TM Forum releases blueprint for managing legacy/virtual networks

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TM Forum has launched a blueprint intended to help communication service providers (CSPs) address the operational challenges of managing hybrid network environments – that is, virtualized network infrastructure and systems alongside traditional infrastructure.

The “Implementation and Deployment Blueprints for Hybrid Environments” blueprint offers TM Forum members a standardized and interoperable approach to solving the fragmentation between traditional and virtualized infrastructures and systems.

Industry and standards bodies have been developing standardized ways to manage new virtualized networks and systems. Until now, little attention has been given to the complex operational challenge of managing the move to virtualized networks alongside maintaining mission critical traditional infrastructures.

The Hybrid Infrastructures Blueprint goes beyond the very basic management capabilities typically deployed with NFV today – it’s a complete implementation and deployment blueprint for managing a multi-vendor, hybrid NFV infrastructure, providing CSPs with measured ways to manage the migration between virtualized and traditional environments, creating a smoother digital transformation, said TM Forum CEO Nik Willetts.

“As the telecoms industry rapidly transforms, it is essential that enabling technology and standards are put in place to allow existing infrastructures and systems to communicate with new and future architectures,” said Willetts. “The Hybrid Infrastructures Blueprint provides the practical help that TM Forum’s CSP members need to navigate what is a complex and lengthy digital transformation.”

Collaboratively developed by service providers, vendors and other stakeholders in TM Forum’s ZOOM (Zero-touch Orchestration, Operations and Management) project, the blueprint contains practical solutions and information, including open APIs, information models, best practices and deployment guides, which assist in the delivery of the standard interface required for multi-vendor hybrid deployments. It provides a number of management capabilities not currently available together in a standardized package, including resource function activation and configuration, inventory management, catalog management, and assurance.

The suite of documents is being offered as part of TM Forum’s Agile OSS/BSS Toolkit which provides a range of assets – including the Hybrid Infrastructures Blueprint – to support architects and other members of the IT community in realizing OSS/BSS solutions according to best IT practices and in line with the requirements of digital service providers.

“Operators today are faced with the massive challenge of managing hybrid infrastructure composed of virtual and physical components,” said Milind Bhagwat, Enterprise Architect at BT. “The intent-based, catalog-driven and policy-enabled approach for management of the Hybrid Infrastructure Platform delivered by the Blueprint allows us to effectively automate end-to-end service provisioning and management. And as it is now well known, automation is the key that unlocks the benefits of network virtualization.”

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