise the usual choices or outline new providers on high of it.
CSPs and the Digital Transformation Journey
Whereas introducing the brand new layer and new merchandise, present methods and providers are stored operating, permitting the CSP to find out precisely if, when, and the way they are going to be migrated, with zero threat of downtime. Equally, it’s adequate to reveal the APIs of newly launched elements to the automation layer to have them included within the automation spectrum.