Mobile World Congress is typically the event where the pulse of the mobile communications industry is best felt: what is on the horizon, what is hot and which products and services will shape the coming years. It’s an exciting and exhilarating event that shows an industry in full-swing transformation.
One of the key launches this year from Ericsson – in strong collaboration with our partners at Cisco – was the Dynamic Service Manager (DSM), an innovative product that goes straight to the heart of one of the key pain points of networking: designing, deploying and supervising network connectivity services on demand across vendors, technologies and layers. Most operators want to vitalize cooperation with the enterprise sector to prepare for the Internet of Things (IoT) market but that is a hard sell for as long as a simple LAN interconnect service needs up to three months to be delivered. With DSM, this can now be done in hours, which is a key development for this market. As one of our customers told me: “If you deliver this, the industry will carry you on its shoulders.”
And that’s exactly what we are going to do this year: deliver it to our customers.
But, what exactly is DSM and what does it do?
It’s first and foremost a fully-fledged service management product that integrates out-of-the-box control capabilities across multiple layers and technologies (L0 to L3 and technologies such as optical and transport). This is a big deal because software-defined networking (SDN) holds the promise of automating and dynamically adjusting network capabilities – but, without a supporting management solution that allows full service lifecycle, it was of limited appeal. We are now taking this to a whole new level: we can now enable our customers to manage their services as well as have fine-grained control according to policies defined on the service level.
A lot of effort has been put into service configuration recently just getting it up and running. While this is of course essential, it only goes half way: monitoring and automated assurance and optimization are crucial elements in securing that service providers can fully deliver on their committed SLAs towards their customers and be able to show this based on real data. Automation of assurance is one of the key ingredients that will help reduce operational expenses while improving SLA compliance, something that has been coming for a long time.
Doing all this is part of DSM’s core DNA.
Last, but not least, DSM is inherently a world citizen, if I may use this term: it’s multi-vendor out of the box, supporting all leading providers’ network elements (and that includes, besides Ericsson and Cisco nodes, all our major competitors’ gear). We know that networks are never deployed ‘green field’ and our customers will want the best equipment that meets their demands – and DSM is there to support them. In case DSM does not support some nodes out of the box, we have made sure that integration can be efficiently done in the field, using our southbound APIs. The best part is that all services that DSM can manage will be available unchanged, irrespective of the equipment or the vendor added to the network. This is how we define multi-vendor networking!
DSM will be available commercially later during 2016. There are exciting times ahead of us as we engage with our customers around this product and prove its capabilities in real networks.
Stay tuned for the first commercial launch of the Dynamic Service Manager.
VP Datacom, Ericsson CTO office
Martin Bäckström has more than 20 years of strong experience in Wireless Data and track record in managing technology, products, and solutions designed to support business requirements. He is responsible for bringing IT technologies into the telecom space and fostering close cooperation between industries in areas such as Cloud, Virtualization, SDN and Analytics.