Digital transformation is central to everything you do. It’s what determines how you build your network. It’s what sparks innovation in your business. It’s what will drive the great customer experiences of tomorrow. But without a new approach to orchestration, automation, and management, telco operators will never realize the full benefits of digital-driven initiatives such as 5G, multi-access edge computing, and the cloud.
Orchestration, automation, and management solutions support digital transformation by helping telco operators optimize processes and workflows, simplify network operations, accelerate service creation, ensure quality and reliability, and reduce operational costs. This becomes even more important, especially as the deployment of 5G and multi-access edge computing (MEC) accelerates. Despite the fact that many vendors offer orchestration, automation, and management solutions today, these solutions fail to deliver true digital transformation under the challenges facing telco operators:
- Network complexity due to multivendor, best-of-breed environments that lead to long service provisioning cycles, particularly as operators begin to decompose those services into microservices;
- Struggling to monetize use cases, even when there’s clearly market demand for the use case, because of lengthy service creation cycles and limited slicing capabilities;
- High OpEx because of multiple O&M stacks from different vendors to manage the core, the edge, and the cloud;
- Lack of service velocity as operators continue to rely on inefficient processes that do not support the need for continuous delivery, testing, and integration (CI/CD/CT);
- Too many different workflows that strain an operator’s support capabilities;
- Keeping up with evolving 5G and MEC standards from 3GPP, ETSI, TM Forum, and other groups.
So, what do operators need overcome these challenges and achieve true digital transformation? An orchestration, automation, and management platform that is designed from the ground up to support this kind of transformation. This platform would need to rapidly migrate legacy technology. It would need to accelerate new service creation by leveraging pre-defined service templates. It would have to operate seamlessly across any cloud environment. And, perhaps most importantly, it must reduce or eliminate the amount of coding needed to complete change requests and other historically resource-intensive tasks.
Where can operators find a platform like that? With Affirmed’s UnityCloud Ops.
Introducing UnityCloud Ops: Orchestration for 5G and the Cloud
Affirmed’s recently introduced UnityCloud Ops is a completely new and cloud-native solution for telco cloud operations and management. Within UnityCloud Ops are tools, products, and technology that provide the service automation, simplified “any-G” network management, and network observability that telco operators need to digitally transform their business.
UnityCloud Ops addresses the challenges that telco operators are facing today as they look to embrace 5G and cloud technologies by:
- Delivering intelligent automation through orchestration, network visibility, and big data/business intelligence;
- Providing a common user experience across any cloud environment: private, public, or hybrid;
- Supporting the leading network standards including 3GPP, SA5 O&M, and ETSI;
- Adding dozens of pre-built applications that allow operators to rapidly address 5G monetization, MANO functions, and slice management;
- Establishing the foundation for a DevOps approach to service creation that supports continuous integration, design, and testing (CI/CD/CT).
UnityCloud Ops delivers automation by implementing intelligent domain orchestration across service models, service templates, and workflows for each 5G use case. This automation features a no-code approach, instead using a GUI interface to create, orchestrate, and manage services. This approach has a number of benefits for telco operators: it eliminates the extra coding normally required for change requests and other tasks, it redirects skilled programmers to more critical tasks, and it drives down OpEx.
UnityCloud Ops offers robust slice management capabilities based on Affirmed’s unique technical approach to slice management, which addresses both the network slice management (NSM) and the network slice sub-net management function (NSSMF). Designed to interface seamlessly with third-party network functions, UnityCloud Ops simplifies and accelerates slice creation, slice monitoring, slice modification, and slice management using a standards-based approach.
Other key features of UnityCloud Ops include artifact management; lifecycle management across OpenStack, Kubernetes, and UnityCloud environments; northbound and southbound interface integration; real-time network observability through virtual probes; cloud management and optimization; and analytics/BI capabilities that support 5G’s network data analytics functions (DAF, NWDAF).
As you can see, UnityCloud Ops brings together a world of functionality to help operators simplify, accelerate, automate, and orchestrate their digital transformation in a soon-to-be 5G world. Stay tuned for more to come from Affirmed and Microsoft.