Nokia supports NFV with latest OSS upgrade

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Solutions and Networks said it has virtualized the latest version of its NetAct operations support system (OSS) to provide off-the-shelf management of network functions virtualization (NFV).

NSN NetAct 8 is a virtualized, single OSS for managing radio, core and transport networks. Virtualization enables NetAct 8 to deliver high availability independent of any single hardware platform, thus reducing operators' capex as well as opex, the company said.

"We've brought OSS into the cloud age, using automation and virtualization to cut running costs, add greater flexibility and ensure superior network quality. NetAct 8 covers network operations with tight link to service operations, eliminating the need for multiple management systems," said Peter Patomella, NSN vice president, OSS.

The NFV concept reflects telcos' desire to leverage low-cost, high-power, off-the-shelf servers rather than proprietary, black box hardware.

Jane Rygaard who is head of CEM, core and OSS marketing at NSN, said that due to the performance demands of its customers, NSN over the years has not been able to to be as flexible as is wanted when it came to specifying the hardware that would run its OSS software. "We had to be quite specific on the hardware requirements," she noted.

But the introduction of NetAct 8 has changed that. "We no longer need the dedicated hardware for the different functions," Rygaard said.

NSN has long pitched its ability to conduct simultaneous mutli-technology management for 2G, 3G and LTE networks. Rygaard said the vendor has now made its OSS software more modular, so it is is easier to expand, change and allocate resources as operators extend network management resources across different systems.

According to Rygaard, virtualization of the OSS is an essential precursor for any operator that is considering virtualizing its core network functions.

NSN has been running several proof-of-concept projects involving core network element software running on top of a virtualized infrastructure. To move such projects from the lab into real-world deployments, "you have to make sure that your OSS systems can cope with that," she noted.

With operators looking to virtualize their network cores as early as next year, Rygaard said that "from the OSS side, it has been extremely important for us to say, 'We know how to be ready for that next step when the network side is ready to virtualize.'"

NSN is also launching off-the-shelf integration between its Service Quality Manager and CEM on Demand, with the latter comprising a portal and range of software content packs. Further, the vendor's new Service Fulfillment Introduction Pack was created to help operators launch services in weeks instead of months by linking a service catalog and central repository of subscriber services.

For more:
- see this NSN release

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SDN, NFV will boost mobile virtualization spending to $6B by 2018
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