2 MIN READ | Service Assurance

The Third Network Vision's Service Assurance Pillar is Key to Enabling Multi-Operator Networks

Christopher Cullan
Oct. 13 2015

The MEF's Third Network Vision creates a framework for a new, dynamic service environment within the networking services industry — one that leads communications service providers (CSPs) in the transition to agile, assured and orchestrated communications services, in order to accelerate time-to-revenue, time-to-market and cost efficiencies.

This vision is by no means a mono-operator vision, but rather one of ubiquitous service access which by definition requires seamless interoperability across multiple operators to provide a transparent, end-to-end service.

You might be thinking “Doesn't the Internet already offer such interoperability and ubiquitous access?” …Perhaps, however the difference is service level guarantees. The Internet is best-effort, whereas a critical enabler of the Third Network Vision is guaranteed performance; even for network services that cross multiple operators. Of course, multi-operator networks are nothing new for telcos, but what is new is how technology- and partner-dependent this new paradigm of agile, software-oriented and now virtualized services has become. As an example, Telco X may partner well with Telco Y, yet it can't deliver the same quality with Telco Z, resulting in sluggish performance.

Interoperability is central to end-to-end service assurance and effective network management. All partnering CSPs agree on standard metrics — so that everyone speaks the same language — and has standard interfaces — so that performance data can be shared and multi-operator network services can be managed as one.

To get to that point, CSPs must all buy in and cooperate, across the whole ecosystem. This process, known as lifecycle service orchestration (LSO), is a critical enabler of the MEF's Third Network Vision and a centerpiece to enabling dynamic network services over more automated, interconnected networks.

During the Proof of Concept Showcase at the MEF's GEN15 event next month, Infovista will present alongside Oracle Communications and Juniper Networks. We will demonstrate how to deliver the ultimate Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) customer experience through real-time, zero-touch LSO and assurance of a multi-site ELAN service over multiple operator networks with physical and self-adjusting NFV components, including both vCPEs and dynamically scaling vPEs, all fully integrated into the service providers' critical business processes.

The POC provides a blueprint to transition from today's legacy networks and systems to the future vision of the Third Network, incorporating Infovista's performance assurance platform which uses the MEF-defined best practices for performance monitoring per MEF specifications 35 and 36.

The POC will show that assured interoperability is a critical factor in enabling CSPs to achieve the Third Network Vision and, ultimately, deliver dynamic, assured services across ubiquitous global networks.

To learn more, see my video interview with Third Network News, "Making the Third Network Vision a Reality with LSO," or join Infovista in Dallas for the upcoming GEN15 conference, November 16-19, where we'll present our POC.

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