We are excited to announce the general availability of VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance™ Release 2.0 on June 2nd, 2022, and also an update Release 2.0.1 on August 4th, 2022
As part of the VMware Telco Cloud portfolio, VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance, previously also known as VMware Telco Cloud Operations, is a cross-domain, multi-layer automated assurance solution that enables CSPs to holistically monitor and manage their complex infrastructure and services, from the core to the RAN.
New Use Cases, New Capabilities, New Product Name
With 20+ years of experience and has validated over 4000 physical networking devices, VMware rebranded its VMware Telco Cloud Operations as VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance to reflect the evolution of this product. This new generation of VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance expands its capabilities to address new use cases for end-to-end mobile service assurance, including CaaS assurance, 4G/5G mobile core and RAN assurance.
“5G mobile networks demand end-to-end service assurance, but now CSPs need more, assuring the underlying computing layer of virtualized network infrastructure and network control software. VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance provides that comprehensive, integrated coverage, end-to-end and top-to-bottom, from a vendor with a long history in telco multivendor service assurance and market leadership in virtualized infrastructure.”
Dr. Mark H Mortensen, Principal Analyst, ACG Research
The solution reduces costs and complexity for Network Operations Centers and Service Operations Centers by providing a single pane of glass for Fault Management, Performance Management, Service Management, Root Cause Analysis and Service Impact Analysis in multi-vendor, multi-cloud environments.
VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance 2.0 also includes cloud native architecture and data collector framework to support modern network transformation. Besides its build-in Smart data collector, Telco Cloud Service Assurance can collect data from 3rd party monitoring tools, including VMware vRealize Operations for virtual infrastructure and public cloud monitoring. In addition, Telco Cloud Service Assurance 2.0 uses standard ETSI NFV-SOL interface for integration with standard-based orchestrator such as VMware Telco Cloud Automation in this release. Together, our solution enables closed-loop automation and remediation.
In addition, VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance 2.0.1 introduced an early access feature of Network Slicing Assurance which enables CSPs to monitor health and performance for each network slice across RAN and mobile core infrastructure. This release also includes Business Impact Management (BIM) Intelligence, Domains Management enhancements for Assurance, and additional features and enhancements that are listed below.
End-to-End Assurance from The Mobile Core and Transport to RAN
VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance 2.0 supports end-to-end assurance of the mobile network across all domains (from the core, to the transport, and to the RAN). It also supports multi-layer from physical and virtual infrastructure, xNFs to the service layer to order to meet the SLA and deliver superior service quality for 5G services.
Mobile Core Assurance
In the Mobile Core Assurance use case, VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance significantly reduces the time to identify root cause in a multi-domain, multi-vendor core network. By proactively reducing mean-time-to-repair, customer experience levels and SLAs can be maintained.
VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance provides root cause analysis by correlating events across domains, from the connected network equipment, physical servers, VIM, CaaS, CNFs, to service layers. This is important since, for example, a disconnected cable in a network switch that is connected to a physical server can cause a high severity alarm in a User Plane Function. Without cross-domain correlation, root cause would need to be determined manually by evaluating faults identified by different monitoring tools.
VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance automatically discovers on-premises and cloud network resources in real-time and creates an end-to-end topology map, as illustrated below, on a single pane of glass. The topology map shows the physical and logical connectivity and relationships between the underlying network infrastructure and the various software components that compose the 5G service.
For RAN use case, VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance reduces the complexity of managing multi-vendor, distributed and disaggregated, physical and virtual RAN networks. The root cause of problems can be identified and resolved quickly to meet customer quality expectations.
VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance uses rich sets of data collection techniques to gather fault and performance data from the RAN. Data is gathered from the transport network and physical hardware using built-in collectors. VIM and CaaS data are obtained from VMware vRealize Operations. A new Kafka collector consumes fault and performance metrics from the RAN element management systems.
Events from all the data sources are correlated and analyzed across the RAN in real time to pinpoint the root cause and its impact on 5G services. The physical and logical topology is displayed on a single pane of glass, as shown below.
Since the physical and virtual discovery process is fully automated, when VMware Telco Cloud Automation or other orchestrator deploys a mobile RAN service, it sends a notification to Telco Cloud Service Assurance, which receives the service blueprint and starts the auto discovery process throughout all the layers of the service.
You can read more from our previous blog on RAN Assurance.
End-to-end 5G Core and RAN Assurance
When deployed Telco Cloud Service Assurance for Mobile Core and Telco Cloud Service Assurance for RAN together, this solution provides end-to-end monitoring of a rich set of vendor products and solutions across vertical tiers from physical to CaaS to application, as well as horizontal domains from fixed line to transport to core to RAN. Fully integrated discovery and topology, automated alarm reduction, and automated root cause analysis are performed across the entire infrastructure and all layers.
The integrated results are presented in a Mobile Assurance dashboard as shown below.
You can learn more about our previous blog on Mobile Service Assurance.
Integration with VMware Telco Cloud
While VMware Ready for Telco Cloud and VMware Ready for Telco Cloud Infrastructure have certified over 220 multi-vendor xNFs, VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance also have certified over 4000 devices with its IP Manager for the past 20 years. VMware Telco Cloud provide a comprehensive solution in multi-vendor multi-cloud environment. It enables flexibility and agility for our CSPs to transform their network.
As part of the VMware Telco Cloud portfolio, VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance combines its leading virtualization and cloud technologies with its infrastructure monitoring and service assurance capabilities.
VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance works with the underlying infrastructure and management layers such as VMware Tanzu Standard, VMware Cloud Director and Integrated OpenStack for VMware Telco Cloud Platform for 5G, VMware Telco Cloud Platform for RAN, and VMware Telco Cloud Infrastructure. VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance also integrates with VMware vRealize Operations and VMware Telco Cloud Automation. The product relationships are shown in the below figure.
Data Collection Framework for 3rd party Tools and VMware vRealize Operations
VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance provides a powerful and efficient data collection framework to collect large amount of data and alarms from different layers and from different sources including 3rd party monitoring tools.
VMware vRealize Operations is a widely deployed product that monitors the VIM and CaaS infrastructure. VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance 2.0 leverages VMware vRealize Operations to build a complete end-to-end topology map that includes the virtual infrastructure (from vRealize Operations), physical infrastructure (gathered from built-in collectors), RAN fault and performance metrics (from Kafka collectors), and L2/L3 networking assurance capabilities. VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance’s root cause and service impact analysis capabilities provide fast problem resolution by automatically correlating symptoms from the many layers of the infrastructure stack and pinpointing the problem’s root cause and service impact.
In addition, by leveraging VMware vRealize Operations, VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance provides specialized CaaS use cases for technologies such as VNFs, CNFs, and network slices.
Bringing 5G Orchestration, Automation and Service Assurance together
As 5g RAN network becomes more complex with network slicing and more programmable with distributed RICs, service assurance also continues to evolve towards self-healing and self-optimization. VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance 2.0 supports ETSI NFV-SOL005 API to enable integration with standard-compliance orchestration and automation products such as VMware Telco Cloud Automation.
Integration with VMware Telco Cloud Automation
VMware Telco Cloud Automation is a network functions virtualization orchestrator that complies with the ETSI NFV-SOL005 API. By integrating with VMware Telco Cloud Automation or other SOL005-compliant NFVO, Telco Cloud Service Assurance provides the most powerful closed-loop automation, remediation, and network optimization in the industry.
In addition, automated discovery is triggered by VMware Telco Cloud Automation. It notifies VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance when a network service is installed. VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance then automatically discovers the service and starts capturing fault and performance data from all the monitored elements that the service uses.
The NFVO configuration is available via the Telco Cloud Service Assurance GUI.
Meeting SLA and service quality expectations in real time requires automated remediation across the infrastructure, orchestration, and service layers when faults occur.
As the first phase of automated closed-loop remediation, VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance provides a remediation policy framework that automates the processes and procedures for common NOC faults that can be handled without human involvement. Administrators can define policies to allow automatic remediation actions when specific infrastructure faults occur that affect service. Different automated remediation actions can be taken based upon the duration of the problem.
VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance drives closed-loop actions for infrastructure lifecycle management by making recommendations to orchestrators based on identified root cause issues, such as a need to allocate more vCPUs on a specific video to handle increasing traffic.
The framework also manages the remediation process by providing alerts and notifications, opening a ticket in a third-party ticketing system, dispatching for repair, etc.
You can read more from our previous blog on Automated Closed-loop Operations and Remediation.
Integration with Kafka-supported Devices
Kafka data collectors are now available in Telco Cloud Service Assurance to collect real-time data from commonly used element and network management systems that support Kafka event streaming. The Kafka collector gathers fault events and performance metrics, which are collected and correlated in real time with physical and virtual data gathered elsewhere to determine root cause.
The Kafka collectors are available via the Telco Cloud Service Assurance GUI. Metrics and events are mapped easily to the Telco Cloud Service Assurance data model, as shown below.
Domains Management Enhancements for Assurance
MPLS Domain Manager provides assurance, root cause and consolidated view of Physical Infra, MPLS issues, Traps and Syslog to produce RCA
Network Protocol Domain Manager (NPM) provides assurance, root cause and consolidated view of Physical Infra, Protocol issues related to BGP/ISIS/EIGRP, Traps and Syslog to produce RCA
Enterprise Service Management (ESM) Domain Manager supports data collection, reporting, assurance, and RCA of Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and IP multimedia system (vIMS) domains
Business Impact Management (BIM) Intelligence
Business Impact Management (BIM) intelligence feature enables NOC and SOC operation teams to prioritize corrective actions to resolve issues based on business impact. It provides capability to automatically calculate the impact of underlying infrastructure and application issues to any Telco business services. BIM can model Telco Operators business services and processes to infrastructure providing capability to do impact analysis to take action to protect services and processes that are most critical to business.
Additional Features and Enhancements
We continue to improve Telco Cloud Service Assurance deployment, user experience, and operability. Additional new features and enhancements in release 2.0 and 2.0.1 include:
- Kafka publisher is available to connect with third-party data ingestion tools, including data lakes
- RESTful APIs for alarms and topology. New REST API and Kafka endpoint support for Northbound systems to export cross-domain infrastructure metrics collected by VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance in a common format
- Identity management system enhancement provides API support to provision AD or LDAP.API support for VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance metrics & exporting NBI service’s logs to Kibana log viewer.
- VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance can be easily deployed using VMware Telco Cloud Automation as a Cloud Native Service (CSAR) package.
- Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) and Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) deployment support in a cloud-native architecture
- Launch-in-context with third-party monitoring tools
- Enhanced UI with ability to edit Alarms based on domain and sub-domain classification, clone notification views and filter RCAs
- High availability for Telco Cloud Service Assurance services
- Health dashboards enhancement
- Backup and Restore feature provides enhanced data protection
For a complete list and detailed descriptions of features, capabilities, and enhancements related to this release, please check out VMware Telco Cloud Service Assurance 2.0 release notes.
To learn more, please visit us as our product website at https://telco.vmware.com/products/telco-cloud-service-assurance.html
Please register the VMware Explore 2022 and join our session on Reduce
Churn with E2E Service Assurance [CEIB2440USD]. Patrick Kelly, Principal
Analyst from Appledore Research, and Moshe Lavi, Senior Director of Product
Management from VMware, will be presenting.
You can still catch up with the recordings of our launch event at Light Reading 5G Orchestration and Service Assurance event on June 9, 2022. Moshe Lavi and Shashidhar Krishnaswamy from VMware product management team presented at the keynote session and on the panel.