Service orchestration and service assurance
A new breed of service lifecycle management
Service orchestration and service assurance are keys to unlock the value of your network and to open new revenue opportunities. Although service management has been in place for years, the two concepts have traditionally been separated at the process level and at the tooling level. We believe, merging them is fundamental to service lifecycle management.
Moving to a comprehensive service lifecycle management approach
As consumer value creation opportunities are limited to small ARPU increases, CSPs aggressively turn to vertical industry markets to drive their growth. However, with the combination of increased network complexity and new vertical industry partnership models, this cannot be managed effectively without a practical service lifecycle construct. To achieve scale and cost efficiencies, to enable rapid design, deployment and assurance of Service Level Agreement (SLA) based services, it's critical to bring service orchestration and service assurance together into a single, integrated round-trip set of processes.
As new service concepts such as network slicing and Network as a Service (NaaS) are introduced and as more standards-aligned ways to manage service lifecycles are defined, Nokia is positioned as a key driver to help bring these new operational methods to bear.
Mapping your journey to customer-centric 5G operations
We see this as a stepwise evolution, not a “big-bang” that needs to happen all at once. We visualize this above. The traditionally separated OSS fulfillment and OSS service assurance processes move from left to right over time to eventually become fully integrated with the addition of service orchestration capabilities. We see steps along the way that deliver tactical returns while supporting the left-to-right movement are proving to be a successful strategy within the marketplace.
Understanding customer-centric automated operations
As we move toward integrated service lifecycle management, Nokia’s approach is to integrate the atomic functions of service orchestration and service assurance together based upon a common underlying data model.
What is service orchestration?
Using intent-based interfaces, service orchestration interprets service requirements, sets the policies and methods for connections made through the network to support those requirements and sets the policies for the related SLAs for the services.
In 5G-era networks, service orchestration needs to be intent-based to enable your clients to request digital services and network slices in business terms to reduce friction in B2B commerce.
The service orchestration system sits between the commercial layer at top and the underlying network beneath. It abstracts the network complexity to expose capabilities in business terms. It provides the interface to the service order management process and it choreographs the construction of services across the network domains.
This provides the interface to network orchestration systems that carry out the necessary steps within the respective network domains to support the end-to-end services.
What is service assurance?
Service assurance manages the adherence to criteria that have been set for the networks and services. These include:
External criteria such as SLAs that bind the CSP to agreed commercial terms with their customers
Internal criteria such as performance, availability, and reliability that the CSP has set for itself to meet
These external and internal criteria are defined within the service assurance system to set the measurement benchmarks based on business intent. Modern service assurance systems share common modeling and policies that are set during the service design phase to ensure the ability to meet the requirements.
To support the complexity of 5G-era networks, the network and service assurance processes must seamlessly interoperate. This is necessary to ensure the hierarchical alignment of the network layer, the service layer and the customer layer in order to set operational prioritizations.
Why is unified inventory critical for service lifecycle management?
For CSPs to achieve service and network automation, there must be a trust and reliance upon data including the currency of the data in near real-time.
According to Appledore Research, with evolved virtualized and containerized networks, there are hundred-fold increases in operational actions and the round-trip process to design, deploy and assure services must be automated to work at scale. This begins with the discovery and reconciliation of services and the resources that comprise the services and the constant near real-time synchronization with these.
The logical inventory must be based upon modern processing techniques to ensure the read/write refresh rates that guarantee data confidence can be trusted to base automated actions upon.
A unified inventory capability therefore provides a common data plane that is the foundation for automated service orchestration and service assurance functions.
Why choose Nokia Digital Operations software for service orchestration and service assurance?
Because Nokia’s unique understanding of all the underlying networking technologies plus Nokia’s industry-leading software line of business combine to make Nokia a unique partner who knows what needs to be done and has proven expertise in making it happen. The script for successful service lifecycle management has been written and Nokia excels at these things as outlined in the case studies.