Fruitful discussions in the ZSM#2 meeting inspired by the peaceful Finnish countryside surrounding the Nokia Båtvik Training Center

Photo of participants at ZSM2 in HelsinkiThe second meeting of the ETSI Zero touch network and Service Management (ZSM) Industry Specification Group (ISG) was hosted by Nokia at its Båtvik Training Center in Kirkkonummi, Finland, on March 13-15, 2018.

Forty-nine experts participated in the meeting and more than one hundred contributions were submitted and discussed. The meeting started with key notes presented by Lauri Oksanen, VP Research and Technology at Nokia, on “the automation imperative” to transform economy and society and to create time.

Klaus Martiny, the ZSM ISG Chair, continued with his perspective, highlighting the steady growth of the ISG which has seen a 56% increase since the kickoff meeting. Fifty organizations have already joined the group (see the List of Members and Participants), underlining the importance of the ZSM work for future network and service automation. The fact that the ZSM experts come from different backgrounds (e.g. Telco, IT, Enterprise) is a positive development, since the ISG strives to bring these worlds together, utilizing the best that each can offer. However, this may create a slow start, since all the members need to speak a common language.

A new work item on the Proof of Concept (PoC) framework was approved during the meeting. PoCs are multi-party projects that aim to demonstrate the viability of some of the ZSM concepts and capabilities; the results and lessons learned from the PoCs are expected to be channeled to the ISG ZSM specification work. The PoC framework defines the related process, roles and responsibilities as well as the acceptance criteria. Concrete topics for the PoCs (e.g. use cases, APIs, etc.) will evolve during the ISG lifetime. The PoC framework is expected to be ready for approval by April 2018. With the PoC framework, the ZSM work programme includes six work items, covering ZSM scenarios and requirements, ZSM architecture, end-to-end management and orchestration of network slicing, ZSM landscape, means of automation and the new PoC framework.

During the meeting, a number of scenarios and related requirements were agreed on and these will be added into the ZSM001 work items. These include scenarios relating to the instantiation of end-to-end 5G networks, life-cycle management of network slicing, plug-and-play of new components into a live 5G production network, the management of end-to-end networks and service topology as well as network bandwidth resources, etc. In addition, the meeting agreed on some fundamental architectural principles and requirements that will guide the ZSM architecture and these will be added to the ZSM002 WI. These include principles of modularity, extensibility, scalability, model-driven open interfaces, closed-loop management automation and requirements relating to security and confidential communication.

The ZSM Network Operators Council (NOC) advisory group, which includes fifteen operators, met during the ZSM#2 meeting and provided recommendations to the ISG regarding ZSM-related terms. The NOC also recommended that the ZSM drafts will be made public via the ZSM open area and this was agreed on.

With regard to its external relationship, the ISG has sent liaison statements to key SDOs to inform them about the ZSM work and invite them to work in close collaboration. Furthermore, the ZSM leadership held a few meetings with the Linux Foundation Networking (LFN) management to discuss mutual interest in collaboration and to explore potential lines of cooperation. These organizations believe that Standards (working on specifications) and Open Source (working on implementation and validation) need to work together and harmonize. Specifically, ETSI ZSM and ONAP are working on automation (zero touch) and both teams are investigating how to align the requirements. Other teams are working on defining the framework of the collaboration.

The ZSM members enjoyed a social event that was organized by Nokia at the Båtvik Training Center; this included a truly unique experience of a smoke sauna by the sea and dinner.
The ISG has embarked on an exciting journey towards the automation transformation that will help operators to meet user expectations for service agility and create new business opportunities. Overall, the discussions were fruitful and excellent progress was made on the work.

The ISG is open to both ETSI members and non-ETSI members. The different players in the value chain are welcome to join the ISG effort, contribute to the development of the specifications and demonstrate Proofs of Concepts (PoCs). If you would like to participate in this work, please contact the ZSM support team.

ZSM#03 will be hosted by ZTE in Shenzhen on 04-08 June.

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