Layer 123 Reunion: Some Key Network Automation Enablers

Following on from our recent post where we looked at the key takeaways from the recent Layer 123 event in Madrid and while there were numerous presentations and discussions regarding network automation enablers, often reflecting the areas of expertise of the particular standardisation body, analyst, consultant, vendor, SI, etc., we identified a few dominant topics that commanded most attention. Inventory Management Inventory management was a constant and recurring theme in presentations, panel discussions and informal conversations at the Layer123 Reunion: Intelligent Network Automation Congress and indeed the most noted change in emphasis from the Hague event in October 2019. This heightened focus on network inventory management recognises that automation requires high data quality inventories to provide a unified view to align all teams and streamline processes for building and operating the network. From physical/ passive to logical/active, network inventory management provides the tools to detect and reconcile data quality issues. An inventory management platform discovers and documents a fragmented, multi-layered and multi-vendor network. By providing a unified view of the network, processes can be streamlined and a true network Digital Twin (a digital replica of the real network) is enabled providing accurate data and optimised workflow support as well as a Network Simulation Engine enabling: Root-Cause-Analysis Single-Point of-Failure prevention Capacity Analysis, Impact Analysis, e.g. of planned maintenance Real-time, federated (a single, unified view of network information) inventory provides a comprehensive view of the hybrid network and is the single source of truth for the network’s state, enabling reproducible automated deployments, monitoring, etc. As indicated above there were quite a few references to inventory management in the context of network...

Layer123 Reunion: Intelligent Network Automation Congress – Some Key Takeaways

Iricent attended the Layer123 Reunion: Intelligent Network Automation Congress held week before last in Madrid. It was great to be back at a physical in-person event again and catch up with up customers, partners and industry colleagues.  It was also a great opportunity to take stock of developments in the network automation sector and it was good to see not just significant advances in solution development, maturation in concepts, etc. in the two plus years since The Hague 2019 Layer 123 event but most importantly how business drivers for network automation were front and centre of the presentations, panel discussions, exhibits, breakouts, etc. This post summarises what were our key takeaways from the event and a follow on post will look at some of the dominant topics that commanded most attention. As always, if you would like to learn more or to discuss any of these topics in more detail then feel free to contact us directly at info@iricent.com. Drivers for Automation Most of the sessions introduced the business, technical and operational drivers for network automation summarised as follows: Domain Expansion and SDN/NFV Disaggregation Domains keep expanding: – Public 5G, Private 5G, Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Edge Cloud, Backbone WAN, Campus / LAN, Branch. Cloud is ubiquitous with virtualization extending from Edge to Core. SDN/NFV disaggregation has delivered Increased choice and technology innovation Service and business model innovation Multi-vendor collaboration But has also increased complexity and coordination costs Digital Transformation and Network Evolution On-Demand – the Digital Transformation foundation is driving network infrastructure changes to support customer self-service ordering, configuration and management via a portal or API and has...