Service assurance has never been simple, but it has become more and more complex with the development of new technologies.
The arrival of 5G, virtualized network functions, cloud-native network functions and software-defined networks are creating enormous new service creation opportunities. These enabling technologies are also creating a fragmented ecosystem that involves multiple networks, IT domains and service providers over which services must be delivered.
New, more complex services will be spun up and shut down dynamically and often rely on innovative systems and technologies for delivery.
In this new whitepaper from the team at Mobile World Live, we look at the challenge for service assurance as it modernizes to operate across multiple new, digital markets, and how service assurance is being transformed so it allows you to track issues from the customer experience to the root cause across a moving landscape of dynamic network resources.
Why does 5G need a new automated approach to assurance and operations?
5G introduces a new, service-based architecture for operators that is enabled by network functions virtualization (NFV), software-defined networks (SDN), edge cloud and network slicing technologies. It provides an inflection point at which you can move from a traditional approach to networks and adopt virtualized, disaggregated, cloud-native infrastructure that can increase automation, reduce the cost of operation and enable the delivery of your new and compelling services.
The scale of the challenge of assuring that delivery should not be underestimated. True visibility from end-to-end of the service chain that is provided in real-time across the radio access, core and transport networks must be achieved.
What is cross-domain troubleshooting?
Cross-domain troubleshooting is the identification of ongoing, or predicted, issues impacting customer experience to the underlying root-cause, including network resource faults, service configuration issues, network congestion and user device compatibility.
How is Service Assurance transforming into Automated Assurance?
The proliferation of services, the increased flexibility of networks and the demands of the digital ecosystem are making autonomous networks a reality. The path to these networks, which through
self-service provides improved experiences and enables self-optimization and self-healing, is complex and lengthy. But the prize is zero-touch, zero-wait, zero-trouble services that you will be able to monetize efficiently.
This inevitable increased automation of the network requires that assurance goes beyond a single domain and encompasses AI-driven cross-domain orchestration.
This is because a fragmented approach to service assurance is the killer of efficiency. Using multiple tools across different systems and domains leads to errors and inefficiencies, as data gets lost in the hand-offs between systems and an unnecessary layer of complexity is added.
In contrast, selecting a single automated assurance platform for use across all of your operations means it is far easier for your organization to gain familiarity with a single tool rather than dividing organizational expertise across numerous systems.
Automated Assurance in practice
The siloed approach to service assurance is no longer sustainable, because manual correlation and incomplete visibility do not provide you with the capabilities you need to assure services. Siloes also limit your overall knowledge and reduce your ability to smoothly automate workflows and take action to remedy issues.
Current network and service monitoring solutions limit your ability to visualize and proactively manage your operations with a focus on the customer. This can result in poor customer experience, high OPEX, the reliance on multiple ‘silo’ assurance systems and an inability to respond quickly to changes in network usage and performance.
This is why our portfolio 360° Assurance solutions, powered by our cloud-native Ativa™ suite, have been designed to automate the correlation of network, service and experience key performance indicators (KPIs) across multiple domains and systems. They provide real-time customer experience monitoring, analytics, diagnostics and troubleshooting right down to the infrastructure layer. This enables predictive, automated remedies to be performed through network configuration, domain and service orchestrator interoperability, using open application program interfaces (APIs).
This means you can:
- Correlate different data sources to generate interactive representation and analytics
- Accurately visualize and drill-down across domains for simple usability
- Accelerate event-to-fault correlation with cost – and resource-efficient drill-down capabilities
- Guide troubleshooting workflows with advanced analytics
- Analyze multi-service and -protocol environments with end-to-end tracing through a single pane of glass
By enabling automation across the lifecycle, the cloud-native Ativa Automated Assurance and Operations suite helps you move away from activities previously impeded by siloes or that were reliant on slow and expensive swivel-chair operations that cannot be scaled up.
The benefits of Automated Assurance
Automated assurance expands service assurance from being confined to a limited set of indicators relating to a handful of well-established services to an essential means to ensure users – whether humans or machines – receive the network performance they need to make their use cases viable. To achieve this, a complex landscape of network technologies, IT systems, policies and business relationships must be traversed. There are too many moving parts for any of this to be performed manually and the real-time demands of applications, particularly for low latency 5G use cases, amplify the need for automation.
It’s clear that automated assurance tools that cross domains and provide real-time capabilities are the enablers of the new, monetizable experiences that are already transforming the business of telecoms.
To learn more, you can download the full whitepaper here.