ETSI has announced the creation of the Zero touch network and Service Management Industry Specification Group (ZSM ISG), which will initially focus on 5G end-to-end network and service management such as network slicing management.
The goal of the ZSM ISG is to have all operational processes and tasks – delivery, deployment, configuration, assurance, and optimization – executed automatically, ideally with 100% automation.
The group aims to define a new, futureproof, horizontal and vertical end-to-end operable framework enabling agile, efficient and qualitative management and automation of emerging and future networks and services.
Horizontal end-to-end refers to cross-domain, cross-technology aspects. Vertical end-to-end refers to cross-layer aspects, from the resource-oriented up to the customer-oriented layers. The ZSM group will also facilitate the coordination and cooperation between relevant standardization bodies and open source projects.
The challenges introduced by the disruptive deployment of 5G trigger the need for network transformation and a radical change in the way networks and services are managed and orchestrated. These challenges are driven by the wide range of 5G requirements, including massive, seemingly infinite capacity, imperceptive latency, demand for personalized services and unmatched degree of experience, global web-scale reach and support for massive machine communication. Networks need to evolve towards programmable, software-driven, service-based and holistically-managed architectures, using the technology enablers and catalysts, such as NFV, SDN and MEC. New business models, including those enabled by technology breakthroughs such as network slicing, support new markets and impose unprecedented operational agility and higher cooperation across network domains.
The resulting exponential increase in overall complexity makes automation a necessity, says Klaus Martiny, convenor of the ETSI ZSM ISG.
“There are many issues that are currently hindering the automation of operations and Network and Service Management functionalities that need to be addressed at an industry level,” says Martiny. “A primary goal of the ZSM ISG is to identify requirements on the necessary management architecture and interfaces to support the end-to-end zero touch network and service management in a multi-vendor environment. It is important as well that existing solutions will be considered”.