Open Service Architecture – the solution to ‘Not another EMS…’

Oct 21, 2013 by Scott Knox

Scott Knox - Director of Solutions DevelopmentService providers have a love-hate relationship with traditional vendor-proprietary EMS (Element Management Systems).  The relationship starts off OK – the EMS provides needed tools to manage a growing network of elements for fault management, inventory management, software backups and some aspects of configuration.  But as the network scales and the services evolve, the vendor-proprietary EMS becomes a bottleneck for growth, service agility and evolution.

Vendor-proprietary EMS systems have several key challenges that need to be addressed.  Their biggest limitation is the proprietary aspect; it is expensive and time consuming for service providers to integrate proprietary systems.  Most vendor EMS don’t leverage modern Web 2.0 interfaces like REST, Java RMI and Openstack which limit service agility and easy integration.  Finally, many vendor-EMS are designed primarily for human-machine interaction; lacking the programmability and extensibility needed for efficient machine-machine integration with customer BSS/OSS systems.


The good news is that there are new solutions available in an Open Service Architecture approach to providing service Creation, Activation and Assurance tools.  Overture applies these concepts in Ensemble OSA™ (Open Service Architecture).  The open-services focus applies to every aspect of the architecture; from the open APIs and programmable core functions to the extensible domain models and modular, flexible resource adapters.

This approach not only provides a cloud-enabled open solution for traditional management and control functions; it also incorporates new concepts like Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).  This enables the seamless combination of physical WAN network devices with new cloud-server based Virtual Network Functions (VNF) to create new types of services that are flexible, intelligent and both CAPEX and OPEX efficient.

A look at the Top 5 Pain points that service providers have with vendor-proprietary EMS highlights the advantage of an open approach like Ensemble OSA:

About the author

Scott Knox is director of Solutions Development at Overture.  He has 25 years of industry experience that includes both the service provider and vendor perspective.  He leverages his experience in services architecture and advanced technology to drive Carrier Ethernet and cloud-enabling product and solutions development focused on the metro edge. He has a BSEE from Mississippi State University and an MBA from The University of Texas at Dallas.


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