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Gearing up support systems for software defined and virtualized networks


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The global communication infrastructure has created a new market of digital services in which people and organizations can expose digital assets, which can be rapidly combined with partner assets to create new, more useful, and more interesting services. But, to capture the digital market opportunity, both telecom networks and support systems – OSS/BSS – need to gear up.

The key to success in the digital market is the ability to adapt, and true business agility requires flexibility in terms of networks, services, and customers. The combination of SDN and NFV plays a key role in gearing up support systems for business agility.

Apart from decoupling services from resources, together SDN and NFV enable life cycle management to be detached from physical constraints. Today, for example, it is possible to provision an SDN/NFV service instantaneously without the need to deploy new physical resources. This flexibility is the foundation of network agility.

However, one of the most significant challenges for operators and service providers today is time to market (TTM). Traditionally, TTM has been about putting services into the hands of paying users as quickly as possible. Today, TTM is about reacting quickly to the rapidly changing needs of the modern user.

Support systems – OSS/BSS – naturally play a key role in automating the different workflows, as ideas for new services move from concept to implementation and into operation.

The concepts of SDN, NFV, the virtual data center and rapid adaption to changing consumer needs form the pillars upon which network, service and customer agility are built. This Ericsson Review article describes how support systems – OSS/BSS – need to be geared up for these disruptive technologies to increase the level of flexibility in networks.

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Gearing up support systems for software defined and virtualized networks

  1. 1. The communications technology journal since 1924 Gearing up support systems for software defined and virtualized networks June 5, 2015 2015 • 5
  2. 2. CARLOS BRAVO, FRANCESCO CARUSO, CHRISTIAN OLROG, MALGORZATA SVENSSON, AND ANDRÁS VALKÓ Gearing up support systems for software defined and virtualized networks The business environment of operators and service providers is going through a fundamental transformation. By 2020, more than half1 of the envisioned 50 billion devices will already be connected. And while the ever-expanding use of connectivity presents a major growth opportunity, it also creates new and tougher demands on networks – and particularly on the processes for managing users and devices. The key to success in the digi- tal market is the ability to adapt, and true business agility (illustrated in Figure 1) requires flexibility in all three dimensions: networks, services, andcustomers. Networkagility Cloud, SDN and NFV are key elements ofnetworkagility:thecapabilitytoeffi- ciently plan and build networks, adapt them to changing requirements, and providesuperiorservicequality. Serviceagility The keys to achieving service agility are: the ability to create new services rapidly, to launch and deliver superior-­ qualityserviceswithease,andtobeable to­monetizethem. Customeragility The keys to achieving customer agility are:theabilitytointeractwithconsum- ersinawaythatisflexibleanddynamic, the ability to expose new services, and the means to proactively resolve prob- lemsorreacttoissuesrapidly. Networkagility BothSDNandNFVplaykeyrolesingear- ing up to the level of network agility needed to explore the opportunities and address the challenges presented by the Networked Society and the digi- taleconomy. The concept of network virtualiza- tion – providing physical network resources as virtualized entities – has alreadybeensuccessfullyappliedtotele- com networks. Examples of this type of network partitioning include VPNs Gearingup Businessagilityisonewaytorespondto the trends of digitalization and pressed profit margins. By being able to apply technologies that increase the level of flexibility in networks, operators and serviceproviderscangearupfromdeliv- eringnetworkinfrastructuretobecom- ingprovidersofinnovationplatforms. To do this, valuable assets (like net- work infrastructure, the subscriber base, user identities, security creden- tials,locationandmobilityinformation, service and product catalogs, charging andbillingfunctions,connecteddevice identities, and many more capabilities that can be used to create digital ser- vices)needtobeleveragedinnewways. In the digital economy, only a few players will own all the assets that are needed to create attractive services. Typically, assets from different players will be combined dynamically in col- laborativeorganizations.Operatorswill blend their capabilities together with partner assets to expose novel services. Theresult:innovation,mashedservices, andhighlysatisfiedusers. BOX A Terms and abbreviations API application programming interface ETSI European Telecommunications Standards Institute NF network function NFV Network Functions Virtualization NFVI Network Function Virtual Infrastructure OSS/BSS operations support systems/business support systems PNF physical network function SDN software-defined networking SE service enablement SOA service-oriented architecture TTM time to market vApp virtual appliance vDC virtual data center VIM Virtual Infrastructure Management VNF Virtual Network Function Parallel to the connectivity revolution, the digital economy has triggered a transformation in the way services are produced and consumed. Enabled by the global communication infrastructure, a new market of digital services is emerging. In this market, people and organizations can expose their digital assets, which can be rapidly combined with partner assets to create new, more useful, and more interesting services. Communication networks have a key responsibility: to provide the ­platform that enables the digital market to con- tinuetodevelop.This­responsibilitypres- entsoperatorsandserviceproviderswith a unique opportunity. However, this opportunity is offset by the challenges ofpricepressureaswellastheperceived commoditizationofnetworks. So, to capture the digital market opportunity, both telecom networks and support systems – OSS/BSS – need togearup. 2 ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 5, 2015 The agile network
  3. 3. and VLANs. In 2012, a group of service providers launched the NFV initiative. Their aim was to apply best practices from the IT industry – as it virtualized data centers and server rooms – to the telecom domain. In other words, how cannetworkelementsbevirtualizedso that the maximum benefit from com- modity-computingtechnologiescanbe achieved,whileimprovingserviceagil- ity and service efficiency at the same time?TheshortanswerisNFVandSDN. NFV Fromatechnicalpointofview,NFVpro- motes the decoupling of network func- tions (NFs) from hardware. By applying virtualization technologies, the soft- ware of network functions can be bro- ken apart from hardware appliances. In turn, this separation unleashes mas- sive flexibility in terms of how NFs can be dynamically deployed, elastically resized, and offered on an on-demand basis. Some of the potential benefits of this flexibility are reduced cost and lower power consumption, but gains can also be made in terms of increased speedandefficiencyinthedeployment oftelecomnetworks. SDN SDN provides the ability to program- maticallydefineandmanagenetworks, whichenablesthecomplexityofunder- lying implementation to be abstracted from the applications that run on the network and consume resources. From a technical point of view, SDN enables separation of the data plane from the controlplane. Service providers typically use SDN totakeaholisticviewoftheirnetworks, applying SDN concepts across network layers and domains, which in turn enablesend-to-endprogrammabilty. SDNandNFVtogether Originally, the aim of combining NFV and SDN was to decouple services from resources, but when these two tech- nologies come together, they provide the additional benefit of detaching life cycle management from physical con- straints.Today,itispossibletoprovision an SDN/NFV service instantaneously without the need to deploy new physi- calresources.Thisflexibilityisthefoun- dationofnetworkagility. Serviceagility At Ericsson, OSS/BSS are designed according to a functional decomposi- tion of network architecture domains thatnativelyaccountforSDNandNFV. Similar to network agility, SDN and NFV play key roles in gearing up the levelofserviceagility. Figure 2 shows the OSS/BSS and ser- vice enablement (SE) architecture for SDN/NFV-enabled networks. The dia- gram highlights the main functional blocks: OSS/BSS and SE, network func- tions, equipment (representing the col- lection of physical resources), the cloud systeminfrastructure,andtransport. Figure 2 OSS/BSS architecture for SDN/NFV-enablednetworks An NF can be supported by native (non-virtualized, physical NF) or by virtual (a virtualized application or a virtualized NF) resources. From a man- agementpointofview,NFsaregoverned acrosstwoorthogonalplanes: thenetworkfunctiondomain managementplane–illustratedasNF domainmanagementinFigure 2;and thesupportingresourcesmanagement plane–illustratedasvAppmanagement, inFigure 2. TheNFdomain-managementplanesup- ports operational needs of NFs, such as fault management, performance man- agement and specific configuration for NFs; while vApp management handles resources required by a network func- tionthroughoutitslifecycle. The cloud-system-infrastructure func- tion aggregates and manages virtual resources (see Box B) across different instances and technologies, offered by cloud system infrastructures (in ETSI terminologyNFVI+VIM). Cloud deployments often span sev- eral different physical sites joined through a connectivity fabric, which mayhaveaseparatemanagementfunc- tion.Thisfabric,illustratedbytransport inFigure 2,canbeorchestratedtogether with the resource infrastructure using SDN,effectivelyimplementingavDC(or a virtual resource slice) that provides a networkservice–seeBox C. The functions in the OSS/BSS and SE planeare: experienceandassurance–offering serviceassurance; customerandpartnerinteraction– enablingbothpartiestointeractwith supportsystemsthroughmultiple communicationchannels; ordermanagement; revenuemanagement–providing Customer/partner management and interaction MAKE IT EASY MAKE IT BETTER MAKE IT ACTIONABLE MAKE IT ACCESSIBLE MAKE IT PAY MAKE IT HAPPEN MAKE IT REAL MAKE IT WORK Experience-to- resolution Service-to- cash Lead-to- service Idea-to- implementation Data-to-experience Customer agility Service agility Network agility Network and cloud management Plan-to- provision FIGURE 1 Business agility A virtual resource is an abstraction of a physical resource – compute, storage, or network. Virtual resources can be shared among multiple consumers in such a way that they appear to be dedicated. BOX B Virtual resource 3 ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 5, 2015
  4. 4. withotherassetsintoproductofferings. Thesesupportsystemsalsohandleprod- uct life cycle management, the capa- bility to charge for products, and the process for exposing products to users andpartners. However, one of the most significant challengesforoperatorsandservicepro- viders today is time to market (TTM). One way to shorten the time from con- cept to delivery is to have a good under- standing of business processes, so that thelevelofautomationinprocessescan be raised. By having well-documented businessprocesses,preconfiguredsolu- tionsandsuitescanbedelivered,which inturnenablesadditionalbusinesspro- cess innovation and increased speed when introducing new offerings, all while maintaining flexibility and the abilitytointegrate. As SDN and NFV facilitate new ser- vices, these technologies have greatest impact on the business processes that liebetweentheformationofanideaand its implementation – such as planning, designanddeployment. Figure 3illustratessomeoftheactiv- ities included in the ideas-to-imple- mentation process. It shows a possible scenarioforcreatingaproductoffering from the services and resources man- agedbyseveralfunctionaldomains. WithinOSS/BSS,thekeylogicalfunc- tion of the idea-to-implementation process is the business logic creation environment, which is illustrated in Figure 3. Resource and service specifi- cations as well as product offerings are created in this environment, which all resultinaproductcatalogentry. The idea-to-implementation process can be broken down into a number of specificationphases:networkfunction, resource,andservicespecification. Networkfunctionspecification Domainmanagementusestheinforma- tion provided in the NF specification to buildtheresourcesneededtoconstruct the desired services. In some cases, this is a ready-to-use specification provided bytheNFvendor. Resourcespecifications The virtual infrastructure resources neededbytheNFsthatthecloudsystem infrastructure will expose need to be specified.Theseresourcesaredescribed thecapabilitiestochargeandinvoicefor anytypeofproductorserviceusage; resourcemanagement–providinga unifiedresourceinventoryforboth virtualandphysicalresources; serviceinventory; customer/partnermanagement; enterprisecatalog–consistingof products,servicesandresources;and serviceenablement–providingservice exposurecapabilitiestopartnersfor serviceinnovation. The OSS/BSS and SE plane in SDN/NFV- enabled networks provides capabilities to introduce new virtual NFs or vApps progressively. In other words, new vir- tualNFsorvAppscanbeinstantiatedin adedicatedslice(seeBox C)calledtrial. At the same time, an instance of the same NF can be executing in another slice – called production. The redirec- tionofusersfromtheoldtothenewNF/ applicationcanbecarriedoutgradually, with minimum impact, and managed programmaticallyinawaythatistrans- parenttousersoftheservice. Rapidbusinessinnovation Support systems – OSS/BSS – provide the necessary functions to encapsulate SDN/NFV services and combine them OSS/BSSandSE Network function Cloud system infrastructure Transport Equipment Experience assurance Enterprise catalog Customer partner interaction Customer partner management Order management NF domain management Non- virtualized application System infra- structure Transport SDN-CSDN-CSDN-C Virtualized application Transport domain management vApp management Cloud SI management Revenue management Resource management Service inventory Service enablement FIGURE 2 OSS/BSS architecture for SDN/NFV-enabled networks A vDC is an instance of a data center operated on a per-tenant basis, with flexible network topology and basic services – compute, network, and storage – as well as more complex ones such as firewalling and load balancing. A vDC may span multiple physical data centers or be constrained to a subset of the infrastructure within a single DC. A virtual resource slice, referred to as a slice, is an isolated view of the virtual resources – a vDC in other words. A network service (NS) is composed of VNFs, PNFs, virtual links and VNF forwarding graphs that support the communication service. BOX C Virtual data centers (vDCs), slices and network services 4 ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 5, 2015 The agile network
  5. 5. usingvDCandvApptemplates,andmay beprovidedbythevendor. Servicespecification Describes how transport service con- nectivitycouldalsobeexposedandbun- dled together with the target services definedbythemarket’sneedsintoprod- uct offerings. These product offerings maybetargetedtoanysegment,suchas media providers or health care provid- ers. The service specification includes characteristics that define specifics of the service in relation to requirements ofthetargetsegment. The catalog-driven approach facil- itates onboarding of new services, throughsimplemodelingbasedonprin- ciples like modularity for defining ser- vicesandreusabilitytoconstructricher and aggregated services and product offerings. It is one of the main pillars oftheideas-to-implementationprocess, complemented by ease of integration through standard interfaces and pre- integration and automation of the end- to-endprocesses. Instantlyavailableservices Virtualizationofnetworkfunctionsand the decoupling of software from hard- wareenablefullautomationofthelead- to-service process (shown in Figure 4) acrossfunctionaldomains.Automating this process includes instantiation of the entire software stack of NFs that are encapsulated in a service, reducing time from order to service activation, and improving resource utilization – as resources become allocated shortly beforeuse. Service-oriented architecture (SOA) and innovative micro-services provide programmable interfaces designed according to well-established industry standards and make major contribu- tions to orchestration and automation. They are some of the key architecture principles, which together with a com- moninformationmodelexposeservices usingAPIs,enablingeaseofintegration – as described in a previous Ericsson Review article2 . These key principles allow the instantiation of NFs and the resources needed. They facilitate the creation of product offerings from ser- vicesandresourcesdefinedindifferent domains–OSS/BSS,transport,cloudsys- teminfrastructure,andIT. FIGURE 3 Idea to implementation Business logic creation environment OSS/BSS Network function Cloud system infrastructure Transport ITAccess Resource spec Read resource spec Service spec Read service spec Define service spec ........ ....... ....... ........ ....... ....... Assurance logic spec Charging logic spec Add assurance logic Customer segment spec Add customer segment Product offering Publish product offering Service enablement Domain management Customer management Cloud SI domain management Resource inventory Service inventory Service catalog Product catalog Add charging logic Orchestration creation environment Orchestration execution OSS/BSS Network function Cloud system infrastructure Transport ITAccess ........ ....... ....... Handle customer order Handle customer request Handle service order Activate resources Service enablement Domain management Domain management Service catalog Product catalog Resource order Cloud SI domain management Customer interaction Customer order Product order Service order FIGURE 4 Lead to service 5 ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 5, 2015
  6. 6. Customeragility Similar to network and service agility, SDN and NFV play key roles in gearing upthelevelofcustomeragility. In the digital economy, the role of partnerships and ecosystems is more significant than traditional econo- mies. Digitalized businesses collab- orate more, and combine their assets together with partner assets to provide customerswiththebestservices.Inthis environment, new ways that enable mashedofferings,serviceexposure,and blendedservicesareneeded. Service enablement, as shown in Figure 2,includesthefunctionsneeded to enable operators and service provid- erstomonetizetheirassetsandconnect toothers. Service exposure, one of the core functions within SE, provides access to networkcapabilitiesexposedbytheser- vicedevelopmentenvironmentthrough programmable interfaces. Exposure enables developers – either at the oper- ator, a partner or a 3PP – to design and composeinnovativeservices. Support systems – OSS/BSS – provide the capabilities to manage partners and developers, to handle all commu- nication channels, and to organize the administrationofproductsandservices. TechnologieslikeSDNandOpenStack providedeveloperswithprogrammable interfaces, which can be used together with OSS/BSS capabilities so that new services can be deployed and executed inisolatedvirtualenvironments. In addition to exposing network pro- grammability through OpenStack and OpenDaylight APIs, developers have accesstootherservicesandcapabilities like user identification, charging and network policies, and configuration informationtoprogramNFs. Newbusinessopportunities The virtualization of NFs enables oper- ators and service providers to develop new services for traditional segments, as well as providing the possibility to enter new markets. For example, virtu- alization enables bundles that include connectivity services to be mashed with value-add services and exposed in a one-stop-shop fashion, which can be created and offered to various indus- tryverticals. Traditionally, a connectivity services offeringforindustryverticalstendspro- vide network connectivity optimized for the specific vertical. In a virtual- izedenvironment,optimizationissim- plified, as NFs can be instantiated for a particular vertical, as illustrated in Figure 5. This illustration shows how NFs and supportsystemsinteract.NFsenablethe connectivity to connect everything in the network together – such as mobile phones and other handheld devices, as well as cars, and health care and trans- portation equipment. And the support systems – OSS/BSS – manage the NFs andtranslatetheircapabilitiesintotan- gibleservicesthatcanbeofferedtoany industry vertical through operator and serviceprovidercapabilities. Operationalsimplicityandefficiency Software-defined networking usually refers to the unbundling or separation of the control plane and the forward- ingplaneofnetworkelements.Itcanbe solvedinmanyways,andOpenFlowisa commonlyusedprotocol.Traditionally, management functions have typically interacted with interfaces exposed by the control plane but with SDN, the separated forwarding plane becomes a managedentityinitself. The separation SDN provides results in fewer control planes; this in turn makes it easier to align the different types and versions of control planes andraisesthebarfortheleastcommon denominator of functionality. Taken to the extreme, this concept results in a single SDN controller being sufficient, and so provides the benefits associated withreducednetworkcomplexity. FIGURE 5 Providing new services with NFV Instance 4 Instance 3 Instance 2 OSS/BSS Network functions Health care provider Media provider Media provider Any industry verticle EPC-4 HSS-4 IMS-3EPC-3 RAN HSS-3 IMS-2EPC-2 HSS-2 Instance 1 EPC-1 HSS-1 The agile network 6 ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 5, 2015 The agile network
  7. 7. unified model promoting reuse, auto- mation,speedandcorrectness. The concepts of the virtual data cen- ter (vDC) and the virtual resource slice enable services to be deployed in paral- lel,andincontrolledisolation.Thistype of parallel deployment adds flexibility – because it, for example, enables oper- atorsandserviceproviderstorundiffer- entversionsofmulti-tenantappliances, whichcanbedimensionedondemand, andenablesservicestobepersonalized. Theabilitytoimprovespeedandcor- rectness is a key ingredient of innova- tion. By containing risk and ensuring failures are detected early (failing fast), operatorsandserviceproviderscantest more concepts, and do this not just for services and applications, but also for differentmarketsegments. The concept of time to market is changing.Traditionally,TTMwasabout getting a version of a service into the hands of paying customers as quickly While SDN is not a prerequisite for efficient reconfiguration of network resources, it does provide a solid foun- dationfornetworkagility.Forexample, separation has already led to improve- mentsandnewforwardingservicepar- adigmslikeservicechaining3,4 . Operational efficiency – not just for the single service but the entire deliv- ery operation – is greatly enhanced by implementing an SDN fabric that sup- ports dynamic, automated and model- driven reconfiguration. Furthermore, whenapplicationsareaddedtotheSDN controller dynamically, the possibil- ity to perform dynamic protocol ana- lytics increases, which in turn eases troubleshooting. InanNFVcontext,bothSDNcontrol- lers and forwarding elements can be deployed as Virtual Network Functions (VNFs). Typically, hypervisors already include a software-defined forwarding functionthatisSDNcapable,whichcan work in conjunction with physical for- wardingelements. InnovationinSDNnetworks One of the primary reasons to shift to SDNisthepotentialincreaseinflexibil- ityandagility.However,itdoesnotnec- essarily follow that the introduction of a given technology automatically leads to improved agility and more stream- lined operations. Typically, the adop- tion of a new technical model follows a hype curve – adoption takes place once business value has been identified, and proper abstractions are in place to sim- plifytheapplicationofthetechnology. InapreviousEricssonReviewarticle, the concept of Service Provider SDN4 was coined. This concept takes a holis- ticviewofSDN,extendingitbeyondthe data center to include abstractions that enable services to be built that leverage allthefunctionsoftheentirenetwork. ShiftingtoSDN/NFV By nature, SDN and NFV are disruptive technologies, and as such, tend to fos- ter rapid innovation. They bring about changes that fundamentally alter the traditional way networks have been managedanddeveloped. As enablers of automation, NFV and SDN make full use of one of the key architectural OSS/BSS principles – a ­catalog-driven approach based on a as possible. Today, TTM is about how quickly the changing needs of modern consumers can be detected, and how quicklytheycanbereactedto. The OSS and BSS naturally play a key role in enabling the operation of this new paradigm. Automating the dif- ferent flows required, from the idea of the new service to the implementation and operation of it, ensures operators andserviceprovidersareinfullcontrol of their network and services, and are empowered to act on insights and how theyareused. TheconceptsofSDN,NFVandthevir- tual data center, as well as rapid adap- tiontochangingconsumerneeds,form thepillarsuponwhichnetwork,service andcustomeragilityarebuilt. FIGURE 6 Software-defined networking Operator A Operator B OSS/BSS SDN app SDN app specific API Root SDN controller Child SDN controller Forwarding element Router OSPF (for example) BGP (for example) Data plane SDN controller management i/f Transport management i/f Transport management i/f Settlement Element management i/f Peer routing domain Peer OSS/BSS 7 ERICSSON REVIEW • JUNE 5, 2015
  8. 8. Ericsson SE-164 83 Stockholm, Sweden Phone: + 46 10 719 0000 ISSN 0014-0171 284 23-3256 | Uen © Ericsson AB 2015 To bring you the best of Ericsson’s research world, our employees have been writing articles for Ericsson Review – our communications technology journal – since 1924. Today, Ericsson Review articles have a two- to five-year perspective, and our objective is to provide you with up-to-date insights on how things are shaping up for the Networked Society. Address : Ericsson SE-164 83 Stockholm, Sweden Phone: +46 8 719 00 00 Publishing: Additional Ericsson Review material and articles are published on: Use the RSS feed to stay informed of the latest updates. Ericsson Technology Insights: All Ericsson Review articles are available on the Ericsson Technology Insights app available for Android and iOS devices. The link for your device is on the Ericsson Review website:www. If you are viewing this digitally, you can: download from Google Play or download from the App Store Publisher: Ulf Ewaldsson Editorial board: Joakim Cerwall, Stefan Dahlfort, Åsa Degermark, Deirdre P. Doyle, Björn Ekelund, Dan Fahrman, Anita Frisell, Javier Garcia Visiedo, Jonas Högberg, Geoff Hollingworth,Patrick Jestin, Cenk Kirbas, Sara Kullman, Börje Lundwall, Hans Mickelsson, Ulf Olsson, Patrik Regårdh, Patrik Roséen, Gunnar Thrysin, and Tonny Uhlin. Editor: Deirdre P. Doyle Subeditors: Ian Nicholson, and Birgitte van den Muyzenberg Art director and layout: Carola Pilarz Illustrations: Claes-Göran Andersson ISSN: 0014-0171 Volume: 92, 2015 Carlos Bravo is portfolio sales support director and principal architect in cloud and SDN at Business Unit Support Solutions at Ericsson. He has over 15 years’ experience with operation and maintenance systems and processes and systems integration. He joined Ericsson in 2000 and has worked in all stages of product life cycle in Ericsson, from design to delivery and execution. He holds an M.Sc. in telematics engineering from the Higher Technical School of Engineering (ETSI), Seville, Spain. András Valkó is responsible for architecture and technology within Ericsson OSS Portolio and Solutions. He has nearly 20 years’ experience in the telecom industry, mostly within the area of network management and OSS, with a focus on service assurance, analytics, performance management, automation, and self-organizing networks. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science and has a technical research background. Before his current assignment, he was head of Customer Experience Management and Analytics, and previously led the Ericsson Research unit for network management and OSS/BSS. Malgorzata Svensson is an expert and OSS/BSS chief architect at Business Unit Support Solutions at Ericsson. She has over 15 years’ experience with operation and business support systems. She joined Ericsson in 1996 and has been involved in research and development in areas ranging from revenue management, IMS, analytics, cloud and SDN. 1. Ericsson, June 2015, Mobility Report, available at: mobility-report 2. Ericsson, 2014, Ericsson Review, Architecture evolution for automation and network programmability, available at: er-architecture-evolution_244099435_c 3. ETSI, 2014, Group Specification, Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV); Architectural Framework, available at: NFV/001_099/002/01.02.01_60/gs_ NFV002v010201p.pdf 4. Ericsson, 2014, Ericsson Review, Software-defined networking: the service provider perspective, available at: news/130221-software-defined- networking-the-service-provider- perspective_244129229_c References Francesco Caruso is an expert in cloud architecture and management at Group Function Technology. He joined Ericsson in 2012 from Telcordia Technologies, where he was director of the Enterprise Integration Group. He championed the internal cloud program to transition OSS to the cloud environment and to extend OSS into the cloud-management domain. He has more than 20 years’ expertise in the telecom OSS domain and holds an M.Sc. in computer science from the University of Pisa, Italy. Christian Olrog is an expert in cloud service delivery architecture and chief architect at Business Unit Support Solutions at Ericsson. He joined the department of New and Special Business Operations at Ericsson in 1999 and has been involved in research and development in areas ranging from wireless LAN standardization and IP security to embedded devices and enterprise applications. He holds an M.Sc. in physics from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. Acknowledgements The authors gratefully acknowledge the colleagues who have contributed to this article: Lars Angelin, Henrik Basilier Jan Friman Ignacio Más, and John Quilty.