Intent-driven Closed Loops for Autonomous Networks
Keywords:Closed-loop automation, intent-driven management, zero-touch management
Closed loops are key enablers for automation that have been successfully used in many industries for long, and more recently for computing and networking applications. The Zero-touch network and service management (ZSM) framework introduced standardized components that allow the creation, execution, and governance of multiple closed loops, enabling zero-touch management of end-to-end services across different management domains. However, the coordinated and optimal instantiation and operation of multiple closed loops is an open question that is left for implementation by the ZSM specifications. In this paper, we propose a methodology that uses intents as a way of communicating requirements to be considered by autonomous management domains to coordinate hierarchies of closed loops. The intent-driven methodology facilitates hierarchical and peer interactions for delegation and escalation of intents. Furthermore, it extends the existing management capabilities of the ZSM framework and facilitates conflict-free integration of closed loops by setting optimal (and non-conflicting) goals that each closed loop in the hierarchy needs to account for. We show an example of the application of the proposed methodology in a network slicing assurance use case. The new capabilities introduced in this paper can be considered as an extension of the ZSM framework to be used in scenarios where multiple intent-driven closed loops exist.
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