With the accelerated 5G deployment and the advent of mobile internet, transport network operations will face bigger challenges and pressures in reducing costs, improving resource utilization, and rapidly launching services. Emerging technologies including software defined network (SDN), network function virtualization (NFV), cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligent (AI) continue to drive telecom operators to start a new round of network and IT infrastructure transformation. Cloud operations based on SDN/NFV/cloud computing are quite different from traditional physical network operations that focus on localized operations and make plans by location-based layers. Cloud operations that focus on intensive operations can build DC-centric elastic networks and make planning by cloud-network synergy to achieve open network operations.
China Mobile Neimenggu adopted localized operations in its transport network, and each city operates the network independently. To adapt to future development, China Mobile Neimenggu has introduced ZTE's ElasticNet unified management expert (UME) system to gradually realize cloud-based intensive operations.
Challenges and Requirements
Due to continuous network expansion, China Mobile Neimenggu's network becomes more and more complex. This brings great pressure on OTN management and maintenance. The original network management system (NMS) is restricted by non-distributed architecture that can not elastically extend its management capability to meet the needs of future network operations.
China Mobile Neimenggu hopes that their operation and maintenance center (OMC) will use distributed cloud architecture based on cloud infrastructure. The OMC can be deployed on their private cloud resource pool and has cloud capabilities such as elastic expansion, load balance, and high reliability. China Mobile Neimenggu also hopes that their OMC system will be open, intensive and intelligent, capable of providing powerful management and access capabilities as well as high-grade security and disaster tolerance.
China Mobile Neimenggu used to deploy ZTE's OTN devices in three league cities such as Hulun Buir, Hinggan and Tongliao as well as Xiganerping branch. The OTN devices were independently managed by their own NMSs in the area. A total of five NMSs were deployed, with two NMSs in Hulun Buir branch, one NMS in Hinggan and Tongliao respectively, and one NMS in Xiganerping.
To have a clear understanding of network resources, simplify service deployment and provide intelligent fault handling and visualized QoS, it is necessary to change the mode of operating one NMS in each city into the mode of using a unified NMS in the whole region. Through the distributed domain control function, the local branch can operate devices in their own local area while the regional branch can manage devices in the whole region.
Deploying Cloud-Based OMC
To meet the needs of centralized OMC deployment on a provincial basis and future service growth by China Mobile, China Mobile Neimenggu has deployed ZTE's ElasticNet UME system on the cloud resource pool.
The ElasticNet UME system provides powerful network management and control capabilities as well as high-grade security and disaster tolerance. In August 2019, the ElasticNet UME system implemented management and control of local network elements in Hinggan League and completed an access test of managing OTN devices. The access test involves OMC cloud architecture, OMC basic functions, security management, and north bound interface. All the test items have been verified and passed successfully with the ElasticNet UME system.
The ElasticNet UME system based on distributed B/S microservice architecture integrates the capabilities of management domain and control domain. It can provide elastic expansion, load balance, high reliability, capability exposure, as well as central, automatic and intelligent operations.
After the deployment, the ElasticNet UME system has brought operational benefits to China Mobile Neimenggu.
The operational authority can be set through the domain control function. Each prefecture and city operates its local network. The regional branch manages network devices in the whole region and works out the unified rules for operations.
—Cloud microservice architecture:
The management and control capabilities can be elastically expanded. Resources are allocated on demand based on the network scale, and servers can be utilized efficiently.
Integrated management of backbone and local networks are supported. The SDN intelligence is introduced for fast service provisioning and fast fault recovery throughout the whole region. The capabilities of end-to-end network coordination and cross-city service guarantee can also be improved.
Using ZTE's ElasticNet UME system, China Mobile Neimenggu has implemented elastic and intelligent cloud-based centralized operation and management. "We are very satisfied with ZTE's ElasticNet UME products and services and hope to have more extensive cooperation with ZTE in the future," said a manager at the OMC of China Mobile Neimenggu.