Resource management

Hybrid infrastructure and unified resource management | Pipeline magazine

From: Ulrich Schalling

Emerging trends and technologies are disrupting the telecommunications industry and impacting all business sectors. Communications Service Providers (CSPs) must keep pace with 5G mobile deployments, IoT devices and sensors needed for new business applications, smart cities and Industry 4.0 use cases, while providing continuous uninterrupted, high-quality services quickly enough to meet requirements. of today’s gigabit society.

How can service providers successfully adapt to changing market dynamics, support these disruptive technologies, and stay ahead of the competition? The key to success is how they manage their infrastructure.

To keep pace with this increase in data volume, CSPs need to deploy more fiber for the B2B and B2C market segments, as well as additional fiber connections to mobile sites. This must be done in combination with the introduction of new technologies, virtualizations and cloud applications demanded by today’s gigabit society. Therefore, CSPs must operate a hybrid network infrastructure based on a mix of physical, logical, and virtual resources, and passive infrastructure inside and outside the factory provided by many different vendors.

While hybrid infrastructures offer service providers more possibilities and greater agility than traditional infrastructures, they also increase complexity. This is due to the different telecommunications technologies that are now merged with IT and data center techniques, in combination with resources provided by partner ecosystems, for example based on cloud models. All of these different resources and dependencies between different pieces of infrastructure need to be managed properly throughout the lifecycle.

The three most common challenges that arise when managing hybrid infrastructures are outdated inventory management systems, poor data quality, and lack of visibility across the entire network.

Many infrastructure documentation and asset inventory systems in use today are based on legacy database implementations, spreadsheets, and operations dashboards that can only answer questions about the individual infrastructure domains for which they were originally designed. These tools simply lack the capabilities to provide a transparent and holistic view of the entire infrastructure, which is precisely what is needed to manage a modern hybrid digital infrastructure. Legacy asset inventory and management tools typically fail because they are unable to provide the required level of flexibility and configurability to support the introduction of new technologies such as 5G or IoT, or the use of new virtualized or cloud-based computing resources and techniques. A new resource management solution for hybrid infrastructure management is needed to meet today’s requirements.

CSPs typically use a range of vendor- and technology-specific management systems to operate their multi-vendor, multi-technology network infrastructure. When multiple database tools and spreadsheets are used for inventory management, there is usually no reconciliation of data between the network and the different management systems. Although inventory synchronization has been discussed for decades, most current inventory systems are still not, or only partially, synchronized with the network, resulting in inconsistent information and poor quality. Datas. This in turn creates delays, errors, costly rework and ultimately lost profit.

It is difficult to determine which services will be impacted by changes within the network without complete transparency of all hierarchies and dependencies of passive cables and active networks. CSPs typically still have separate inventories of active network and passive cable infrastructure for historical reasons, but for the orchestration and automation required of today’s use cases, operational needs, and design, planning, deployment, or network transformation requirements, these siled inventory approaches are no longer viable. .

Without accurate as-is documentation, extensions cannot be planned properly, which can lead to errors and manual rework. The same applies in the event of a breakdown or