Trend 8: Software-defined and disaggregation of network elements to enhance cost efficiency, flexibility, and scaling

Telecom service providers and enterprises are increasingly looking at options to reduce CAPEX and OPEX on networks while reducing dependence on select vendors. Disaggregation and software defined abstraction enable them to have a choice of hardware and software. Open networking and opensource components play a major role in creating this disruption.

Two important standard forums and architecture pushing this forward are CORD architecture (by ONF) and O-RAN (by O-RAN alliance). CORD architecture essentially proposes to break the embedded network elements to open hardware and open-source software. ONF has come up with multiple reference implementations like Trellis, software enabled broadband access and converged multiaccess and core, which accelerates the adoption. While O-RAN is standardizing the open wireless radio access network.

The role of system integrators is evident in this journey, as they need to harden the components, integrate them, and provide a single accountable interface to the customer. Infosys has hardened ONF components available as Infosys Network Edge Controller and Infosys Software Defined Access to accelerate the adoption.

A leading North American cable multisystem operator achieved cost efficiency, edge scalability, and operational efficiency by using ONF Trellis as software and white-box as hardware for disaggregating the network fabric. Infosys helped the company integrate this solution and build the cloud service and management layer using open-source components. In the process, Infosys had closely worked and contributed to multiple open-source projects in ONF and K8s.


Trend 9: AI/ML and orchestration systems empower extreme automation

Enterprises find it challenging to orchestrate multidomain end-to-end observability. Open-source libraries provide ML/AI algorithms (such as Spark) to create network-specific assurance use cases. Data management and dashboarding are increasingly using Kibana and Grafana as underlying components. Opensource-based orchestration for slice management and vendor-agnostic automation frameworks are getting renewed focus. ONAP from LFN is one such example.

The business value of the above can be completely derived only by taking these available open-source and converting them into the right solutions which address business problems like multidomain orchestration, enabling zero touch provisioning, network assurance for operational cost reduction, etc. Infosys has used open-source AI/ML libraries in developing an AI/ML-based predictive closed loop assurance solution called Infosys Smart Network Assurance.

A European energy and utility company partnered with Infosys to transform some components of its operations. It used Infosys' open-source-based AI/ML network assurance solution - Infosys Smart Network Assurance for AI Ops. The solution brought end-to-end visibility, improved predictive fault management, device metric analysis, and proactive alerting and automation. The company reduced operational costs by 30-40% and improve cycle time by up to 80%.