New ITU-T core information model for transition to software-defined networking

ITU members have achieved first-stage approval (‘consent’) of a core information model for transport resources which will enable smooth transition from traditional management using an Operation Support System (OSS) to Software-Defined Networking (SDN) architectures. The new standard gives operators the ability to deploy SDN selectively, migrating parts of infrastructure to SDN without nullifying the value of investments in legacy OSS infrastructure.

SDN is a promising route towards more dynamic network management-control, enabling operators to establish and manage-control virtual network resources without introducing new specialized hardware. SDN answers industry’s need for a flexible, cost-efficient means of accommodating large fluctuations in bandwidth use by offering an alternative to overprovisioning of dedicated transport resources.

The new standard – Recommendation ITU-T G.7711/Y.1702 “Generic protocol-neutral information model for transport resources” – was developed by ITU-T Study Group 15, resulting from the natural progression of the group’s work on OSS and Automatically Switched Optical Networks (ASON).

ITU-T G.7711/Y.1702 was developed through open collaboration with ONF and TM Forum and strong alignment with their respective specifications, driven by a shared vision of moving towards an industry-wide open common information model. The development process also solicited input from other standards bodies including OIF, MEF, IEEE, 3GPP, BBF and IETF.

A key feature of the model is that its applicability is unaffected by the choice of whether to configure transport connectivity using traditional OSS management (ITU-T G.7710), ASON control plane (ITU-T G.8080) or an SDN controller. This applicability is also independent of the technologies deployed in the underlying transport network and the protocols used in management and control interfaces.

ITU-T G.7711/Y.1702 provides the uniform, protocol-neutral core information model required to ensure consistent operations, administration, maintenance and provisioning of the transport network. Applicable to traditional OSS management as well as ASON and SDN control, the model will be of great assistance to industry in enabling interoperability between SDN-controlled and traditionally-managed network domains, as well as in migrating from traditional management to SDN control.

The core information model defined by ITU-T G.7711/Y.1702 will be used as a basis for the extension of information models specific to the support of particular transport and control technologies. These extensions will be specified in technology-specific ITU-T standards such as Recommendations ITU-T G.874.1 for OTN management, ITU-T G.8052 for Carrier Ethernet management, ITU-T G.7718.1 for ASON control management, and the draft Recommendation ITU-T G.8152 for MPLS-TP management.

For more information on the recent achievements of ITU-T Study Group 15, please consult the Executive Summary of the group’s meeting from 22 June to 3 July 2015.

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