Automated Testing and Monitoring Shares the Spotlight with OSM at MWC 2017

A surprising plot twist puts T&M on center stage  

Kaela Loffler, Netrounds

March 2017

By Kaela Loffler, Director, Marketing & Industry Alliances, Netrounds

There are several key figures that we could use to sum up Mobile World Congress 2017: 108,000 attendees, of which 6,100 were CEOs, visitors from 208 countries or territories, over 2,300 exhibitors, and 322 speakers across the four days. However, the figures most exciting to us in the Open Source MANO community are these: ten companies coming together to show and demonstrate three different proofs of concept using OSM Rel ONE just one year after Open Source MANO was announced at MWC 2016.

We took the time to race between the vast halls of the Fira Gran Via to see these live PoC demos in action. Following is a short summary of each.

RADCOM premiered their MaveriQ solution running on OSM to show that the tight integration of the service assurance stack with OSM can enable on-demand virtual probing that will be automatically deployed and configured when new services are launched or service changes are made. The power play here is thorough monitoring of customer experience and service performance using real-time packet capture so that horizontal and vertical scaling can occur without human intervention to accommodate fluctuating network traffic and resource needs. 

In the booth, Telenor, Intel, Netrounds, Arctos Labs and debuted their DevOps in Service Chains and 5G Network Slices PoC. What are the key takeaways here? Active testing is key for implementing DevOps agility into virtual and 5G networks, and automated test and monitoring will be critical for operators to deliver assured services in these increasingly complex and dynamic environments. The PoC goes deeper technically to illustrate that active test agents should be included in network service design stages so that service models describe which KPIs to actively measure and assure throughout the service lifecycle.Are you sensing a common theme? Testing, monitoring, automation. Testing, monitoring, automation. 

Finally, proceeding to the Canonical stand, we saw Ixia, DataArt Solutions and Sonus teaming up with Canonical to demonstrate the integration of automated VNF verification for network services using OSM. The main takeaway from this PoC is that the automated deployment and execution of carrier-grade network testing and service monitoring will be critical for the assurance of service quality in diverse, virtual network environments. So once again, the themes of testing, monitoring and automation makes their way to the forefront.

When the Open Source MANO team put out a call to action for OSM participating organizations showing demonstrations of OSM at MWC, we did not expect to receive word of demonstrations that all relate to testing and monitoring virtualized network services. Although the companies participating in the PoCs do more than NFV T&M, it is apparent that the role of active testing is only making its silver screen debut in what will be a very long career. Pairing our T&M leading lady with advanced service and resource orchestrator players on the virtual scene will enable end-to-end service assurance in a completely automated fashion – even when the whims of the capricious director call for small cast alterations here, a scene reassessment there, or a full-on location change. Service assurance may be trending and in the spotlight today, but with the desire for added dynamism and dynamite service quality for increasingly demanding patrons, it is no surprise that vendors in our space are rushing to remedy any foreseeable problems so that service providers will receive all five stars from their harshest critics (the subscribers). 

If you missed OSM at Mobile World Congress, we will be present at several industry events coming soon. Catch us at the MPLS + NFV + SDN World Congress coming up in Paris from March 21st to 24th. There will be an OSM Session on Tuesday the 21st starting at 14:00 that will include an OSM overview and two live demos.