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Frequently Asked Questions

ETSI Zero-touch Network and Service Management ISG (ZSM)

1       Rationale, Objectives and Deliverables

·         What are the objectives of the ETSI ZSM Industry Specification Group (ISG)?

The key objective is to enable future operational processes and tasks (e.g., delivery, deployment, configuration, assurance, and optimization) to be executed automatically, end-to-end.

·         What is the unique value of ETSI ZSM (i.e. why do you think it will succeed in converging and aligning where other efforts did not)?

Currently there are multiple inconsistent management frameworks in the industry, many silos, a lack of alignment and a lack of interoperability. It is essential to move from the unmanageable, fragmented industry environment to an environment that leverages synergies and achieves alignment through convergence on a single end-to-end service management architecture.

We believe we can do this because we are driving a highly focused and agile industry effort involving key players spanning the breadth of the ecosystem.

·         Why is a new initiative needed (i.e. why can’t the work be done in an existing forum)?

The challenges introduced by the disruptive deployment of new infrastructures such as 5G trigger the need to accelerate radical change in the way networks and services are managed and orchestrated. Full end-to-end automation of network and service management has become an urgent necessity.

We believe that a fresh, agile, and highly focused initiative is now needed to accelerate definition of the end-to-end service management architecture spanning both legacy and virtualised network infrastructures

·         How can we ensure that this new initiative will not further fragment the industry?

One of our first priorities is a gap analysis to ensure that we do not duplicate existing activities, and that we act to address the barriers to end-to-end automation including gaps in the work of existing bodies. If a gap can be addressed by an existing body, we will encourage the work to be done in that body to avoid duplication.

Existing industry efforts will be analysed and leveraged to avoid duplication and maximize synergies. The intention of the new initiative is to have an open dialogue with the related organizations and open source projects with the key objective being industry convergence around a single framework.

·         What will be the deliverables of ETSI ZSM?

The deliverables will be reports and specifications documenting use cases and requirements which are related to network and service management and outline how emerging services such as 5G services can be supported. Gaps in existing standards and open source groups will be documented to inform the scope of work and deliverables produced which address these gaps.

·         Will the deliverables be openly published?

Yes. All deliverables will be openly published. Also, draft documents in progress may be published in an open area on the ETSI Portal subject to agreement within the community on a per-document basis.

·         Will ETSI ZSM define a new architecture for network management?

Yes. ETSI ZSM will derive requirements and specify an end-to-end network and service management reference architecture.

·         Will aspects of service and network management of network slicing be addressed in ETSI ZSM?

Yes. Network slicing is an adaptable end-to-end network that is tailored for a particular communication service and it requires unprecedented operational agility and higher cooperation across network domains. End-to-end automation is required to support network slicing at scale and lowest TCO.

As with other aspects of management and automation, different aspects of network slicing are currently being worked on in multiple bodies. Our objective is to facilitate cooperation between the relevant bodies to drive alignment and convergence.

2       Relationships with Other Bodies

·         Is ETSI ZSM intended to be a bridge between “competing” open source projects? Why do you believe you can do this?

Yes. We intend to be bridge between open source groups. We are concerned that diverse open source groups may not reference common requirements and specifications for network and service management leading to market fragmentation and lack of interoperability between competing solutions. The ETSI ZSM work will provide a common foundation to enable a diverse ecosystem of open source groups to produce interoperable solutions.

We believe we can do this because we are driving a focused industry effort involving key players spanning the breadth of the ecosystem.

·         What is the relationship between ETSI ZSM and open source projects such as OSM and ONAP (i.e. is it an alternative to ONAP or OSM)?

ETSI ZSM will evaluate and consider deliveries from open source projects such as OSM and ONAP in developing the requirements and specifications for an end-to-end network and service management reference architecture.

Open-source projects should ideally focus on implementation and validation, and feed input back into the standardization work. Open source projects should indicate which parts of the end-to-end architecture are covered by the project’s code.

·         What is the relationship between ETSI ZSM and other bodies such as MEF, TMF, 3GPP SA5 and ETSI ENI (i.e. is it an alternative to these bodies)?

While there may be overlapping activities in other bodies but we believe that a fresh, agile, and highly focused initiative is needed to accelerate definition of the end-to-end service management architecture spanning both legacy and virtualised network infrastructures.

·         What is the relationship between ETSI ZSM and ETSI NFV (i.e. is it an alternative to ETSI NFV)?

ETSI ZSM and ETSI NFV are complementary. ETSI NFV takes such topics as automation and networks and service management into account through the inputs from business level use cases which drive the analysis and specification efforts with regards to NFV and associated NFV management and orchestration .

ETSI ZSM is expected to provide input to ETSI NFV on what new features may be required to support automation at the OSS/BSS layer.

·         What methods will ETSI ZSM use to facilitate collaboration with other bodies, for example open source groups, other standards bodies and industry forums?

We will establish close working relationships with the key industry bodies at leadership level and at the working level through players who are active in the different places. Throughout the project, we will provide recommendations to the existing groups when impacts on their deliverables are foreseen, and we will be pro-active to encourage practical collaboration for example via PoCs and Plugtests.

3       Working Methods

·         Will there be a structure of working groups?

Initially there will be a flat structure (i.e. no technical working groups) in order for the community to work together to agree the scope and timescales for deliverables. Working groups may be setup depending upon outcomes of these discussions.

·         Is this an operator-led initiative?

This is a community effort involving both vendors and operators, but vendors look to operators to provide input on business requirements, priorities and timescales that meet their operational needs.

·         Will there be a Network Operator Council?

Yes. A Network Operator Council (NOC) will be convened. The NOC will be an advisory group only (i.e. it will not have any voting rights). The community can choose to adopt or reject any recommendations coming from the NOC.

·         What is the role of vendors?

Vendors are expected to provide input in relation to implementation and technical feasibility.

·         Do operators and vendors have equal precedence in achieving consensus?

Yes. Decisions are made by consensus. If voting is required, ETSI rules will apply (i.e. weighted voting according to the ETSI membership status of each organisation).

·         Will there be academic outreach?

Yes. We expect to reach out to academia via the contacts of participants and through papers presented at industry and academic conferences.

·         Will there be tutorials and webinars describing the work?

Yes. We expect to organise tutorials and webinars as soon as we have something to say.

·         Will there be Proof of Concept (PoC) activities?

Yes. ETSI ZSM will encourage its members and other organizations to create Proof of Concepts (PoCs) and use the PoC results to validate the recommendations.

·         Where will the Proof of Concepts be demonstrated?

The PoCs will be demonstrated at key industry events.

4       Membership and How to Join

·         Is this an open source group?

No. This is not an open source group. Participation is by company signature to the ETSI Member or Participant Agreement which calls out the FRAND IPR policy.

·         What will be the IPR policy?

The IPR policy is FRAND.

·         Who are the founding organisations?

The founding organisations are:

1.                  Deutsche Telekom

2.                  DOCOMO

3.                  Ericsson

4.                  Hewlett-Packard Enterprise  

5.                  Huawei

6.                  IBM

7.                  Intel

8.                  NEC

9.                  Nokia

10.               NTT

11.               Sprint

12.               Telefonica

13.               Viavi Solutions

14.               ZTE

·         Who can join?

Any organisation can join.

·         Can individual participants join?

No. Only companies can join.

·         How can organisations join?

ETSI Members can participate to the work. 

Non-ETSI Members can join by signing the ETSI ZSM Participant Agreement

·         What are the costs to join?

There are no fees to join. Attendance at face-to-face meetings is free for ETSI Member organisations. A fee of €200 /day / delegate will be levied for attendance at face-to-face meetings by non-ETSI Members (up to max 700€ / meeting / delegate). There are no fees to attend on-line meetings.

·         How often will meetings take place, and where will they take place?

Face-to-face plenary meetings will typically take place quarterly in Europe, Asia and North America. Additionally, on-line calls – typically weekly or bi-weekly – are planned to progress deliverables.

·         How long will this forum exist?

The initial phase will be two years. Persistence beyond two years is subject to the needs of the community and dependent upon approval by ETSI.