Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Michael Bushong, Lori MacVittie, Tom Leyden, Torben Andersen, Elizabeth White

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
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's

"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
"Our premise is Docker is not enough. That's not a bad thing - we actually love Docker. At ActiveState all our products are based on open source technology and Docker is an up-and-coming piece of open source technology," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
AppZero has announced that its award-winning application migration software is now fully qualified within the Microsoft Azure Certified program. AppZero has undergone extensive technical evaluation with Microsoft Corp., earning its designation as Microsoft Azure Certified. As a result of AppZero's work with Microsoft, customers are able to easily find, purchase and deploy AppZero from the Azure Marketplace. With just a few clicks, users have an Azure-based solution for moving applications to the...
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AIC, a leading provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AIC is a leading provider of both standard OTS, off-the-shelf, and OEM/ODM server and storage solutions. With expert in-house design capabilities, validation, manufacturing and production, AIC's broad selection of products are highly flexible and are conf...
Leysin American School is an exclusive, private boarding school located in Leysin, Switzerland. Leysin selected an OpenStack-powered, private cloud as a service to manage multiple applications and provide development environments for students across the institution. Seeking to meet rigid data sovereignty and data integrity requirements while offering flexible, on-demand cloud resources to users, Leysin identified OpenStack as the clear choice to round out the school's cloud strategy. Additional...
The cloud is becoming the de-facto way for enterprises to leverage common infrastructure while innovating and one of the biggest obstacles facing public cloud computing is security. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jeff Aliber, a global marketing executive at Verizon, discussed how the best place for web security is in the cloud. Benefits include: Functions as the first layer of defense Easy operation –CNAME change Implement an integrated solution Best architecture for addressing network-l...
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Mobile commerce traffic is surpassing desktop, yet less than 20% of sales in the U.S. are mobile commerce sales. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dan Franklin, Segment Manager, Commerce, at Verizon Digital Media Services, defined mobile devices and discussed how next generation means simplification. It means taking your digital content and turning it into instantly gratifying experiences.