September | 2020

    Trend How it is addressed?
Network slicing

Network slice orchestrator depicted as a separate component within the end-to-end orchestrator, which can also be integrated within the service orchestrator or realized as a stand-alone component outside the end-to-end orchestrator. Regardless of the solution approach, standard interfaces and functional split ensure interoperability particularly in a multi-vendor environment spanning different network segments.

Intent-based networking The intent translation engine shown to be a part of the end-to-end orchestrator shall interact with both design (e.g., service design) and run-time functions (e.g., Policy component to specify config, operational, and control loop policies; service orchestrator for service requirements and SLAs; slice orchestrator for slice requirements; data collection engine to monitor and report intent fulfillment through specific KPI adherence).
Network automation and closed-loop control

The following components of the orchestrator play a key role in Closed-loop control:

  • Intent Translation Engine translates operator intent into appropriate closed loop control and configuration policies.
  • Data Collection Engine collects (and aggregates) relevant data from the network functions and other components, such as domain controllers, to monitor (translated) intent fulfilment.
  • Analytics, AI, and ML Engines perform failure/performance prediction, root cause analysis, and determination of resolution, including proactive ones, and self-improve through auto-learning.
  • Policy Handler stores and drives configuration and control loop policies and actions, and performs coordination across multiple control loops.
  • Service and Slice Orchestrators are the key actors for closed-loop control systems and may delegate some of the scaling, healing, and reconfiguration actions to the domain orchestrators/controllers (SDN-orchestrator, NFVO).
Self-organizing networks and autonomic networking As the scope of SON expands beyond just the RAN, orchestrators (service as well as domain) shall play a key role in SON realization and, in some cases, perform C-SON functions. Even if the C-SON functions are realized as stand-alone component(s), the orchestrator will play an important role in providing additional data points, as well as to implement some of the actions recommended by the C-SON function.

To achieve interoperability in a plug-and-play fashion to accommodate enhancements and customizations to specific interfaces, there will be a need for plug-ins or adaptors. From a time-to-market perspective, it is important that the core orchestration functions are agnostic of interface-specific variations as long as the functionality and capabilities exposed and consumed remain the same.

Cloud-native approach

From Figure 5, it is evident that the components in the illustrative functional architecture have been chosen to enable loose coupling, independent scaling, addressing service fulfilment as well as service (and slice) assurance.

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