Planning for 5G
Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are in the midst of a network transformation as they plan their evolution from 4G to 5G networks. As CSPs plan their network rollout and the delivery of new 5G services, ensuring reliability, availability, and quality of service (QoS) in their networks is paramount to their success. Service Assurance plays a key role in delivering the foundations of a highly available network with the ability to provide greater insights and analytics along with real-time automation and optimization.
At Mobile World Congress 2019, VMware announced the continuing momentum of delivering key strategic network initiatives with the latest release of VMware Smart Assurance v10.0 and VMware Smart Experience.
VMware extends it operations management portfolio with VMware Smart Assurance and VMware Smart Experience solutions. Six key characteristics are seen necessary for an effective design strategy:
- Advanced analytics and automation, fueled by machine learning for proactive avoidance
- Distribution, graph based topologies with hierarchical analytics
- Real-Time intelligence, for dynamic optimizations and avoidance
- Intent-Driven, moving away from static rules to dynamic policies and operational intent
- Extensible solution, to cater to declarative constructs
- Open solution, that is model driven and offers ease of integration
Key Use Cases Addressed by Smart Assurance and Smart Experience
VMware Smart Assurance and VMware Smart Experience deliver real-time intelligence in a hybrid physical cloud environment spanning transport, network, infrastructure, and services. Operational intelligence ranges in granularity from fault and performance monitoring to individual subscriber experience management.
Key capabilities in VMware Smart Assurance to look for include:
- Dynamic Topology Discovery: automated VNF and network discovery using VMware Integrated Openstack multi-tenancy and standardized blueprints including TOSCA and HEAT correlating and isolating faults and performance issues across physical (transport, IP core, MPLS) and virtualized layers
- NFV Assurance: VMware Smart Assurance v10 includes integration with VMware vCloud NFV with support for virtual compute (vSphere), virtual networking (NSX-T), both Virtual Infrastructure Managers – VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) and vCloud Director (vCD). Smart Assurance 10 enables VMware vRealize Operations to perform multi-tenant cross-domain performance monitoring and isolate faults and degradation across physical, virtualized, and service layers
- Assurance for Virtual IMS Deployments: VMware Smart Assurance v10 extends a new common information model for vIMS, correlated across several layers such as VNF components, VIM Tenancy, Cloud Infrastructure, and Physical Network, providing effective Performance Monitoring, Root Cause Analysis and Issue Isolation
- SD-WAN Assurance: VMware Smart Assurance v10 supports SD-WAN enterprise services and is fully integrated with VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud for fault management. It provides discovery of branches, gateways and networks along with providing issue isolation and impact assessment of sites, gateways, and networking. VMware Smart Assurance’s multi-vendor SD-WAN monitoring strategy already in place for Viptela and Versa Networks.
- Performance Management & Analytics through integration with vRealize Operations: the integration extends vRealize Operations virtual operations management with a single pane of glass visibility across service, virtual and physical domains and includes powerful features such as capacity planning, performance monitoring, cost analysis, and compliance monitoring. The integration with Smart Assurance auto discovers and collects performance statistics from telco services (SD-WAN, vIMS) and physical networks (router, switch, interface, port), enabling vRealize Operations to provide correlated health visibility across VNFs, virtual machines, hosts, logical networks, and physical networks, including Machine Learning with dynamic thresholding and behavioral alerting.
VMware Smart Experience is a streaming analytics solution that delivers real-time actionable insights, at a subscriber level, for mobile access and core network management and optimization. Valuable capabilities and use cases include:
- Network Planning and Real Time Operations: understand the demand and capacities of cell/sectors, gateways, regions, and data centers.
- Customer Experience Management: understand the quality of services and effective customer experience over the 2G/3G/4G mobile networks and proactively optimize VIP customers.
- Fraud Detection: identify various SIM swap and device swap use case scenarios and avoid revenue leakage for voice and data.
- Location-aware marketing: enable up-sell and cross-sell opportunities to customers with location based subscriber profiling and service consumption.
- QoS analytics: measure and analyze data and voice QoS with precise granularity – per subscriber, per application, per cell site – in real-time
- Application and Device profiling: understand the consumption of various applications such as multimedia, browsing, social, etc. dimensioned by devices for targeted cellular network planning, QoS management, and network tuning.
The VMware Smart Assurance platform also delivers a new modular architecture featuring:
- New Data Collector Framework (DCF): enabling a variety of new data sources integration, additional scalability and distribution using Kafka publish/subscribe
- New Platform Architecture: based on Kafka messaging bus allowing more scalability, application decoupling and sharing of data
- KPI Engine: declarative component for KPI definition and calculations using multiple streams and expressions
- Enhanced persistency of events: active and historical events can now be easily analyzed using ElasticSearch simple and sophisticated querying mechanism
- Enhanced UI/UX: new notification screens based on VMware Clarity framework
VMware solutions are poised to address the key characteristics of an effective service assurance solution which can be enabled in 5G distributed cloud environment composed of hybrid physical and virtual transformations. A real-time dynamic discovery engine embodies the complex multi-directed correlations providing the foundational constructs to enable effective fault and performance management decision trees. Intelligence engines with signature and machine learnt algorithmic approaches, achieve the real-time proactive optimization cadence necessary for autonomous assurance in transport, physical, virtual, and service domains.