Operators and CSPs are shifting platforms to the cloud – which means the OSS must follow. Your inventory system is critical for end-to-end cross-border services and connectivity, so should be targeted as the key OSS asset for service delivery. What’s the latest and what does it mean for NRENs?
Why is now the right time to move your OSS to the cloud?
The cloud is now established as a secure and reliable model for hosting real-time telecoms infrastructure. It’s at the heart of the next generation architecture that’s behind both 5G and core networks – and most operators are looking to shift at least some of their investments in infrastructure and service enabling assets to the cloud – public or private – as research from the TMF confirms.
In a survey from 2021, the TMF reported that around 20% of Communications Service Providers (CSPs) have shifted more than 20% of their IT workload to the cloud – with some having migrated in excess of 50%. The direction of travel is clear.
For many, it’s a question of “not if, but when” they will begin or, in some cases, even complete their cloud migration journey. In this context, it’s exciting to note that transport layer service orchestration has already begun to shift to the cloud. Solutions that enable complete automation and orchestration of L3 VPN services, among others, are now commercially available and deployed in a growing number of operator networks – from the cloud.
Ongoing projects are highlighting the viability of delivering a wide range of use cases, demonstrating how the cloud can accelerate operational transformation and automation for operators of all kinds. While service delivery assets are spearheading this shift, other supporting elements must also follow.
To support transport and network automation, OSS in the cloud is now essential
And that means the OSS. The OSS of the future must also be cloud-based. If we are to achieve automated service configuration and provisioning for, say, IP and MPLS services from the cloud, then we will need to able to provide topology, resource, and asset information for use by orchestration systems.
But the TMF’s research suggests CSPs are taking a step-by-step approach to cloud migration – so it makes sense to target specific systems for early-phase migration – and one of the most likely candidates from the OSS is the network inventory system.
Why? Well, the inventory system is at the heart of OSS transformation and operational automation. Done right, network inventory is an over-arching system that interfaces to all network elements and assets, so that it can deliver a consolidated picture and record of all of them – and thus render them available to systems that consume this information, such as orchestration and automation platforms for provisioning and configuring transport services, slices and more.
Enabling automated service delivery for distributed networks
There’s another compelling argument here. Most networks are by nature fragmented and distributed. A typical NREN network has the traditional access, transport, and core domains, but some, like GEANT, also run multi-national and cross-border networks. And it’s in such distributed networks that we’re seeing clear signs of the need to elevate operational systems and processes into the cloud, in order to drive automation and efficiencies across the entire network footprint.
NRENs are leaders in the adoption of the latest, multi-domain network technologies and if you pursue automation strategies, then these will likely be delivered from the cloud – and so will the associated resources, such as network inventory systems. So, if you are embarking on this journey, you need a network inventory system that can move with you – like IMS from VC4.
VC4-IMS – a complete inventory management solution for NRENs
VC4-IMS is a complete, intelligent inventory management system that brings data together, eliminating silos and providing a consolidated record of your network assets – physical, virtual, logical, and service – giving you clarity and supporting operational automation and transformation.
Available from the cloud, it provides the critical resource you need for your cloud journey – for distributed, multi-vendor networks and any generation of technology – and for any size of network provider.