4S for Slicing arouses a new ear for intelligent 5G slice management


5G Slice Management Requirements

With the gradual deployment and commercialization of 5G network, operators have gradually turned from the traditional mobile Internet market to the emerging vertical industry market, and the vertical industry market has obviously individual requirements. These individual and differentiated service requirements bring network slicing. Network slicingis based on demands, The unified physical infrastructure at the layer of resource sharing achieves multiple network services, reduces the network construction costs of operators. In the layer of logical isolation, multi-level isolation and independent life cycle management are achieved. In the layer of agility on demand, the capabilities of service-oriented, on-demand customization, real-time monitoring and dynamic scheduling are achieved, providing guaranteed SLA. In actual deployment and applications, the variable slicing puts forward new requirements for the management system:

1. Fast network design

Slice design is the first requirement of slice management for many vertical industry customers. Slice design must take as little time as possible. 

2. rapidly deployed and commissioned

After the slicing design is completed, it is important to reduce the network deployment and commissioning time as much as possible, and reduce the deployment and commissioning workload. 

3. Highly-efficient network guarantee

After slicing deployment, network O&M efficiency needs to be improved and network O&M costs need to be reduced. 

4. Timely and accurate network optimization

During the operation of 5G slicing network, the performance needs to be optimized as soon as possible to ensure network quality. 

Only when the above requirements are met can the overall management efficiency of slices be improved and management costs be reduced. 

ZTE Efficient and Intelligent 5G Slice Management Solution 

o meet the above slice management requirements, ZTE has proposed the CloudStudio  which is an  efficient and intelligent 5G slice management solution. The overall architecture is as follows:

Figure 1 CloudStudio-Based Slice Management Architecture

ZTE 5G slice management solution consists of four modules: IDevise, iDeploy, iAssurance and iOptimization. In terms of planning, construction, maintenance, and optimization, ZTE fully implements efficient and intelligent management of 5G slicing. The iDevise module implements the agile design of slicing through template library and visual drag-and-drop design. The iDeploy module implements the batch deployment and monitoring of slicing through automation, while the iAssurance module implements the intelligent guarantee of slicing through the RCA analysis based on AI and machine learning. After the network running, the three modules cooperate with each other through iOptimization to achieve efficient and agile management of 5G slicing. 

Simple network design

To meet the requirements of different markets for fast slice design, the iDevise module in the slice management solution of ZTE supports graphic design and orchestration, and fast slices launching. The basis of agile network design is abundant slice templates, which are designed layer by layer from the bottom upto the top. Slice/sub-slice/network service templates in different slice scenarios or specifications are formed at each layer for upper-layer system orchestration. During the design process, multiple template libraries are directly invoked to simplify the design process. The specific design uses the visual drag-and-drop design. What you see is what you get, and the connection topology among networks is automatically generated. The number of input parameters is reduced from thousands to tens . After the design is completed, the LLD is automatically generated to start automatic test and verification, including automatic execution of model check, resource check, security check and function verification to improve the deployment success rate. The iDevise module can greatly improve the network design efficiency, and complete the overall design of a set of commercial vEPC within half an hour. 

Swift automatic commissioning

After the slicing design is completed, the iDeploy module in ZTE slicing management solution implements the fast and automatic deployment process of the slicing. When the customer issues the slice order through the slice subscription portal, the CloudStudio system will automatically select the service template/workflow template, query and update the resource information. In case of proper resources, the iDeploy module firstly instantiates the specific network function VNF through the unified orchestrator NFVO and VNFM, and then automatically creates the WAN network connection through the SDN orchestrator and controller. Then, the system automatically matches the configuration model in accordance with the slice ID, slice type, and template ID, and automatically delivers configuration parameters through the one-click delivery of the configuration model and configuration parameters to activate cross-profession, cross-network, and cross-manufacturer end-to-end configurations. At the same time, the global guarantee function is used to guarantee the network and update the global asset library. Finally, automatic service verification tests are completed through automatic sandbox tests. The iDeploy module implements the automation of the design, deployment and test of hardware, cloud platform, MANO and VNF, saving 80% manpower and shortening the commissioning period. 

Save O&M costs

The iAssurance module implements real-time and automatic monitoring of the whole network, and layer-by-layer information monitoring of topology-based slices, sub-slices and resources. It visually displays the slice service KPIs, resource occupation information and alarm details, thus reducing the maintenance complexity of dynamic slice changes, maintaining the entrance and interface in a unified manner, facilitating centralized maintenance and improving the O&M efficiency. The core of the iAssurance module is "dual -loop" of intelligent O&M, which solves the problem of locating cross-layer faults. Through intelligent analysis of the monitoring of the existing network and the transformation of expert experience into O&M strategies based on strategy control, combining big data and AI technology, thus achieving the closed-loop of intelligent O&M.

The alarm RCA (root cause analysis) implements the rules of AI mining alarm association. Through the multi-dimensional slices based on alarm data, the association algorithm improvement and cross-layer alarm label association, the unified collection and analysis of 3 layers alarm data is realized, which reduces the threshold of O&M skills and improves the O&M efficiency. By combining the intermittent rules and alarm association, the 90% alarm compression is reduced, the skill requirements are reduced significantly, and the alarm analysis efficiency is improved by 40%. The overall O&M cost reduction exceeds 50%. 

Smart network optimization

The iOptimization module achieves the overall performance and resource optimization of the network. It detects and compares the KPIs such as the slice capacity and the number of users through monitoring. When the related KPIs change, it performs intelligent prediction through AI to obtain the possible consequences and automatically trigger elastic operations such as slice expansion to realize the intelligent network optimization capability. It can reallocate and schedule all 3 Layers resources in accordance with KPI changing, ensuring the overall performance and quality of the network. 


ZTE CloudStudio efficient and intelligent slicing management solution achieves end-to-end efficient management of 5G slicing. The agile design allows the template library to rapidly design the network slicing according to the differentiated requirements of customers. The automatic commissioning function reduces the network deployment time. After the slicing runs, the network O&M optimization efficiency is improved through intelligent O&M and optimization, meeting the differentiated management requirements of 5G slicing in different markets and helping the operator improve the efficiency of exploring wider vertical industry markets.