Industry Specification Group (ISG) Zero Touch Network and Service Management (ZSM) Activity Report 2019

Chair: Klaus Martiny, Deutsche Telekom

Examining use cases and requirements for zero-touch network and service management, enabling agile service delivery and new business opportunities.

The automation of network and service management has become an urgent necessity to deliver 5G services with speed and agility, while ensuring the economic sustainability of a diverse set of services.

Maximizing the efficiency of end-to-end network operations requires increased automation of functions – from configuration and capacity management to fault management – that are currently administered with direct human intervention.

Driven by documented business scenarios, our ISG on Zero Touch Network and Service Management (ZSM) is examining requirements for tomorrow’s ‘zero touch’ networks. The ultimate goal is the creation of totally autonomous networks where all operational processes and tasks including delivery, deployment, self-configuration, monitoring, assurance and optimization can be executed without manual supervision.

In 2019 ISG ZSM published three Group Specifications.

GS ZSM 001 describes various use cases and requirements for zero touch end-to-end network and service management. Examining various business-oriented scenarios and related automation challenges faced by operators and other industry sectors, it defines the architectural, functional and operational requirements for end-to-end network and service automation.

GS ZSM 002 presents a modular, flexible, service-based reference architecture to satisfy these requirements, supporting open interfaces as well as model-driven service and resource abstraction.

GS ZSM 007 offers an accompanying glossary of related terms and concepts.

During the year the Chair of ISG ZSM collaborated with corresponding Chairs of our  ENI, MEC and NFV ISGs on the drafting of a joint White Paper ‘Network Transformation (Orchestration, Network and Service Management Framework’) that was published in October.

ISG ZSM maintained its regular exchange of information with other ETSI bodies (ENI, MEC, NFV) as well as with external SDOs and fora, including GSMA, 3GPP SA5, ITU-T SG15 and ONAP.

The signature in 2019 of an MoU between ETSI and the Linux Foundation opened new opportunities for collaboration. ISG ZSM plans to work constructively with open source communities, including the ONAP project, to ensure alignment and allow the integration of open-source software components in ZSM-based solutions.

Look out for in 2020 – ISG ZSM work in progress

  • Group Specification (GS) on end-to-end management and orchestration of network slicing
  • GS on inter management domain lifecycle management - specifying communication patterns and information flows interactions between service producer and service consumer, as well as functional requirements, interfaces and operations in support of automated cross-domain lifecycle management
  • GS on closed-loop automation enablers - specifying how to automatically deploy and configure closed loops involving both E2E service management and management domains
  • GS on closed-loop automation: solutions for automation of E2E service and network management use cases
  • Group Report (GR) exploring different existing means or approaches to achieve automation
  • GR on closed-loop automation advanced topics related to operations such as learning and cognitive capabilities (e.g. based on different degrees of use and integration of artificial intelligence technologies), ways to set and evaluate levels of oversight, autonomy, and operational confidence on the behaviour of closed loops
  • GR on general security aspects of ZSM framework and solutions – identifies potential security threats and mitigation considerations to be addressed in ZSM standardization activities