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ETSI launches architectural framework for network and service automation

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ETSI has released two major specifications from the ETSI Zero-touch network and Service Management (ZSM) Industry Specification Group.

The first, ETSI GS ZSM 001 describes ZSM Requirements and the second, ETSI GS ZSM 002, defines the ZSM Reference Architecture. 

ETSI GS ZSM 001 examines various business scenarios and the related automation challenges faced by operators and other industry sectors, and defines the architectural, functional and operational requirements for end-to-end network and service automation. 

In response, the ZSM architecture described in ETSI GS ZSM 002 was designed to meet these requirements. The architecture is modular, flexible, scalable, extensible and service-based. It is designed for closed-loop automation and optimised for data-driven machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms.

In addition, the architecture supports the separation of management and automation into different areas of concern, which prevents linear systems, reduces complexity and enables domain and end-to-end management to evolve independently.

During the development of these releases the group paid special attention to the issue of security, particularly around surrounding data being transmitted, processed or stored within the ZSM framework as well as ZSM components.

Work done by organisations such as 3GPP, ETSI NFV, IETF, BBF, ONAP, ETSI OSM, TMF and others fits well into the ZSM architecture and can help build the orchestration and automation of end-to-end services. The ZSM architecture provides the common foundation of a diverse ecosystem of open-source groups to produce interoperable solutions.

According to the group, full end-to-end automation of network and service management needed to deliver the 5G services with agility and speed in order to ensure the economic sustainability of the diverse set of services. The ultimate goal is to create autonomous networks that will be capable of self-configuration, self-monitoring, self-healing and self-optimization without further human intervention.

Earlier this month, the ETSI Industry Standards Group (ISG) for network function virtualisation (NFV) has begun work on its next specification release, known as release 4.

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