Zero touch network & Service Management

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Zero touch network and Service Management is conceived as a next-generation management system that leverages the principles of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN). It will be designed for the new, cloud-based network infrastructures and functions, and based on cloud-native principles to address zero-touch (fully automated) management and operation.
The challenges introduced by the deployment of new network foundations such as NFV and new architectures such as 5G trigger the need to accelerate network transformation and radically change the way networks and services are managed and orchestrated.

These new network architectures come with an extreme range of requirements, including massive capacity (perceived as infinite in practice), imperceptible latency, ultra-high reliability, personalized services with dramatic improvements in customer-experience, global web-scale reach, and support for massive machine-to-machine communication. Networks are being transformed into programmable, software-driven, service-based and holistically-managed infrastructures, utilising enablers and catalysts, such as NFV, SDN and Edge Computing.

New business models, including those enabled by technology breakthroughs such as Network Slicing, are being considered to support new markets, imposing unprecedented operational agility and higher cooperation across network and service domains. The resulting extended reach of network and service delivery, and the exponential increase in overall complexity of end-to-end management and operation makes automation a dire and urgent necessity.

Upcoming events

  • ZSM Interim#2, 11-13 September 2018, Munich, Germany
  • ZSM#04, 22-26 October 2018, Kansas City, United States
  • ZSM#05, 03-07 December 2018, Sophia Antipolis, France
  • ZSM#06, 12-15 March 2019, Melbourne, Australia

Our Industry Specification Group Zero touch network and Service Management (ISG ZSM) will define a new, future-proof, horizontal and vertical end-to-end operable framework enabling agile, efficient and qualitative management and automation of emerging and future networks and services.

The goal is to have all operational processes and tasks (e.g. delivery, deployment, configuration, assurance, and optimization) executed automatically, ideally with 100% automation. ISG ZSM will initially focus on the 5G end-to-end network and service management (e.g. network slicing management) and will extend to the management for future network generations. We aim to facilitate the coordination and cooperation between relevant standardization bodies and open source projects.

The unique value of ISG ZSM will be in providing guidance for the implementation of management interfaces as well as coordinating and giving directions to achieve automated end-to-end network and service management solutions and architecture. As part of the end-to-end solution, the management architecture and interfaces will be identified to support the end-to-end zero touch network and service management in a multi-vendor environment.

ISG ZSM will study and document use cases and analyse the related challenges. It will review and reuse existing standardized solutions wherever applicable, and conduct feasibility studies. We will also evaluate and consider deliveries from open source projects. Based on these inputs, we will derive corresponding requirements and specify an end-to-end network and service management reference architecture.
It is proposed to complement the cooperation with other standardization bodies and open source projects with interoperability testing specifications, test platforms, acceptance tests, and test results dissemination in the context of end-to-end management and automation. This work will be done in collaboration with the related organizations.

The list of ZSM related deliverables in draft stage is available via the ETSI Work Programme on the Portal.

ETSI standards on ZSM will be available on this page as soon as they are publicly available.

A full list of related standards in the public domain will be accessible via the ETSI standards search. Via this interface you can also subscribe for alerts on updates of ETSI standards.

Standard No. Standard title.
GS ZSM 006 Zero touch network and Service Management (ZSM); Proof of Concept Framework

ZSM Blog

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The ZSM interim#1 meeting was hosted by Ericsson on 9-12 July, 2018 at their headquarters in Kista, Sweden, in a meeting room which was named after Hilda, the wife of Ericsson’s founder. The meeting was a good opportunity for the ZSM team to discuss additional scenarios, advance the ZSM architecture work and demonstrate the first ZSM PoC.

ZSM 2018 Interim 1

As described in great-strides-made-by-technical-brainstorming-at-zsm-3, the ZSM architecture supports the separation of management and automation into different areas of concern, i.e. management domains. At the ZSM interim#1 meeting and in follow-up conference calls, agreement was reached on the high-level architecture inside a management domain (depicted in Figure 1 below). Each domain includes functional components (FCs) that perform specific task(s) and expose one or more management services via service interface(s). Some of the services are internal services and can only be consumed by authorized functional components inside the domain. Other services can be exposed and also consumed by authorized functional components outside the domain (including those contained in the E2E service management domain and the digital storefront). The management services within the management domain are assembled into logical groups, such as domain control services, domain orchestration services, domain intelligence services and domain assurance services. The architecture is designed to enable closed-loop automation (connecting assurance and fulfillment processes) where the automated decision-making mechanisms (e.g. self-optimization and automated service assurance) can be bounded by rules and policies.

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The ZSM ISG reached a significant milestone, agreeing on the baseline for the ZSM architecture

The third ZSM meeting was hosted by Huawei on June 04-08, 2018, in the fascinating Chinese city of Shenzhen.

The meeting was particularly special because of the intensive and fruitful ad hoc technical brainstorming that took place during the week, enabling thorough consideration of the requirements, architectural principles and design. By the end of the meeting, the ZSM group had agreed on the baseline for a service-based, end-to-end management architecture (depicted in Figure 1 below). The architecture enables automation at scale and allows all operational processes and tasks – delivery, deployment, configuration, assurance, and optimization – to be executed automatically.

The architectural principles and requirements were agreed on with the aim of shaping the architectural baseline and guiding its further development during the standardization process. The architecture is modular, flexible and extensible. It allows deployments that can be adapted to different volumes of managed entities and/or to various scales of the geographic distribution of these entities. Modules can be independently deployed and scaled. The functional components of the architecture will also be designed for failure – so that management services can cope with failure of themselves and of the infrastructure without or only with modest service degradation.


Figure 1: ZSM Architecture

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ZSM2-Helsinki-2018The 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.

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