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IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation Helps CSPs Accelerate Services Delivery


At the Mobile World Congress 2021 event, held June 28, 2021 through July 1, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain, IBM announced new hybrid cloud AI-powered automation software for communications service providers (CSPs) that uses IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation to stand up and manage networks quickly, in a wide range of environments, according to a statement from the company.

IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation Accelerates CSPs' Time to Value

IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation is designed so that a network engineer could use it to turn up a site in a matter of four to five days, saving time and delivering value to customers on an accelerated timeline. The solution enables hundreds of thousands of network functions, including hostname details, server ports, network architecture, tenants, IP address plans and more, to be orchestrated in real-time to deliver a holistic network service, according to the statement.

Cloud Paks are a set of shared automation services, supported by more than 30 ecosystem partners, that helps CSPs and their customers self-automate routine tasks so they can focus on high-value work. Today's announcement follows IBM's recent launch of IBM Watson Orchestrate to provide AI-powered automation to business professionals, and the acquisitions of Turbonomic, myInvenio, Instana and WDG Automation, which IBM says will enable them to build out a complete end-to-end AI-powered automation portfolio of software for transforming business processes and IT operations.

IBM's Turbonomic Acquisition Enables Network Analytics Capabilities

IBM said its acquisition of Turbonomic will enable it to deliver the needed analytics and monitoring capabilities required of virtualized, automated networks. Turbonomic provides the ability to ingest large amounts of telemetry information and provide insight into performance and services to manage day-to-day operations. Through this planned integration, customers will have access to network recommendations from analytics, which will become dynamic actions within the network, according to the statement.

IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation brings together advanced analytics, machine learning and AIOps to help CSPs discover hidden patterns and trends in networking data, so they can continually optimize network operations and performance with minimal human intervention, according to the statement. With the integration of IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps and edge solutions including IBM Edge Application Manager, CSPs can automate the delivery of resources where they are needed, dynamically.

CSPs can benefit from IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation through generalized network lifecycle modeling, which creates and automates vendor-agnostic models of physical, virtual and container network functions; intent-driven orchestration, in which models of the desired optimal operational state of a network is automatically created; automated service design and testing, which automates not only the service itself but all underlying resources for test, pre-production and production environments and offers a real-time view of live network performance to help CSPs monitor network uptime, performance optimization and enable faster automated problem resolution. Coupled with the IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps, operators could realize a feedback loop between assurance and orchestration as they evolve to zero-touch or 'lights-out' operations, IBM said in the statement.

Andrew Coward, general manager, software defined networking, IBM
Andrew Coward, general manager, software defined networking, IBM

IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation: Executive Commentary

"As the telco industry races to capture new value from 5G and Edge computing, many are transforming their networks to software-defined platforms that can deliver on this promise. Yet our customers have identified that limited automation and the lack of real- time visibility across networks have hindered their ability to deliver innovative services to customers fast enough," said Andrew Coward, general manager, software defined networking, IBM. "To help address these growing demands, IBM's new Cloud Pak for Network Automation software uses AI-powered automation to enable zero-touch provisioning of new services which can facilitate the simplification of the management of network functions from the core to the edge."