In this document, Appledore Research Group looks at the importance of automation in virtualized networks, and the new and important role that this creates for Assurance – with a broad definition of Assurance. We begin with an outline of the business and economic opportunity promised by virtualization, next, we identify the essential operational changes that success demands, we draw inferences for the transformation that must occur in the OSS/BSS/MANO environments, and finally conclude with success criteria. The goal is to help focus the industry and create a focused dialog in the industry.
Three critical – and related – points are; 1) the criticality of closed-loop automation, 2) The consequential merging of fulfillment and assurance processes, and 3) the transformation of “Assurance and Analytics”. This transformation of assurance & analytics takes them from their traditional roles as support systems for humans, to the integrated and flexible intelligence platform that triggers and guides automation, both in network and customer operations. The transformation also brings together the traditionally independent software that implemented assurance and analytics, unifies them as complementary data sources and methods, and demands that the new, unified function be highly open and flexible.
We hope this report encourages you to read all of ARG’s research on The Economics of Virtualized Networks, The Role of Closed-Loop Automation in Virtualized Networks and on Evolved Virtual Service Assurance, which, collectively form the foundation for this document.