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On the Road to Automation through OSS-Network Integration

While the talk has been about technologies like SDN, the real goal is automation of network operations. Automation will accelerate the entire operations lifecycle saving time and removing unneeded human involvement to deliver services rapidly and efficiently. It will also maximize services and network availability by pinpointing problems rapidly, often even before they occur, enabling the exercise of self-healing capabilities like dynamic multilayer restoration. The path to operations automation lies in operations support systems (OSS) interworking directly with the underlying network, and with each other, without human intervention. This enables OSS-based algorithms to continuously know about what is occurring in the network environment, from service requests, to traffic flows and resource utilization, to warnings and alarms – and then react to all of these quickly to significantly improve service responsiveness, service and network availability, and network utilization. The key to successful interworking are well-defined interfaces, covering both protocols and data models. North-south interfaces are needed from network equipment controllers to OSS, to provide information about and enable control to be exercised over the network infrastructure. East-west interfaces are needed on the OSS themselves so they communicate autonomously with each other for automation over multiple domains. The joint presentation by GRNET and ECI discusses both practical and industry initiatives at making this a reality.


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