Break out of the automation silos and get ready for 5G and DevOps
Digital transformation is a pretty hot topic right now, with many Communications Service Providers (CSPs) expressing an interest in exploring the possibilities of automation across the end-to-end network lifecycle as an essential component to underpin and deliver 5G and DevOps.
It’s a message I love to hear, yet at the same time CSPs speak about the challenges they face. These include re-using automation, working collaboratively across domains and cutting the time to get new software or configuration changes into production.
It’s the siloes that block the benefits
Most CSPs' efforts in automation are limited to specific parts of the network and IT infrastructure. This is because automation is often developed as standalone scripts used by separate domain teams, such as IMS, 5G Core, or NFVI. In addition, each team creates and manages automation using its own environment - the lack of a single platform can cause delays and require frequent manual updates.
Highly skilled software engineers end up repeating the work done by their colleagues, as teams cannot see or use the automation other teams have developed. Costs rise, efficiency suffers and automation takes more time to introduce.
Simply put, the siloed approach holds CSPs back, preventing them from realizing the full benefits of automation.
A different way of working is needed
DevOps and Agile service delivery needs people, processes and technology to work together better, allowing the full-service lifecycle to be automated and delivery times to be cut.
Nokia achieves these goals with its Digital Automation Framework (DAF), which provides a common platform, allowing teams to collaborate to create, re-use, execute and monitor end-to-end automation workflows across multiple domains – IMS, SDM, NFVI and 5G Core.
Using the automation platform, engineers develop automation artifacts or digitized methods of procedures (DigiMOPs). These are made available in a catalog, allowing other domain teams to use them to create end-to-end automation workflows that can be adapted to specific customer requirements and different service delivery scenarios.
They enable the realization of use cases such as single-click automated software integration, testing and delivery; automated configuration deployment; streamlined automated software updates; and closed-loop automation in the live network.
This approach provides an overarching layer for end-to-end development and administration of automation workflow, supporting the adoption of DevOps. The automation platform uses Nokia’s existing CI/CD automation assets, as well as Nokia solutions for both test automation (read more in our previous blog) and predictive network monitoring.
Speeding up the delivery cycle
Automated methods of service delivery can improve efficiency over the network lifecycle dramatically, cutting delivery times by up to 74 percent and reducing delivery costs by up to 31 percent. In addition, automation cuts human errors, improving reliability in the delivery process by up to 90 percent.
Breaking out of the siloes and working together to create re-usable automation is the key. If you want to know more, look out for Nokia’s upcoming roadshows – taking place at our customers’ premises across the globe. They will take an in-depth look at how to break out of the silos and gain all the benefits of automation.
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