December 16, 2021

Telco AI Paradigm Shift: The Evolution of CI/CD & the Genesis of CV/CA

Traditional means of managing telecommunications networks are obsolete, and automation is at the forefront of development. The market-driven demand for automation presents a significant challenge to operators that requires a paradigm shift from reactive to proactive network monitoring, maintenance, and assurance. Paradigm Shift Happens: Learn to "Operate Differently"The increased capabilities of telco networks, driven by software-defined network disaggregation, necessitate improved network visualization, monitoring, and assurance. B-Yond provides the AI-Infused Network Services Automation solutions and products required to mediate this demand. B-Yond's automation solutions entice the telco industry to "Operate Differently" by providing the means to scale network optimization and monetization. The Impetus: Market Demand and Industry CompetitionAmidst the increasingly diversified telco provider landscape, leveraging the power of AI to achieve comprehensive automation is the mandate for attaining success. B-Yond's AI-infused NetDevOps tools and business chain solutions facilitate the genesis towards closed-loop automation. This shift is mandatory and inevitable due to technological advancement, market demand, and the broadened scope of network development and maintenance. Giants in the telecom industry have been actively pursuing automation transformation for years, with some claiming that their "network will be 55-75 percent virtualized by 2021" (TM Forum). Catalyze Advancement: Data-driven Transformative DisruptionModernizing telco networks entails fragmented vendor landscapes, network function disaggregation (VNF, CNF), software-defined networking (SDN), and the transition to hybrid telco cloud. As a result, the telecommunications industry is in a metamorphosis geared towards faster, automated, and continuously self-healing pre-production networks and production network services. This automation innovation will exponentially boost efficiency and ROI. B-Yond is on the frontier of the telecommunications remodel, working tirelessly to catalyze advancement in the industry by providing partners with the most cutting-edge AI-infused transformative network management approaches. Use case results substantiate that AI isn't just hype; it's a requirement. The Way Forward: Continuous AssuranceSeveral operators have unsuccessfully tried leveraging Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) from Staging to Preproduction to Production. These costly endeavors haven't delivered tangible results. The proven methodology for fast, optimized, and monetized network service deployments combines Continuous Validation (CV) and Continuous Assurance (CA). Though traditional CI and CD toolchains are well known and revered, the narrative surrounding their autonomous efficacy is changing. Applying CI/CD to Telco workloads and network functions is challenging. CI & CD are parts of the end-to-end process used to ensure that each new function or version journeys through multiple environments (recently, hybrid clouds) and undergoes testing for software consistency to deliver network services quickly and effectively. AI-Infused Continuous Validation (CV) enhances CI/CD by guaranteeing that the network function operates as a self-contained, seamless software solution which supports an end-to-end service. AI-Infused CV comprises three phases of validation:

  • - Interface Level Validation – validating interop and standards compliance metrics
  • - Sub-System Level Validation – validating compliance to telco service levels
  • - End to End (E2E) Service-Level Validation – validating Service Delivery Experience (SDx)

Each of these validation phases must operate, both in part and jointly, through a variety of scenarios. In large part, many operators are already attempting to manage the need for CV, albeit unsuccessfully. The challenge is two-fold. First and most impactful, a significantly higher degree of volume and scale is required and expected across all telcom networks. Secondly, increases in individual functions are accompanied by a multitude of testing scenarios. Increased testing detects higher volumes of errors requiring analysis, causing further production delays. Accordingly, this increase in testing volume requires supplementary automation and precise fault and error isolation. B-Yond mitigates this issue by introducing AI-Infused Continuous Validation to automatically identify testing fallouts and pinpoint root errors. As a result, the automation cycle can finally scale to meet the much-needed demand. In pursuit of fully automated, self-healing networks, CI/CD & AI-Infused CV must be engaged throughout pre-production and production networks. B-Yond deploys its AI-Infused Continuous Assurance (CA) chain to monitor all components of the network and its services in search of any anomalies that may occur, either by passive consumption of data or via active injection of simulated service consumption. Once an anomaly is detected, the next step is locating the root error to initiate the remediation process. In our experience, taking the end-to-end Continuous Assurance in-house (versus outsourced to OEM's), automating it (via AI/ML), and treating the production network as an extension of the lab (versus having two extremely separate and unequal networks) allows telcos to reap unprecedented benefits. Inspired by operational expense reduction, customer satisfaction, high retention rates, user adoption improvements, as well as increased ROI, our clients share this mantra with us, “Automation Intelligence”. B-Yond's AI-infused end-to-end life cycle network and service automation product, named AGILITY, answers CSP needs for all the previously mentioned network components that must become fully automated to remain relevant and competitive. Communication Service Providers can deploy cloud-native AGILITY to experience its value in pre-production and production environments. AGILITY's root error analysis, anomaly detection, and remediation capabilities enable optimized customer service delivery experiences (SDx). As a critical component of post-production deployment and subscriber data capture, AGILITY completes the end-to-end process.We've borne witness to the successful genesis of AI Infused CV/CA; the benefits include:

  • - reducing test and validation life cycles from hours to minutes
  • - increasing service validation capacity 10X,
  • - reducing service delivery costs by 50% (on average), &
  • - detecting anomalies and root errors in real-time

The need for telcos to adopt AI Infused Continuous Validation & Assurance solutions to remain lucrative and competitive is undisputable. The call to action is clear; it's time to "Operate Differently".