Kent McNeil Kent McNeil Principal - DonRiver

Featured Blogs

OSS virtualization

  • DonRiver recently completed a joint research report with the TM Forum focusing on process-driven or data-driven architectures.  DonRiver have long been proponents of moving away from domain centric OSS activities, performed in domain centric solutions, and focusing on the business process and value to the organization.  

    OSS virtualisation 

    During the creation of the report it become clear there remains a lot of confusion around this type of architecture, which goes by the name of OSS Federation, OSS abstraction or OSS virtualization.


    I personally think OSS virtualization is the more accurate term simply because the value proposition is similar to Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and most people are more familiar with NFV.


    For some context lets look at what make the network complex to manage:

    -Many disparate vendors with very specific technology expertise

    -Proprietary in nature

    -Open in marketing credentials but largely closed in reality

    -Vertically integrated

    -Historically limited legacy decommissioning


    NFV should have several benefits but ultimately its goal is to virtualize network functions. That is to say it will abstract the proprietary nature from specific functions and make devices more generic and thus easier to manage.


    However, Network Function Virtualization does not mean each and every network device will be removed from the network.


    Now lets look at what makes OSS complex:

    -Many disparate vendors with very specific technology expertise

    -Proprietary in nature

    -Open in marketing credentials but closed in reality

    -Vertically integrated

    - Historically limited legacy decommissioning


    Virtualization can (and is) simplifying OSS in the same manner NFV simplifies network management.  It is not about removing or even consolidating the dozens and dozens of OSS domain systems but removing the proprietary nature from the OSS stack and thus removing the complexity.


    Open API’s and a powerful business process layer can deliver immediate simplification with little or no risk to the organization.


    OSS Virtualization does just this.


    The value proposition is simple:

    -Remove Swivel Chair & Increase process improvements

    -Deliver rapid ROI

    -De-risk process change and improvement

    -Establish One User experience

    -Vendor Independence


    To sum it up in the most simple and basic way – system fragmentation drives complexity.   Adding a new module or product without reducing system fragmentation will only drive complexity not reduce or improve it.  


    CSP’s are not lacking in system features they are drowning in individual system complexities.


    This is where OSS virtualization comes into play. Network Transformations tried to address fragmentation (swivel chair) but the consolidation approach underestimated the complexity, cost and most importantly the risk involved in attempting to consolidate and decommissioning systems business users log-into and use each day.


    Virtualization enables a process-driven layer that ‘sits’ above all of the OSS domain systems to remove swivel chair, streamline processes and by not changing the underlying systems, massively reduce risks associated with major system change.


    It removes the silos for the business users without risk or cost associated with system consolidation.


    Several other benefits quickly become apparent to CSP’s after their first success with OSS virtualization. One major benefit that is seldom discussed is business users being decoupled from IT systems.


    I will write another blog about the benefits of decoupling, as its importance cannot be stressed enough.


    If you are interested in the TM Forum report please let me know and I can send it to you.

    Kent McNeil
    About Kent McNeil Kent McNeil works as Principal at DonRiver
    More information :