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Drive Down OpEx and Drive Up Efficiency

Want to reduce the time and money you spend on network operations? Start with smarter automation.

It’s Monday morning, and your network operations team is already buried in alarms. You know there’s a real problem, because the trouble tickets keep pouring in. Your customers don’t want excuses, they just their services back up and running. But you’re still trying to figure out what exactly went wrong.

A network topology issue? A device misconfiguration or faulty software update? A problem with the application? Maybe the virtual machine (VM) that application is running on? Or the server hosting the VM? Or the SD-WAN edge? It may take hours to pinpoint the problem. In the meantime, you need to figure out which customers the issue will affect and make sure to resolve it in time to meet your contracted service-level agreement (SLA). The worst part: it’s still early. You’ve only seen a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of network events that hit your NOC every day.

It’s not a pretty picture. Unfortunately, it’s not a rare one either. As networks get more complex, managing services across heterogeneous network resources (physical, virtual, SD-WAN, NFV) keeps getting harder and more expensive. But it doesn’t have to. You can cut through the complexity and get to the root of network problems more quickly. You can automate many of the tasks that take hours to accomplish now. You can deliver excellent customer experience with less effort.

To do any of this though, you’ll need a new kind of service assurance—one that’s a lot more automated and intelligent.  One that can span the legacy networks in place and the new virtual networks and services you and your enterprise customers are deploying.  One that is designed for operator networks as they are today, not the way they were a decade ago.

Automate Everything

Too much of current network operations still depends on human decision-making, even as it’s become impossible for human beings to keep up with the complexity of service provider environments. And looking at the latest trends for global IP and mobile networks, the problem is only going to get worse.

According to the Cisco Annual Internet Report, over the next three years:

  • There will be 5.3 billion internet users by 2023
  • The number of devices connected to IP networks will be more than 3X the global population (29.3 billion networked devices by 2023)
  • Machine-to-Machine connections will represent 50% of the globally connected devices (approximately 14.7 billion M2M connections by 2023)

And that’s just raw growth in data and devices. The major technology transformations happening in networks will make service delivery even more complex:

  • The global edge computing market is expected to grow from USD 2.8 billion in 2019 to USD 18.36 billion by 2027 per Fior Markets
  • According to IDC Research, the SD-WAN infrastructure market is poised to reach USD 5.25 billion in 2023, growing at a rate of growing at a 30.8% CAGR from 2018 to 2023

The only way to get a handle on this massive growth in the scale and complexity of network services: automate.  VMware Telco Cloud Operations put assurance automation in the hands of network operators. Telco Cloud Operations automatically tracks device configurations across your entire multivendor network—transport, physical, virtual and services layers. It continually maintains a stable configuration, monitoring for any configurations that are out of compliance and can take action to bring the devices into compliance.  When other issues are detected and alarms raised, Telco Cloud Operations correlates information and status from the entire network to determine the root cause and generates an alert or remediation workflow—all in an automated fashion, without the need for human intervention.

What does all that automation mean for your network teams? Much faster incident detection and response, and a lot less manual effort and “firefighting.” By automating a lot of manual effort, operations personnel can be elevated from incident response to more strategic functions, working to resolve more complex issues and prevent future incidents rather than reacting to routine ones.

Take Network Intelligence to a Higher Level

Network teams already spend less time on mundane, repetitive tasks than they used to, because the many of these tasks have been automated. What operators really need is a way to streamline the more complex processes that currently require human judgement and decision-making. This is where Telco Cloud Operations intelligence makes a significant leap.

  • Automate root-cause analysis: Current network management systems (NMS) bury teams in information. They provide massive amounts of data about the “symptoms” of an issue but leave it to human operators to translate those thousands of alerts into something that makes sense. Telco Cloud Operations correlates all active, inactive and unknown alarm statuses together with the network topology and relationship between devices to quickly uncover the root cause of the problem. It determines not only knows what’s causing the issue, but which services and customers are affected. Your network operations team see only the alerts that actually matter.
  • Adapt to changes dynamically: Many event management system (EMS) tools use rule-based engines to suppress redundant alarms and reduce the alarm storm. However, this requires a significant amount of time by skilled operators to first create the rules based on the network topology and relationship between devices and then continuously update these rules as new devices and services are changed or added. VMware Telco Cloud Operations updates itself automatically. It uses an advanced, multi-dimensional deterministic model-based engine that continually adapts to dynamic networks—saving thousands of personnel hours per year.
  • Address the most important problems first: Conventional NMS and assurance solutions are designed to solve technical problems, not business ones. If there’s a problem affecting multiple services and customers, for example, it’s still up to human beings to figure out how best to triage the response. Telco Cloud Operations business impact analysis tools can automate even this process. By assigning business impact scores to your various tenants and services, you can automatically prioritize incidents affecting your most important services, your highest-profile customers and the problems most likely to lead to costly SLA violations.

There’s a Better Way to Run Your Network

How much time and money could you save if your network operations teams didn’t have to function as a human correlation engine? For large service providers and enterprises around the world using VMware Telco Cloud Operations, this is not an academic question. These operators are automating network discovery, device configurations, and compliance management. They’re automating the process of identifying true problems versus symptoms and driving down the mean time to detect and repair them. Most importantly, they’re focusing their time and effort where it matters most—on areas that directly impacts revenues—instead of constantly putting out fires.

Want to learn more about what VMware Telco Cloud Operations can do for your organization? Visit: https://www.vmware.com/products/telco-cloud-operations.html

 

Blog by Karina Dahlke

Image source: stock.adobe.com

 

 

Streamlining Operations and Automating Lifecycle Management with Telco Cloud Platform: Insights from Analysys Mason

Communications service providers are working at a rapid clip to establish the digital foundation to roll out 5G networks. If you’re part of a 5G effort, you’re likely harboring a multi-cloud vision of modern infrastructure that will empower your organization to quickly turn your 5G efforts into innovative services and viable business models.

At the same time, however, you’re probably faced with a conundrum: How can you deploy 5G services and network functions on infrastructure that has the consistency to enable you to simplify network operations, not make the task more complex. Since large 5G investments will increase the pressure to extract profit from 5G capabilities like low latency and high density, it is imperative that you can streamline operations and automate lifecycle management to keep OpEx low.

A digital operations model that abstracts the complexity of operating 5G networks and automates the management of network functions across multiple clouds helps elevate the promise of 5G to a sustainable reality. When you combine consistent infrastructure with an operations model that emphasizes this kind of cloud-first automation, you’ve obtained a critical mass for not only deploying but operating and optimizing 5G networks with ease.

To help you innovate quickly while managing functions and services efficiently, a modern telco cloud platform should contain these elements:

* Cloud-native technology such as containers and Kubernetes that lets you run and manage containerized network functions (CNFs).

* Hybrid infrastructure supporting both virtualized network functions (VNFs) and CNFs that spans multiple clouds and sites, from the core to the edge.

* Multi-layer, cloud-first automation that unites your infrastructure and multi-cloud resources in a centralized orchestration system.

VMware Telco Cloud Platform combines these elements into a consistent, horizontal platform that simplifies operations and automates lifecycle management so you can deploy and manage 5G networks and services while keeping OpEx low. Cloud-first automation cost-effectively lights up the path to digital transformation.

Analysys Mason has just published a paper that corroborates the efficient operational model embodied in VMware Telco Cloud Platform.

 

To find out more, read the full paper.
Network and service automation is key to operationalise 5G multi-cloud networks and digital services at scale, by Analysys Mason, October 2020.