Understanding LSO, OSS, and NGOSSExanova provides the industry’s only comprehensive LSO solution for SDN and NFV
Service Assurance in LSO, OSS, and NGOSS Frameworks
Operations support systems (OSS) provide the service fulfillment and service assurance tools that service providers require to operate their networks successfully. A range of factors over the last two decades have transformed the market and made legacy OSSs difficult and costly to maintain.
Further, the rapid and explosive growth in market demand for data services, the rapidly growing number of network technologies and devices, the growth of big data analytics, and the drive toward convergence. Next-gen OSSs (NGOSS) and Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) solutions respond to the challenges posed both by aging OSSs and by the change in the nature of data services in different ways with different benefits.
CENX provides service assurance within the LSO framework, based on MEF Standard 55, assisting network service providers in their efforts to deliver “agile, assured, and orchestrated” services.
LSO: Deploy and Assure Services Intelligently End-to-End
While OSSs and NGOSSs provide important tools to service providers, there are key problems neither solves. Providing an abstraction layer that enables service providers to drive the transformation of their networks to SDN and NFV with easier, more consistent orchestration is critical to long-term success. Abstraction provides the consistency required to fulfill and assure services effectively across the full range of contemporary networking technologies, products, and topologies. LSO solutions provide this layer of abstraction, providing complementary if different functionality to OSSs and NGOSSs.
This is an important distinction between lifecycle services orchestrator and other solutions. A wide range of OSS, NGOSS, and NSO solutions capture and analyze data and may provide a view into data but on a siloed basis. A LSO solution gathers data across the siloes, from both legacy and next-gen OSS applications and other sources, analyzes it with big data analytics to make the information actionable, and provides the service deployment and assurance tools requires to orchestrate data services across physical network functions, VNFs and SNDs quickly and cost-effectively.
As a result, LSO solutions provide service providers with the big-picture, abstracted, and holistic view of their data services. Of course, not all LSO solutions are equal. Some may not provide continuously audited data to ensure accurate views of network inventory and service topology, as well as on- and off-net segments. Others many not provide the integrated, modularized service deployment or service assurance tools necessary to deploy and assure the high quality, highly available services that users expect. More information on LSO is available through the MEF website.
OSS: Powerful but Incomplete
Traditionally, OSSs are groups of applications arranged as a system used by service providers to support service fulfillment and service assurance. The individual parts working together enable service providers to better operate and manage their networks. Along with business support systems (BSS) to address charging and billing, customer relationship management, and other business requirements, OSSs provided the information systems necessary for network operators to do business successfully.
As a consequence, the costs to maintain and integrate disparate legacy systems, as well as their data and information stores have rapidly escalated. The change in market conditions and technology has driven new approaches to network operations and service orchestration. Newer approaches emphasize the deployment of new services quickly to drive revenue, while also ensuring that services work to an expected level of quality in order to provide high quality user experiences to subscribers while reducing costs.
NGOSS: Next-Gen but Still Siloed
What constitutes an NGOSS is a bit open-ended. While the TeleManagment Forum (TMForum) publishes a business solution framework for NGOSSs, vendors are not required to adhere to specific standards in order to market their solutions. As a rule, however, NGOSSs respond to the contemporary problems of network operations to varying degrees. However, some may focus on either service fulfillment or service assurance, providing only a partial solution; other may not capture a logical model of the network’s service topology, on- and off-net services, instead providing a more rudimentary sense of the network’s physical inventory.