Explore how CSPs can embrace the cloud native principles and technology and how they can effectively accelerate this technology by having industry-led, industry-wide management and operation.
ODA blog series: Creating next-gen telco interoperability on cloud native networks
Over the last few years, two technologies that are core to future of the communications industry have been reaching maturity – 5G and cloud computing. Both are now being widely deployed – and taking advantage of the strengths of each is key to our industry’s future success.
The industry has talked for several years about implementing virtual network functions (VNFs) but it is 5G that has really accelerated the drive to the cloud and cloud native network functions (CNFs). Under 5G, the deployment of network components will be increasingly changing from specialized applications running on proprietary hardware to software functions running in the cloud augmented with AI driven automation.
TM Forum’s Open Digital Architecture (ODA) is complementing the work of traditional network standards organizations such as 3GPP by addressing the deployment and management of CNFs. ODA and TM Forum’s Open APIs already simplify integration with OSS and BSS systems, but ODA also defines a standardized deployment environment (the “canvas”) which makes it possible to deploy and manage CNFs easily across hybrid and multi-cloud platforms.
Previously in this blog series, we have discussed how TM Forum’s members have developed an industry-led approach to create a “plug and play” software ecosystem. Our member collaboration groups are utilizing this work and transforming it into practical ODA implementations to support various aspects of network management and deployment including:
Let's explore how CSPs can embrace the cloud native principles and technology and how they can effectively accelerate this technology by having industry-led, industry-wide management and operation when building and continuously operating their IT and network systems.
The network functions and the interfaces to other network elements for these network functions are largely defined and specified by other standards organizations such as 3GPP, but the management and operations of CNFs is an area which has received less focus. By applying the ODA approach to the management of the network, the transition to the cloud for CSPs will truly realize the power and benefits of 5G and cloud native networks.
TM Forum members are addressing this in two ways.
From a manageability point of view, ODA provides CSPs with the opportunity to rationalize the historical model of having a dedicated Element Management System for each network element with the corresponding CapEx for additional compute resource and OpEx for additional staff and their training along with the multiple redundant integration points.
To drive this work the TM Forum ODA Component Accelerator project is a place where TM Forum members have been applying practical implementation to real world solutions. You can see this work within the 3 demonstrations that were showcased at DTW:
Another great way to see ODA working in a practical implementation is through the TM Forum Catalysts such as the Converged access for ODA. This catalyst has operators including Telstra, Verizon, and VNPT with vendors E&, Future Connections, GCI, Incognito, and Sterlite joined together to produce requirements for the missing reference model required to adopt an open converged access domain across multiple access domains irrespective of the type of access - Cable, FTTx, Wireless. This convergence of multiple access technologies that are open and standardized, will provide tangible benefits that will reduce vendor lock-in, ease integration and operational management, and improves business agility.
Next in the series, we will be discussing how with the participation of more than 200 professionals from 95 companies, the Autonomous Network program has quietly put all the pieces in place to deliver a standardized approach to intent-based network operations, including the language needed to express intent (the desired outcome) in a way that machines can interpret, supported by a new Open API.
Read ODA blog series: