As we talked about Mobile Service Assurance in our recent blog, one of the key use case is RAN Assurance.
Today, as telco operators are entering the 5G era, they are positioned to benefit from openness and new revenue opportunities in an open cloud-native RAN architecture. New use cases, which will be discussed in details in the next blogs, were not achievable until today are now within reach, such as:
- Network Slicing to meet the specific SLAs of applications, services, devices, and customers.
- Open-RAN, reducing RAN building blocks cost using new vendors and add new services using RIC to optimize the network.
- Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC), enables ultra-low latency and high bandwidth, along with data and radio network information which can be used by applications in real-time.
The use cases variety, the increase of complexity in a multi-vendor environment and the amount of data source from the number of network functions grow dramatically, challenges to successful operations grow as well, particularly at the edge of the network.
When looking on a 5G RAN service, we can identify the below layers:
- Network Function (CNF)
- Network Service (NS)
Typically, every layer of the above uses its own management system, with its own set of capabilities, APIs and dashboards. The lack of cross-layer end-to-end visibility, automation, and management functionalities can cause any single issue to propagate, be difficult to resolve, and have a magnified impact on service quality. This is particularly true for 5G RAN services.
VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance enables operators to simplify the operations and management of 5G services by providing multi-layer visibility, monitoring and assurance from the 5G core to the RAN.
Auto Discovery and Topology Mapping
Network functions are now a combination of physical, virtual, and containers, making it difficult to understand their interrelationships and how one function impacts others. Each network slice, for example, could utilize completely different resources.
To overcome this complexity, VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance automatically discovers all network resources by using standard APIs. It then provides an end-to-end topology map on a single pane of glass that shows the physical and logical connectivity and relationships (e.g., parent and child) between the underlying network infrastructure and the various software components that compose the 5G RAN service. This includes networking, hardware, virtualization, CaaS, application, and functions layers.
Multi-layer Service Assurance with Root Cause Analysis and Automated Operations and Remediation
The 5G services architecture embraces openness and uses standard APIs to enable multiple vendors to participate.
However, when a network service is composed of different domains with various vendors that use proprietary management systems, operations and management are challenged. Fault and performance data must be collected from multiple domains and vendor sources and then correlated and analyzed across the domains and up the infrastructure, CaaS, application layers.
Only then can accurate root cause analysis and successful, prioritized remediation be performed to guarantee the required service SLA.
VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance provides strong data ingestion and AI/ML analysis capabilities for automated root cause analysis, operations, and remediation. It supports open telco interfaces, such as SOL APIs for discovery and closed loop actions with NFVOs, and TM Forum APIs for OSS/BSS integration.
Also, as part of the VMware Telco Cloud Platform, strong onboarding capabilities are available to collect data from a rich partner ecosystem and third-party vendors. The analysis results based on these different domain and technology sources are provided on a single pane of glass that provides an end-to-end view of the 5G RAN service.
Comprehensive Analytics, Dashboards, and Reporting
Data visualization is critical in any management system. It allows operations users to receive real-time status and alerts so they can respond to a failure in a timely manner.
VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance collects fault and performance management data and events from all domains and provides configurable cross-domain dashboards from all the data sources. On a single dashboard the service operator can see valuable data and statistics from all the domains, so a failure in the underlay infrastructure or performance degradation in the 5G RAN service will be visible on same dashboard. This eliminates “swivel chair” operations that required working with multiple systems and screens.
VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance enables telco operators to manage and operate their 5G network and services from a single pane of glass. It provides:
- Cross-domain visibility of the entire 5G RAN service stack, from the underlay infrastructure to the service, and supporting integration with NFV and RAN orchestrators for RAN auto discovery
- Comprehensive health and performance monitoring from the RAN to the Core network, including network slice mapping
- Just-in-time Root Cause Analysis that can identify the cause of service loss or degradation across multiple domains and a multi-vendor stack
- Mission-critical impact analysis to enable you to prioritize remediation and resolution based on, for example, the number of impacted customers or SLA requirements
- Closed-loop automation and remediation with prescriptive RCA and monitoring insights provided to management and orchestration tools
To learn more about VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance, you can visit our website.