Network Reconstruction and Digital Business Transformation for the Promotion of ICT Convergence
In the era of mobile Internet, information access, user habit and Internet economic development are undergoing tremendous changes, which have brought extensive and profound impacts on the telecommunications industry. Operators at home and abroad have carried out network reconfiguration and digital business transformation, improved the agility and openness of telecommunications network, and formed new business growth points.
Vodafone and Telefonica are well-known multinational telecom operators, who have also proposed their own network reconfiguration and ICT integration strategy and architecture. The cloud-based integration of DC is the basis of network reconstruction. Vodafone's target architecture is to build the One Cloud based on a unified DC cloud infrastructure to provide ICT convergence cloud services. Telefonica builds a unified cloud DC based on the standard UNICA architecture to support IT public cloud, private cloud and telecom cloud services.
Analysis of Difference between Telecom Cloud and IT
IT private cloud is based on infrastructure virtualization and cloudification. In addition to providing a versatile infrastructure, IT public cloud can also provide a PaaS-based business platform for SaaS applications from different enterprises. The user of IT cloud generally has no special physical location requirement for the body of the bearing service.
Telecom cloud is the basis for network reconfiguration of telecom operators, and it is the virtualization and cloudification of telecommunication network elements. The telecommunications network element equipment has clear requirements for the deployment area and the DC hierarchy. The operator's DC equipment room also has clear location attributes and hierarchical attributes. Therefore, telecommunications cloud provides hierarchically distributed resources and services.
- Requirements for the cloud management platform
The demand for the cloud management platform by the telecom cloud and the IT cloud can be roughly divided into three aspects:
1. Business management
IT cloud has diversified forms and can support a variety of industry solutions. It has many operational management requirements such as self-service interface, service management, and metering & billing. The telecom cloud application scenario is one-fold, which is only used for cloud deployment of network devices and has fewer demands for operation management.
2. Operation and maintenance management
Monitoring, alarming, performance, and log management are basic O&M requirements in both IT and CT application scenarios. Telecom cloud has more operational and maintenance enhancement requirements, such as operation and maintenance hierarchy management, correlation analysis and fault analysis.
3. Cloud resource management
From the application scenarios of cloud resource management objects and multiple DCs & multiple cloud resource pools, IT cloud and telecom cloud have the coherent requirements for cloud management. The complexity of IT cloud is heterogeneous, and the complexity of the telecom cloud lies in standardization and large scale.
ZTE Distributed Telecom Cloud Management Solution
Figure 1 ZTE Distributed Telecom Cloud Management Solution
ZTE's distributed telecom cloud management platform TCS Director adopts the ICT unified architecture, and follows the technical specifications of telecom operators’ VIM and PIM, as well as the ETSI standard. It has the following characteristics:
Figure 2 TECS Director Cloud Management Product Architecture
- Unified Cloud Resource Management
The cloud resource management module supports the unified management and deployment of the OpenStack resource pool and the K8S container resource pool, which can meet the management requirements of the IT scenario for heterogeneous virtualization. Meanwhile, it also supports the standardization and large-scale management requirements of the CT scenario.
1. Heterogeneous cloud resource pool management
The heterogeneous types supported by TECS Director include: H3C, vCenter virtualization resource pool, and third-party resource pools based on standard OpenStack (such as Redhat).
2. DC hierarchy based management
For the application scenarios of distributed deployment of telecom cloud, TECS Director provides the DC hierarchical management function, which supports hierarchical display of the cloud resource environment according to the DC administrative area and physical location, and facilitates checking the location of the cloud resource environment in the entire system, and the relationship between the cloud environment and the edge DC, to improve the operation and maintenance efficiency of large-scale scenarios.
3. Unified allocation of cloud resources based on location and capacity
TECS Director supports exposing the cloud resource orchestration capability in API mode, and provides DC cloud resource selection functions for the CT service orchestrator NFVO to solve the problem of the management complexity when NFVO directly manages large-scale DC resource pools.
The operation and maintenance management module provides basic operation and maintenance capabilities for computing, storage, network software and hardware infrastructure monitoring, performance, alarms, and logs. At the same time, it also needs to meet the differentiated operation and maintenance enhancement requirements of the CT scenario, and can cooperate with ETSI standard components to form an end-to-end telecom cloud operation and maintenance system.
1. Image management
The TECS Director provides the centralized image distribution function and supports the specified DC for distributing the VNF image. Centralized image management and oriented image distribution reduce the bandwidth occupancy of image distribution and improve the management efficiency of VNF image.
2. Software management
The operation and maintenance administrator can query the version and patch information of the VIM in the DC through the unified interface, load the VIM version and the patch software, and complete the distribution from the cloud management platform to each DC software package. This can greatly improve the efficiency of DC large-scale upgrading and patching operations.
3. Object association analysis
The TECS Director provides an effective analysis method for operation and maintenance administrators. It can help the administrator by associating the performance indicators and alarms of each object from the space (parent-child relationship) or time (current or historical time) latitude so that the staff can conduct fault location and system management analysis.
4. Analysis of the root cause of the alarm
The analysis of the root cause of the alarm is a means of intelligent operation and maintenance, which can help the administrator focus on the fundamental problem and accelerate the problem location and resolution. The TECS Director provides definition and management of the system object topology and alarm root cause model, and derivation and automatic identification of root cause alarms.
5. Automated operation and maintenance
Based on the workflow framework, the TECS Director can provide the functions of detecting the availability of physical devices and virtual cloud resources, and system network security, to meet the needs of operation and maintenance automation.
6. Capacity management
The TECS Director supports the statistics of CPU, memory, storage, and host resource allocation rates, as well as the fragmentation rate of resource pools. This allows administrators to timely, accurately, and intuitively grasp the global usage of cloud resources, so that they can be expanded or adjusted as needed.
- Unified Business Management
The TECS Director provides organization and VDC management functions. The organization administrator can customize the internal structure of the organization according to the department structure and business type, and is responsible for the internal cloud resource management and maintenance of the organization. Resource isolation between organizations is guaranteed by partitioning VDC resources.
Unified Cloud-based Management and Efficient O&M for Helping the Cloudified Integration of DC
The TECS Director is ZTE’s unified cloud management platform based on the ICT convergence architecture. It is the management tool of distributed telecom cloud IT infrastructure, which realizes unified management and resource allocation of DC cloud resource pools across regions. Through visual operation and maintenance means (such as centralized monitoring, performance, alarm, log management, topology map, dashboard, large screen), object management analysis, alarm root cause analysis and other intelligent operation and maintenance functions are used to provide a unified, intuitive and intelligent operation and maintenance means for the telecommunications cloud. Therefore, the operation and maintenance efficiency of the distributed telecommunication cloud is greatly improved, and the management requirements of the large-scale DC cloud resource pool are satisfied.
At present, TECS Director has been successfully commercialized in China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom and overseas key carrier markets. In the operator’s field of unified management of distributed DCs and cloud-based integration of DCs, ZTE has realized the product value of unified management and efficient operation and maintenance and won the general recognition of its customers.