TM Forum's ZOOM Initiative Facilitates NFV and Service Development and Deployment


TM Forum's ZOOM Initiative Facilitates NFV and Service Development and Deployment

By Laura Stotler

The massive pace at which the cloud and managed services are growing has created a variety of challenges for MSPs as they revamp thes way they build and operate networks and manage services. Scalable, elastic networks and software-defined network (SDN) capabilities have created both opportunities and roadblocks as service providers scramble to manage and secure ever-evolving networks.

The TM Forum is hoping to provide a roadmap for a standardized set of practices to deal with this transformation and the challenges it creates. The global trade association has announced its Zero-touch Orchestration, Operations and Management (ZOOM) project, designed to create standardized practices for rolling out a variety of services on elastic networks.

The ZOOM initiative will identify and define new security approaches for protecting infrastructure, functions and services across all layers of software and hardware. It is meant to complement the work of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) as well as other major standards organizations. The project is being supported by some major MSPs and network operators, including AT&T, IBM, Huawei, Oracle, Orange and Telecom Italia.

Defining a vision for virtualized operations environments is one of the major goals of ZOOM, as well as creating a management architecture that is based on seamless interaction between physical and virtual components. This environment will facilitate easy and dynamic development of personalized services while also defining new security approaches for protecting infrastructure, functions, and services across all network layers. The ultimate goal is to create management and guidance in support of successful deployment of network functions virtualization (NFV).

"The pressure for IT and operational agility to enable new digital service revenues, and continuing demand for cost reduction makes it essential to radically rethink network, operations and service management,” said Nik Willetts, chief strategy officer, TM Forum. “Virtualized environments can open up previously unimaginable expectations for service personalization, speed, flexibility, automation and customer centricity. ZOOM brings together the industry and the Forum's extensive set of best practices and standards to deliver practical answers for game-changing operations concepts, including operations, adaptive automation and customer-created service definitions."

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

MSPToday Contributing Editor

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