ETSI Zero-Touch Group Tackles 5G Network Automation

ETSI Zero-Touch Group Tackles 5G Network Automation

ETSI launched a zero-touch group to tackle network automation, and it will look at automation in 5G network deployments, first.

While the Zero touch network and Service Management Industry Specification Group (ZSM ISG) will initially take on 5G network management and technologies including network slicing, it will eventually extend its focus to future network generations. The goal is to automate all operational processes and tasks.

To this end ETSI will develop a framework for managing and automating networks and services. It will also facilitate coordination between relevant standardization bodies and open source projects.

ETSI also published a white paper that outlines why operators believe automation is necessary in deploying new network architectures such as 5G. China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DoCoMo, Sprint, and Telefónicacontributed to the white paper.

Deployment of 5G networks will require a “radical change” in the way networks and services are managed, the service providers explained. This network architecture brings with it greater capacity and latency challenges, as well as greater demand for personalized services and support for massive machine communication.

To meet these challenges, networks need to become more programmable and software driven, using technologies such as network functions virtualization (NFV), software-defined networking (SDN), and multi-access edge computing (MEC). The resulting increase in network complexity, however, makes automation a necessity, said Deutsche Telekom’s Klaus Martiny, convenor of the ZSM ISG, in a statement.

“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,” Martiny said. “It is important as well that existing solutions will be considered.”

Don Clarke, chair of the network operator council of ETSI NFV ISG, talked to SDxCentral about creating the zero-touch group in early October, at the SDN and NFV World Congress event in The Hague. He said the ETSI NFV industry specification group (ISG) laid the foundation for the majority of network virtualization work. Now, ETSI thinks the time is ripe for a second ISG group to bridge the mostly static realm of service providers’ operations support systems (OSS) to their virtualized networks.

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