Open source and standards organizations collaborate to enable digital transformation

Via TM Forum Press & News

Jun 12, 2018

TM Forum Catalyst Projects prove the value of a single Open API standard and contribute improvements to ONAP’s Beijing Release

PARSIPPANY, NJ— June 12, 2018 TM Forum Catalyst projects showcased during the recent Digital Transformation World event in Nice, France have highlighted the value of combining open source with open standards and contributed valuable improvements to The Linux Foundation’s Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) Beijing Release, availability of which is being announced today.

The Catalyst projects, which comprise proof-of-concept demonstrations built in collaboration by groups of TM Forum member companies, used assets from ONAP, MEF and the TM Forum’s Open API program to demonstrate the business value that cooperation can bring.

TM Forum Open APIs carrying MEF defined payloads provide the northbound interfaces in the ONAP Beijing Release, allowing for orders to be placed and fulfilled as well as QoS to be monitored. Development of the APIs, and changes necessary to accommodate various use cases, was done in parallel between The Linux Foundation, MEF and TM Forum. All groups openly cooperated via their mutual members.

During their development, the Catalysts provided early implementation feedback to the ONAP project and MEF, improving the overall quality of their respective deliverables. During preparation for the Digital Transformation World event, the Catalyst projects generated and resolved a number of issues and change requests for ONAP in time for the Beijing Release.

By collaborating closely with ONAP and MEF, TM Forum ensures that its Open APIs provide a single standard for the whole industry.

The 5G Intelligent Service Operations Catalyst (championed by AT&T, BT, KDDI, NTT, Orange, TIM, Telenor and Vodafone, and supported by MYCOM-OSI, Netcracker, Tech Mahindra and TEOCO) demonstrated how communications service providers (CSPs) can enable new services by managing 5G network slices at events like the Tour de France, including 4K video streaming, drone-based broadcasting and IoT-provided statistics. The project showcased end-to-end slice management, dynamic service orchestration, reactive and proactive assurance, and policy management that assures service level agreements and customer experience using multi-level closed-loop automation. Integrated ONAP policy management, with service orchestrator and an external assurance system delivers slice level closed loop implementation and integration with the service layer.

The 5G Intelligent Service Planning and Optimization Catalyst, (championed by AT&T, BT, NTT, Orange and TIM, and supported by Aria Networks, Ericsson, MYCOM-OSI, and Wipro) demonstrated how a 5G network can be dynamically planned, optimized, integrated and assured, also using the Tour de France scenario. It showed dynamic service creation and planning along with reactive and proactive closed loop automation in conjunction with AI to provide an optimized and personalized customer experience.

The Automating Network As A Service Catalyst (championed by Telstra, AT&T, Orange, Vodafone and MEF, and supported by Ciena, DGIT Systems, Infosys and Riverbed) used operational domain management, TM Forum Open APIs and MEF Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) to demonstrate automated orchestration of services across multiple providers and over diverse network technology domains. It showed how services can be ordered through a portal and then automatically activated across hybrid networks made up of virtualized and physical components, allowing CSPs to build automated, model-driven digital ecosystems. Specifically, the project showed how to implement LSO across multiple operational network domains using an architecture based on a Hybrid Infrastructure Platform defined by TM Forum’s Zero-touch Orchestration Operations and Management project, with self-service ordering and an “offer canvas” experience.

The Blade Runner Catalyst (championed by Vodafone, AT&T, BT, Du, NTT, Orange, TIM and Verizon, and supported by BearingPoint, CENX, EXFO, Infosys, and Riverbed) focused on enabling the end-to-end orchestration and closed loop assurance of a composite set of cloud services across a diverse partner ecosystem (service providers and digital enablers) using the TM Forum Open Digital Architecture, while contributing towards ONAP standards. The project demonstrated the means to rapidly design and deploy services and products in a consistent fashion in the core or at the edge (Mobile Edge Computing) by making use of standard modelling languages and interfaces. The project also addressed wholesale billing for cloud services and automated assurance, proposing new ways to standardize policy and SLA management using a pre-defined model.

“Bringing together standards and opensource contributions is THE way forward,” said Thierry Souche, Orange Group CIO. “In Orange, we strongly support TM Forum open APIs and ONAP. In a matter of a few months our team contributed a polymorphic API implementation for the first ONAP northbound APIs (service order, service catalog and service inventory) to the ONAP Beijing release, representing more than 11,000 lines of code and more than 75 commits. At the same time, these “network as a service” APIs were proven by the Automating Network As A Service Catalyst, together with MEF – a significant step for IT and network communities around the world.”

“TM Forum Catalysts are the showcase event for innovative proof of concepts in Digital Telecoms Operations and Management. Showcasing innovation on its own is not enough – operators must deliver automated, interoperable services at scale on shared platforms. These award-winning Catalyst projects demonstrated very different innovations but, crucially, for the first time they were built on a common reference architecture combining ONAP, TM Forum open APIs and MEF-defined service payloads. We see this as a critical step towards bringing these innovations to life for our customers,” commented Carlos Valero, Global IT Strategy & Architecture Director, Vodafone.

“We believe that the digital first approach is a necessity to capitalize on the potential of 5G, and service providers who digitally transform now will be in pole position to turn on 5G,” said Mats Karlsson, head of OSS at Ericsson. “Collaboration across industry organizations, as seen in these Catalyst projects, is key to achieving a digital first architecture and the unprecedented agility it will bring.”

“The advanced and complex use cases showcased in these Catalysts are excellent examples of how the MEF 3.0 framework, including the MEF services definitions and LSO Reference Architecture, can be used in combination with TM Forum APIs to accelerate the transformation and automation of service providers’ business and operational systems,” said Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF. “MEF’s inter-provider LSO Sonata API standardization effort extends multiple TM Forum Open APIs to enable orchestration of MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet and other emerging MEF 3.0 services.”

“While 5G significantly increases communication capabilities, cost effectiveness will be the key driver for large scale adoption. This emphasizes the need for industry collaboration to create solutions for dynamic planning and continuous optimization of resources in line with varied and changing business requirements,” said Viswanathan Ramaswamy, VP and 5G Champion, Wipro Limited.

“Effective service level monitoring and policy management will be paramount to ensure CSP customer satisfaction,” said TEOCO CTO, Shachar Ebel. “TEOCO is proud to have played a leading role in the 5G Intelligent Service Operations Catalyst alongside our collaborators. The resulting open ecosystem demonstrates how closed-loop automation can ensure quality of service across dynamic and static network slices, allowing new-generation services to be operationalized, orchestrated and monetized.”

“The Automating Network as a Service Catalyst used TM Forum Catalog and Ordering APIs to demonstrate that model driven changes to Dynamic Orchestrated Networks (Blue Planet), Virtualized Networks (ONAP) and Partner Networks (MEF Sonata) could flow through catalogs and API powered digital channels to customers, followed by customer orders flowing seamlessly through to the networks. We are now entering a new era of interoperability using TM Forum Open APIs,” said Greg Tilton CEO, DGIT Systems.

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