Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: John Walsh, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Sven Olav Lund, Simon Hill

News Feed Item

Nudging the Network toward Self-optimization

LONDON, March 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Reportbuyer.com just published a new market research report:

Nudging the Network toward Self-optimization

This report will examine the various forms SON might take, as well as CSPs' concerns and drivers for SON. It will also cover some of the approaches appearing in the market today; and, finally, offer Stratecast's analysis on where SON is headed.

Introduction

There are several exciting and potentially game-changing innovations underway for communication networks and the software architectures that support them. The self-organizing network (SON) is only the latter. It is neither as new nor exciting as Software Defined Networking (SDN) or Network Function Virtualization (NFV). These developments have captured the industry's imagination. They are generating buzz, as well as serious activity within standards bodies and in the roadmaps of communications service providers. With a few notable exceptions, such as AT&T's implementation, SON is not generating the same momentum. Stratecast believes the enthusiasm gap stems from SDN and NFV being broad architectural transformations. They are exciting because they are disruptive, and because they represent change and forward thinking. SON simply makes network operators better at what they already do. It enhances processes that CSPs have employed for decades, such as planning and engineering, capacity management, troubleshooting, service assurance, and optimization.

Although SDN and SON are currently what the late zoologist and geologist, Stephen Jay Gould, would call "non-overlapping magisteria" (meaning they operate in separate domains), there is potential for the technologies to become more entwined as they begin to drive software-driven architectures.

That SON should command less attention than SDN or NFV is unfortunate; but also may be a positive sign that CSPs are now truly focusing on developments that directly benefit the customer experience rather than the bottom line, which SON can certainly help them deliver. Some would argue that SON also improves the customer experience by ensuring that capacity meets demand—but Stratecast views SON primarily as a streamlining and optimization exercise, for now.

Also, SON will not get the inter-departmental push the other technologies get because it is not something CSPs can easily charge for. It is not a revenue generator. Besides, CSPs are in no hurry to hand over the planning, configuration and maintenance of their networks to a computer. Still, SON will come. It is a significant step in a long-desired direction. It will not come all at once, but will proceed tentatively from the largely manual process that exists today, to a semi-automated process— where Stratecast believes it will linger until some brave or desperate CSP goes fully automatic.

This report will examine the various forms SON might take, as well as CSPs' concerns and drivers for SON. It will also cover some of the approaches appearing in the market today; and, finally, offer Stratecast's analysis on where SON is headed.

Optimization Takes a 'Selfie'

technologies by their full name, relying instead on acronyms, only exacerbates the problem. SON is no exception. As stated in the introduction, the underlying concepts of SON are not new; programmability and automation have been the goal of network engineers for decades. But the tools necessary for achieving them have only recently evolved to the degree at which they become plausible. As described in this report, the terminology is evolving with it.

Self-Organizing Network guidelines were first introduced as part of the 3GPP's LTE specification, in 2008, for the radio access portion of the network known as the RAN. Although the term Self-Organizing Networks remains the official terminology within the standard, most operators and vendors that Stratecast spoke with for this report refer to SON as "Self-Optimizing Networks."

According to the 3GPP standards, optimization is just one of three functional subgroups of Self-Organizing Networks. The subgroups of SON are self-configuration, self-optimization, and self-healing. Ultimately, all three subgroups optimize the network in their own way. They are intrinsically connected; and Stratecast takes no issue with referring to SON as self-optimizing rather than self-organizing. Another way to think about it is that the term "self-organizing" refers to what the technology does for the network; and "self-optimizing" refers to what it does for the business. Still, it is important to understand the three subgroups more specifically:

Self-Configuration – The self-configuration function, or subgroup, focuses on the pre-service deployment of various network elements, primarily in the radio access network (RAN). The goal is to allow base stations and other elements to establish connectivity, and configure parameters on their own, as they are switched on. In this manner, they discover their place in the network and the configurations of their neighbor and adjacent cells; which, in turn, automatically adjust to their new neighbors. While this initially does not eliminate the need for engineering to design and plan the overall network configuration, it should significantly reduce the time it takes to prepare, install, turn up, and configure new elements in the network This will become increasingly important as small cells and heterogeneous networks proliferate, as is expected.

Self-Optimization – The self-optimization function, or subgroup, is designed to improve coverage by maximizing the utilization of network elements, and conserving the power to run them. It concentrates on the growing number of parameters that need to be set and reset in response to changing requirements in traffic, time-of-day demand, emergency coverage, environmental conditions, and the health of other network elements. Eventually, it will include the automatic reconfiguration of antenna-tilt settings for a new generation of radio.
Self-Healing – The self-healing function, or subgroup, will respond to service degradation or system failures by automatically adjusting parameters, configurations, or physical tilt in neighboring nodes to compensate for lost coverage. This self-healing function could change the dynamic of troubleshooting networks, and improve mean-time-to-repair and service quality. It could also reduce the severity and duration of service affecting outages.

As promising as SON is—within each of its components—network operations departments are not ready to manage a fully autonomous network. Network planners are not ready for self-configuration. Network engineers are not ready for self-optimizing networks. As one North American operator said, "We don't know how to run that kind of network."

Most of the concern over rushing into SON stems from a reluctance to embrace real-time modifications to active network configurations. Of primary concern is losing the point-of-reference for troubleshooting when something goes wrong or a series of parameter changes does not have the desired effect. CSPs are wondering if they might have to completely rethink the network maintenance processes that have stood the test of time for more than fifty years. Stratecast believes that before CSPs get comfortable with network-wide, real-time network configuration changes, they will apply SON to localized portions of their networks, or through "distributed SON"—one of three SON architectures.

Table of Contents

1 | NUDGING THE NETWORK TOWARD SELF-OPTIMIZATION

OSSCS 14-11
1. Introduction
2. Optimization Takes a 'Selfie'
3. A Nagging Discomfort with Networks on Autopilot - CSPs Speak Out
4. CSPs Reveal Their Motivations and Expected Benefits from SON
5. Advancing Toward SON
6. Stratecast - The Last Word
7. About Stratecast
8. About Frost & Sullivan

Read the full report:
Nudging the Network toward Self-optimization
http://www.reportbuyer.com/telecoms/misc_telecoms/nudging_network_toward_self_optimization.html#utm_source=prnewswire&utm_medium=pr&utm_campaign=Telecommunication_Services

For more information:
Sarah Smith
Research Advisor at Reportbuyer.com
Email: [email protected]  
Tel: +44 208 816 85 48
Website: www.reportbuyer.com

SOURCE ReportBuyer

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@CloudExpo Stories
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Codigm is based on the cloud and we are here to explore marketing opportunities in America. Our mission is to make an ecosystem of the SW environment that anyone can understand, learn, teach, and develop the SW on the cloud," explained Sung Tae Ryu, CEO of Codigm, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Infoblox does DNS, DHCP and IP address management for not only enterprise networks but cloud networks as well. Customers are looking for a single platform that can extend not only in their private enterprise environment but private cloud, public cloud, tracking all the IP space and everything that is going on in that environment," explained Steve Salo, Principal Systems Engineer at Infoblox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventio...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, provided a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to oper...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, discussed how by using ne...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, James Henry, Co-CEO/CTO of Calgary Scientific Inc., introduced you to the challenges, solutions and benefits of training AI systems to solve visual problems with an emphasis on improving AIs with continuous training in the field. He explored applications in several industries and discussed technologies that allow the deployment of advanced visualization solutions to the cloud.
Vulnerability management is vital for large companies that need to secure containers across thousands of hosts, but many struggle to understand how exposed they are when they discover a new high security vulnerability. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, John Morello, CTO of Twistlock, addressed this pressing concern by introducing the concept of the “Vulnerability Risk Tree API,” which brings all the data together in a simple REST endpoint, allowing companies to easily grasp the severity of the ...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
"NetApp is known as a data management leader but we do a lot more than just data management on-prem with the data centers of our customers. We're also big in the hybrid cloud," explained Wes Talbert, Principal Architect at NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"We're focused on how to get some of the attributes that you would expect from an Amazon, Azure, Google, and doing that on-prem. We believe today that you can actually get those types of things done with certain architectures available in the market today," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.