When I speak to service providers about SDN, network virtualization, disaggregated systems, and the like, our conversation usually includes a discussion of how SDN will increase automation efficiency; how subscriber self-service portals will interface with SDN orchestrators to reduce operations costs. Somewhere in the conversation, we extoll the virtues of open standard interfaces that will speed OSS integration and simplify the process of end-to-end service configuration.
These are all good thoughts and rightfully focused on system activation and service configuration, the two most common activities of the operations team. But what about the rest of the “FCAPS” (fault-management, configuration, accounting, performance, security)? Doesn’t fault management deserve some SDN love? I think so.
Fault management and diagnostics can benefit from open standard interfaces and virtualization, just as service configuration and network functions can. This quick video shows one of the AXOS Trace Manager diagnostic utilities, the Video Channel Analyzer (VCA), being used to verify and troubleshoot multicast video on a remote AXOS G.fast system without the use of external test gear, and without requiring a service technician on site.
AXOS VCA nicely illustrates how SDN/NFV will impact “the rest” of the FCAPS. Programmable system-level diagnostic tools packaged in modular containers that can be deployed on demand into any system and accessed via open APIs will automate and speed issue resolution. It’s time for customer service to celebrate the opportunities inherent in Software Defined Access.