5737-M65 IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation 2.1

IBM Canada Sales Manual
Revised: April 27, 2021


Table of contents
Product life cycle datesProduct life cycle datesDescriptionDescription
Program numberProgram numberOperating environmentOperating environment
AbstractAbstractPlanning informationPlanning information
HighlightsHighlightsPublicationsPublications


Product life cycle dates

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Program Number VRM Announced Available Marketing Withdrawn Service Discontinued
5737-M65 02.01.00 2021-04-27 2021-04-27 - -
5737-M65 01.03.00 2020-11-24 2020-11-30 2023-09-21 2023-09-30
5737-M65 01.02.00 2020-06-23 2020-06-26 - -
5737-M65 01.01.00 2020-03-24 2020-03-30 - -


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Program number

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  • IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation 2.1 (5737-M65)


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Abstract

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IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation 2.1

IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation 2.1 (formerly IBM Telco Network Cloud Manager) is a unified management solution to support the transformation of communications service provider (CSP) telecommunications networks to disaggregated, fully-automated cloud- native platforms. This solution is supported by an open ecosystem that enables rapid onboarding of certified VNFs and CNFs.

Cloud Pak for Network Automation contains an orchestrator that enables CSPs to rapidly design, deploy, configure, and manage network functions, network services, and the infrastructure on which they run through a combination of intent-driven orchestration and DevOps toolchains.

Cloud Pak for Network Automation extends the interoperability of the solution through the addition of support for standard European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) management and network orchestration (MANO) interfaces and adds capabilities to support radio access networks (RANs) where most initial infrastructure transformation is occurring.

Cloud Pak for Network Automation builds on an updated set of services and capabilities running on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, including IBM Automation Foundation that delivers the ability to deploy IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and process mining capabilities.

Telco Network Cloud Manager - Performance is available to complement Cloud Pak for Network Automation. It enables CSPs and managed service providers (MSPs) to manage the performance of their telecommunications networks on one platform with open access to data and integration with a multitude of data sources. It provides robust, flexible, and scalable performance management, with visualization and reporting of network performance data for complex, multivendor, multitechnology, and multilayer networks.

When used in conjunction with Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps 3.1, Cloud Pak for Network Automation provides zero-touch automation for network deployment and self-healing. Artificial intelligence can also be used to perform diagnostics and trigger actions for automated responses.

IBM Telco Network Cloud Manager 1.3

IBM Telco Network Cloud Manager 1.3 is a unified telecommunications management solution to support network and cloud transformation of communications service providers (CSPs). The solution is supported by an open ecosystem that enables rapid onboarding of certified virtual network functions (VNFs) and cloud-native network functions (CNFs).

Telco Network Cloud Manager 1.3 consists of three components:

  • Telco Network Cloud Manager - Assurance. Provides capabilities to modernize operations support systems for dynamic operations management of fast-changing network elements and seamless management of services in production. Topology view and analytics enable tracking of changes in near real-time to provide the context of changes in network environments. Closed-loop automation links Telco Network Cloud Manager - Assurance to Telco Network Cloud Manager Orchestration.
  • Telco Network Cloud Manager - Orchestration. Provides all automation capabilities needed to enable CSPs to quickly build and deploy network functions and network services. With intent-driven orchestration and DevOps toolchain, it accelerates service delivery and provides quick onboarding, design, test, and deployment.
  • Telco Network Cloud Manager - Performance. Enables CSPs and managed service providers (MSPs) to manage the performance of fixed (wireline), mobile (wireless), and cloud or virtualized networks on one platform with open access to data and integration with myriad data sources. It provides robust, flexible, and scalable performance management, with visualization and reporting of network performance data for complex, multivendor, multitechnology, and multilayer networks.

Telco Network Cloud Manager - Orchestration and Telco Network Cloud Manager - Assurance together provide zero-touch automation for network deployment and self-healing. Artificial intelligence (AI) is used to perform diagnostics and trigger actions for automated responses. This release significantly extends this AI capability to provide transformative AI-driven insights.



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Highlights

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IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation 2.1

  • Support for transformation of telecommunications networks to disaggregated, automated cloud-native platforms
  • An orchestrator to enable rapid design, deployment, configuration, and management of network functions and services, and the infrastructure on which they run
  • Telco Network Cloud Manager - Performance to monitor the performance of network infrastructure, functions, and services and to support visualization and reporting
  • An open ecosystem that enables rapid onboarding of certified virtual network functions (VNFs) and cloud-native network functions (CNFs)


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Description

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IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation 2.1

CSPs are modernizing their networks through network virtualization and cloudification. This involves replacing physical network appliances with VNFs and CNFs, and creating cloud infrastructure up and down the stack, from the infrastructure level to the application level. This modernization helps deliver agility, rapid scaling, healing, and resource sharing.

Some of the challenges on this journey include:

  • End-to-end orchestration through network services onboarding and interoperability
  • Hybrid mode to enable operation of both the new environment and the legacy one while transitioning
  • Dynamic environments require operations support system modernization
  • More complex environments, including 5G, require multiple network cloud instancing and slicing

To be successful and able to accelerate the way to design, build, and deploy networks, CSPs are looking for open technologies and horizontal platforms that provide complete automation and are vendor- agnostic. Because the worlds of telecommunication networks and IT are coming together, the best practices in DevOps and software automation are becoming key enablers for success.

Cloud Pak for Network Automation

Cloud Pak for Network Automation provides open integration of external virtual and physical resources to be assembled with others to create complete services. While orchestrating such assemblies, a set of one or more external resource managers through their northbound APIs are leveraged to orchestrate the lifecycles of the managed resource instances deployed to virtual infrastructure managers (VIMs). Resource managers are responsible for communicating with the VIMs to request actions on cloud infrastructure compute, storage, and network resources to support the deployed resource instance lifecycles.

Capabilities added in release 2.1

Site planner

This feature addresses the needs of network and infrastructure engineers as they design, build, and manage the intended state of data centres to support network services that compose VNF and CNF workloads that have explicit network functions virtualization infrastructure (NFVI) requirements. The site planner supports modeling the following items to represent the intended state of a site:

  • Equipment racks organized by group and site
  • Types of devices, their configuration and capabilities, and where they are installed
  • Network, console, and power connections among devices
  • Virtualization of machines and clusters
  • Data from communications circuits and providers
  • IP networks and addresses, virtual routing and forwarding (VRF), and virtual local area networks (VLANs)

Site models are backed by automation packages that are composed of descriptors, scripts, and images that can be assembled dynamically into automated processes to reconcile the intended state in the site planner with the actual state of the site once the hardware has been racked, cabled, and powered on. As the site planner changes the intended state of a site model over time, further processes can be dynamically created to reconcile the site again.

Carrier grade support for ETSI MANO standards

Support for the following ETSI standards in this release:

  • ETSI GS NFV-SOL 003: RESTful protocols specification for the Or-Vnfm Reference Point
  • ETSI GS NFV-SOL 005 APIs: RESTful protocols specification for the Os-Ma-nfvo Reference Point

In addition, Cloud Pak for Network Automation can import network vendor ETSI-compliant CSAR packages.

Orchestration and automation for virtual open RANs

Features that support the automated orchestration of open RAN deployment:

  • Open RAN standards compliance
  • Operational Hub dashboard to monitor orchestration intent progress and diagnostics
  • RAN inventory model that represents RAN deployment
  • RAN policies and flows for automation of call flows for platform infrastructure
  • RAN intent automation models for orchestration and management of RAN xNF interfaces

IBM Automation Foundation

  • Updated services: To support ongoing enhancements adding automation and AI features, Cloud Pak for Network Automation includes Automation Foundation. With Automation Foundation, organizations can enable optional use of automation features to assist in the creation, deployment, and optimization of integration capabilities.
  • RPA capabilities: In addition to the existing capabilities, Cloud Pak for Network Automation includes a chargeable option that enables the deployment of RPA. Deploying RPA features in Cloud Pak for Network Automation enables screen scraping and metadata inference to extract data from legacy applications and to utilize these features in other Cloud Pak for Network Automation components.
  • Process Mining: Many capabilities deployed in Cloud Pak for Network Automation and the various systems that Cloud Pak for Network Automation connects and interacts with comprise multiple steps. There may be opportunities for improvement, but it can be difficult to understand where inefficiencies exist. Process Mining is an additional chargeable component available in Cloud Pak for Network Automation. Process Mining can identify areas where inefficiencies exist and can suggest improvements for your users.

Telco Network Cloud Manager - Performance

This component is available to enhance Cloud Pak for Network Automation. Telco Network Cloud Manager - Performance is a network performance manager that provides the following capabilities:

  • Rationalizes the number of tools used for monitoring network performance
  • Optimizes network and service management processes for consistent network quality levels and customer experience
  • Manages complex, modernized network infrastructures in near real- time
  • Monitors network devices at high scale
  • Monitors across VNFs and virtual and physical layers
  • Identifies, isolates, and troubleshoots performance bottlenecks and issues
  • Helps reduce cost of operation

Enhancements for this release include:

  • Support for a single platform user experience for install (operator support), login, and common landing page
  • Support added for software-defined storage with CEPH
  • Enhanced efficiency of SNMP device polling
  • Additional integration to support clients migrating from IBM Netcool Performance Manager
  • Support for collecting vendor data across multiple layers and physical or virtual infrastructure, for example, microservice to integrate with Nokia NSP EMS

IBM Telco Network Cloud Manager 1.3

CSPs are modernizing their networks through network virtualization and cloudification. This involves replacing physical network appliances with VNFs and CNFs, and creating cloud infrastructure up and down the stack, from the infrastructure level to the application level. This modernization helps deliver agility, rapid scaling, healing, and resource sharing.

Some of the challenges on this journey include:

  • End-to-end orchestration. Network services onboarding and interoperability.
  • Hybrid mode. How to operate the new environment based on the existing one.
  • New dynamic environments. Requires operations support system modernization.
  • More complex environment, including 5G. Multiple network cloud instancing and slicing.

To be successful and able to accelerate the way to design, build, and deploy networks, CSPs are looking for open technology and horizontal platforms that provide complete automation and are vendor- agnostic. Because the worlds of telecommunication networks and IT are coming together, the best practices in DevOps and software automation are becoming key enablers for success.

Telco Network Cloud Manager - Assurance

Telco Network Cloud Manager - Assurance utilizes AI Manager, a core component of IBM Watson AIOps for IBM Cloud Pak for Data 2.0, to analyze structured and unstructured data channels that pertain to applications, including IBM Watson AIOps Alert Manager for events and topology data, Humio, LogDNA, and PagerDuty. To resolve an incident, AI Manager identifies a potential problem, analyzes the evidence, and provides a synthesized report in near real-time. When AI Manager detects a potential problem, it creates a story about the incident, surfaces a report in the user's ChatOps environment, such as Slack, and updates the story as evidence is collected.

AI Manager

Integrates with the following IBM Netcool offerings:

  • Operations Insight
  • Agile Service Manager
  • IBM Tivoli Netcool/OMNibus

Metric Manager

Metric Manager analyzes performance and monitoring data (metric data) across silos, domains, vendors, and systems such as New Relic, AppDynamics, and SolarWinds. It automatically learns the normal operational behavior of the metrics in an organization's environment to automatically detect anomalies and offer a wide range of proactive outage avoidance capabilities, including:

  • Proactive detection of emerging problems and issues to help avoid service disruptions and outages that can affect your business
  • Improved DevOps efficiency during continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) by detecting performance issues immediately after a new application is released
  • Correlation of metrics across services, nodes, and metrics to promote faster probable cause identification

Event Manager

Event Manager uses correlation and analysis processes to deliver a robust analytics-driven alert and incident management solution that helps organizations collect, consolidate, and correlate events and topology data from virtually any source.

Event Manager is a natural evolution and successor to all previous versions of Netcool event management solutions. It delivers advanced cross-domain, event-based, and topology-based analytics, enabling ITOps and DevOps teams to improve operational efficiency and potentially reduce operational cost by applying machine learning to diminish event noise for more effective event management and incident response. Capabilities include:

  • AI to determine which alert is the most likely to be nearest to the cause of the incident outage or service degradation
  • In-context visualization of an alert group or event by using event history and topology to help with quick repair, and self-service topology-based dashboards for health at glance
  • Initiation of runbooks for automated response

Telco Network Cloud Manager - Orchestration

Telco Network Cloud Manager - Orchestration provides open integration of external virtual and physical resources to be assembled with others to create complete services. While orchestrating such assemblies, Telco Network Cloud Manager Orchestration leverages a set of one or more external resource managers through their northbound APIs to orchestrate the lifecycles of the managed resource instances deployed to virtual infrastructure managers (VIMs). Resource managers are responsible for communicating with the VIMs to request actions on cloud infrastructure compute, storage, and network resources to support the deployed resource instance lifecycles. Capabilities include:

  • Kubernetes VIM driver. This driver supports the creation and deletion of infrastructure requests where the infrastructure is managed as Kubernetes objects, in addition to support for Red Hat OpenStack drivers. The driver supports infrastructure specifications using:
    • Kubernetes resource configuration formatted templates
    • Custom operators
    • Helm charts
  • Asynchronous communication between Telco Network Cloud Manager Orchestration and resource managers

Telco Network Cloud Manager - Orchestration adds the following enhancements:

  • Kubernetes operator based installation of Telco Network Cloud Manager - Orchestration replaces the Helm charts installation of earlier releases, enabling a more controlled and safe installation.
  • Brownfield site adoption that can discover preexisting virtual network services and resources and can bring them under the management of Telco Network Cloud Manager - Orchestration.

Telco Network Cloud Manager - Orchestration includes a site planner feature as a technology preview. The site planner feature can only be used as part of the internal development and test environment for internal nonproduction activities. The site planner feature addresses the needs of network and infrastructure engineers as they design, build, and manage the intended state of data centres to support network services that compose VNF and CNF workloads that have explicit NFVI requirements. The site planner supports modelling the following items to represent the intended state of a site:

  • Equipment racks. Organized by group and site.
  • Devices. Types of devices, their configuration, and capabilities and where they are installed.
  • Connections. Network, console, and power connections among devices.
  • Virtualization. Machines and clusters.
  • Data circuits. Communications circuits and providers.
  • IP networks and addresses, virtual routing and forwarding (VRF), and virtual local area networks (VLANs).

The site models are backed by automation packages that are composed of descriptors, scripts, and images that can be assembled dynamically by Telco Network Cloud Manager - Orchestration into automated processes to reconcile the intended state in the site planner with the actual state of the site once the hardware has been racked, cabled, and powered on. As the site planner changes the intended state of a site model over time, Telco Network Cloud Manager - Orchestration can dynamically create further processes to reconcile the site again.

Accessibility by people with disabilities

Accessibility Compliance Reports (previously known as a VPAT) containing details on accessibility compliance to standards, including the Worldwide Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, European Standard EN 301 349, and US Section 508, can be found on the IBM Accessibility Conformance Report Request website.



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Operating environment

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Hardware requirements

Hardware requirements are available in IBM Documentation.

Software requirements

Software requirements are available in IBM Documentation.



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Planning information

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Customer responsibilities

Not applicable.



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Publications

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Cloud Pak for Network Automation documentation is available in IBM Documentation.



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Trademarks

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(R), (TM), * Trade-mark or registered trade-mark of International Business Machines Corporation.

** Company, product, or service name may be a trade-mark or service mark of others.

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