“Successful Network Automation requires a solution that integrates with legacy equipment and systems and provides essential features to monetize new digital infrastructure investments”
Digital Transformation requiring network infrastructure changes to support customer self-service ordering, configuration and management via a portal or API is driving the next step in the evolution of the network – Network Cloudification, in turn, creating Next Generation Networks with new capabilities and operational requirements. Meanwhile, support for legacy and often critical or revenue generating infrastructure must remain in place as network operators continue to leverage these assets.
These new networks, often operating in combination with existing infrastructure bring great opportunity and enable new services but they also present a great challenge – the need to operate them in a different way to overcome complexity and unsustainable operating costs.
Network Automation (the replacement of the manual execution of repeatable tasks with programmed tasks) by enabling lifecycle service orchestration overcomes these challenges. As well as being critical to driving efficiency network automation is also a driver of innovation and the capture of emerging digital revenue streams such as AR.
Network automation provides the ability to orchestrate services across domains / technologies through the service life cycle of design, deployment, and operation and is critical to achieving agility, reducing operational costs and enabling new revenue generating services. Through integration between the customer facing ordering system (CPQ – Configure, Price, Quote) and the service orchestrator on-demand services can be discovered, ordered, provisioned across physical / virtual infrastructure, updated, proactively remediated and decommissioned through a self -service portal.
Network “Source of Truth” – To Automate Your Network You Need to Know Your Network
Network automation requires high data quality inventories to provide a unified view and streamline processes for building and operating the network. Knowledge is needed of what components to be incorporated in the automation, how to access those components, activities to be performed, etc. as well as the ability to handle unexpected conditions including access device fault reports. From physical/ passive to logical/active, Network Inventory Management provides the tools to detect and reconcile data quality issues.
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:
Single-Point of-Failure Prevention
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 network single source of truth (NSoT) for the network’s state, enabling reproducible automated deployments, monitoring, etc.
Our background in SDN and NFV and our detailed knowledge of controller platforms, many of which have effectively become a toolbox for automation means that we are uniquely positioned to assist both service provider and enterprise customers who are embarking on their automation journey. To learn more about Network Automation and the importance of Inventory Management as an automation enabler read our blog post here