TM Forum launches hybrid network management blueprint, focuses on bridging physical, virtual environments

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The Hybrid Infrastructures Blueprint provides measured ways to manage the migration between virtualized and traditional environments.

TM Forum has introduced a blueprint that it says can help service providers manage hybrid physical and virtual network environments—a key challenge for incumbent service providers that have large embedded bases of physical network infrastructure.

While virtualized services have various benefits, including the ability to provision services quicker, the challenge is that deploying virtualized network infrastructure alongside traditional infrastructure and systems creates many operational challenges.

The Implementation and Deployment Blueprints for Hybrid Environments provides a standardized and interoperable approach to solving the fragmentation between traditional and virtualized infrastructures and systems.

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While industry and standards bodies have been developing standardized ways to manage new virtualized networks and systems, TM Forum says little attention has been given to the complex operational challenge of managing the move to virtualized networks alongside maintaining mission critical traditional infrastructures.

Milind Bhagwat, Enterprise architect for BT, said in a release that the blueprint will enable the incumbent service provider to better make use of virtual functions in its network.

“Operators today are faced with the massive challenge of managing hybrid infrastructure composed of virtual and physical components,” Bhagwat said. “The intent-based, catalog-driven and policy-enabled approach for management of the Hybrid Infrastructure Platform delivered by the Blueprint allows us to effectively automate end-to-end service provisioning and management."

The Hybrid Infrastructures Blueprint goes beyond the very basic management capabilities typically deployed with NFV. It provides CSPs with measured ways to manage the migration between virtualized and traditional environments, creating a smoother digital transformation.

Developed by a number of major service providers, vendors and other stakeholders in TM Forum’s ZOOM (Zero-touch Orchestration, Operations and Management) project, the blueprint contains solutions and information, which can be used by TM Forum members on demand.

Users can get access to a series of Open APIs, information models, best practices and deployment guides, which assist in the delivery of the standard interface required for multi-vendor hybrid deployments. The blueprint also provides a number of management capabilities not currently available together in a standardized package, including Resource Function Activation and Configuration, Inventory Management, Catalog Management, and Assurance.