Onboarding automation has been cited by multiple service providers, such as AT&T, Orange, Vodafone, Verizon and others, as an unexpectedly difficult challenge and a major business priority for pragmatic resolution.
This document highlighted the challenges of onboarding automation due to:
- Â Different viewpoints of service providers’ operations lifecycle and vendor technology lifecycle.
- Â Lack of standardized taxonomy and onboarding scope to clearly define the responsibilities and automate the handoffs between suppliers and buyers.
- Â Lack of standardized VNF/IT services model, resulted in fragmented market and open source implementations.
- Â Immature service providers’ internal OSS/BSS transformation to respond effectively to the virtualization impact.
It also proposed a model-driven approach to streamline onboarding of virtual functions, this solution approach will include the following design artifacts to be detailed in future releases:
- Â A well-enabled packaging metamodel which provides a template to capture a rich set of metadata about a Virtual Function (i.e. any software function/application, not just Virtual Network Functions), and its behaviors (configurations and controls) that can be used to automate downstream processes. In a TM Forum Catalyst contribution, this metamodel includes operational concepts from TM Forumâ€™s Frameworx, virtualization concepts from ETSI NFV and DevOps concepts from OASIS TOSCA for a unified description of the domain.
- Well-enabled packaging metadata and its structure, as a proposal to TOSCA template extensions which captures both technical information (metadata) provided by supplier and operation information needed to integrate the virtual function into service providerâ€™s environment.
- Â Profiles/schema for model transformations, such as transformation from Frameworx metamodel to OASIS/TOSCA to IETF/YANG
- Â Dynamic APIs, the schema follows the Dynamic API pattern to reduce Package complexity by abstracting dozens of discrete interfaces with a consistent pattern for API specification. It allows developers to reason over the set of APIs in a Package and across Packages allowing the use of common methods making them easier to integrate, automate and maintain.
We believe a standards-based model-driven approach is essential to scale with the growing demand for interoperability and to evolve as technology advancement and innovation happens. The IG1141 advocates a future-forward architecture approach that supports the transformation journey of the service providers and specifically to address the challenges of onboarding automation.