December 8, 2017 | Written by: Denis Murphy
Categorized: Industry Insights | Network Agility
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Automation is key to operationalizing network function virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) and achieving the expected benefits such as higher service agility and lower operational costs. As clients make the NFV journey from basic network virtualization to dynamically orchestrating virtual network functions (VNFs) and ultimately to a cloud native network, they will need an increasing degree of operational automation. To achieve high levels of automation the end-to-end service chains need to be executed with runtime operational requirements in mind.
IBM Agile Lifecycle Manager (ALM) provides a comprehensive services design, testing and automated deployment platform addressing the challenges and complexities of the NFV paradigm. IBM Agile Lifecycle Manager helps service providers effectively streamline service delivery, minimize complexity, and deliver innovative new services to customers at significant speed and lower cost of operations. Agile Lifecycle Manager enables automated operations by managing the end-to-end lifecycle of virtual network services, from release management of 3rd party VNF software packages right through to the continuous orchestration or running of VNF and Service instances.
To automate the VNF lifecycle changes, an abstraction of the lifecycle functions in the form of a lifecycle manager is necessary. IBM Agile Lifecycle Manager presents the management functions in the form of application programming interfaces (APIs), allowing programmatic control. The lifecycle APIs are foundational to automate the lifecycle management of the VNFs, and will ultimately pave the way for a DevOps-based model to design, deploy and operate NFV-based services.
IBM Agile Lifecycle Manager is a difference based engine that uses a standard set of lifecycle transitions that have been simplified in execution through the use of state based processing. This lifecycle manager optimizes lifecycle management for cloud enabled service of today and cloud native services of tomorrow’s network to hyper-scale with resiliency without the use of process automation scripting. IBM Agile Lifecycle Manager v1.2 is now available and the solution offers three core capabilities:
- Intent Driven Operations: automated management of the end to end service lifecycle processes.
- Resource Manager Framework: open integration of external virtual and physical resources to be assembled with others into complete services.
- Continuous Integration and Deployment: rapid design and on-boarding of external resources into production services
Service operations creates an opportunity to delight customers in the world of a hybrid network made of physical and virtual network functions. In an era when network functions may be scaling in/out and up/down to enable services, knowing the health of the network service is critical, knowing ahead of the need is vital, and automating this with closed loop control is priceless. The requirements for lifecycle management can overwhelm traditional business process automation. A new approach across multiple domains of orchestration and resource management is required to enable consistent performance for emerging cloud native services at scale, which IBM spoke to a the recent SDN & NFV World Congress event. Automated operations require intent based operations which also opens a path for simplification and scaling. IBM Agile Lifecycle Manager helps you achieve those goals.
For more information
To learn more about IBM Agile Lifecycle Manager, please contact your IBM representative or visit https://www.ibm.com/ie-en/marketplace/agile-lifecycle-manager