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How DDI Helps Telcos Move Their Network Automation Forward

To manage ever growing complex networks, new 5G services and IoT, telcos and ISPs rely on network automation for enabling zero touch operations. Key to this is trusted data, open APIs, and DDI (DNS-DHCP-IPAM). The 2023 IDC report explains why DDI helps move automation forward.

July 11, 2023 | Written by: Surinder Paul | , , , , ,

How Ddi Helps Telcos Move Their Network Automation Forward

With ever complexifying networks, multi-cloud adoption, stricter regulations, explosion of IoT, and new services introduced by Private 5G, telcos and ISPs are turning to network automation for improving operational agility and efficiency. At the heart of this is trusted data (Network Source of Truth), open APIs, and DDI. The new IDC 2023 Network Automation report explains drivers, inhibitors, benefits seen, and why DNS-DHCP-IPAM (DDI) is an obvious starting point for enabling zero touch operations.

Why is the Telecom Sector Turning to Network Automation?

Globally, deployment of 5G networks is picking up speed, bringing tremendous opportunities for telcos. The most obvious ones concern the B2B markets, including Private 5G use cases and managed services for enterprises. This implies additional bandwidth requirements, as well as simplification of network management, in order to cope with demand. At the same time, increasingly stricter regulations are being imposed on telcos, particularly in network security and data privacy areas. To show compliance, service providers are being forced to put technical solutions, documentation, certification, and reporting in place. 

In order to meet the demand around bandwidth and network operational efficiency, service providers generally regard network automation as being key. For 68% of them, the main driver shown in the IDC report is business model transformation, followed by operating cost reduction (65%) and agility (59%). The resulting benefits stated are impressive, with 96% citing increased IT Team productivity, 89% operating cost reduction, and 96% MTTR (mean time to resolution) improvements.

But unfortunately, moving along the automation path is not proving to be straightforward, resulting in 61% of service providers remaining in the Limited or Repeatable segments of the IDC Maturity Index. In short, these segments imply that manual processes are still being extensively used. Telcos and ISPs say they are being slowed down by tools integration, knowledge shortage and lack of technical maturity from vendors, especially when it comes to APIs. And a major inhibitor, for almost a third of service providers, is the lack of a trusted network data repository, otherwise known as a Network Source of Truth (NSoT). In an effort to overcome the NSoT challenge, they are turning more and more to solutions such as DDI (DNS-DHCP-IPAM) as a starting point.

How DDI Helps Telcos Advance Their Network Automation Journey

Integrated DNS, DHCP and IP Address Management solutions help organizations overcome many of the obstacles to network automation. Bringing visibility, a documented infrastructure, a trusted repository and consistent control for end-to-end management, service providers are realizing that DDI is instrumental to be able to bootstrap their network automation journey. 83% consider it to be highly important today, with that number increasing to 91% in a 2 year timeframe.

DDI delivers positive and measurable benefits to telcos and ISPs, regardless of their size, segmentation, or stage, on the IDC Network Automation Maturity Index. Initial and Limited organizations could start with automated changes and upgrades for example, while Repeatable organizations can focus on security remediation and process standardization. Those further along their journey in the Managed and Optimized segments could leverage DDI for zero-touch provisioning, as well as to introduce new use cases benefiting from SASE and 5G network slicing (Private 5G services).

Based on the survey results, DDI is being used today by the majority of service providers for automation of many different tasks. 59% use it for management and security policy enforcement, 53% for infrastructure and application lifecycle management, and 55% for multi-vendor DNS and DHCP management. The numerous benefits include consolidated, trusted network data, service continuity improvement, risk reduction, compliance, and resource utilization. Having a Network Source of Truth is considered to be of particular value – 61% use IPAM as a NSoT today, as they consider it mandatory to automate management of their network routing.

The two-year forecast stats shown in the report confirm that service providers are aware they absolutely need to automate in order to keep up with market growth and stay competitive. As an example, making use of network automation for accelerating service deployment is vital for increasing subscriber satisfaction and enforcing “stickiness”, which in turn helps minimize churn and thus guarantee revenue.

Why Use Smart DDI from EfficientIP?

EfficientIP is well placed to understand the needs of service providers. Our founders come from telco backgrounds, hence have deep knowledge of the industry. When leveraged for network automation projects, SOLIDserver DDI with its IPAM, NSoT, and open APIs is able to significantly help Telcos optimize their network infrastructures to augment availability and performance.

Our integrated Smart DDI enables carrier-grade performance and reliability, enhancing service uptime and guaranteeing always-on internet access. Configuration errors caused by manual, non-integrated processes are virtually eliminated thanks to policy-driven deployments. This improved operational efficiency brought by automated provisioning/deprovisioning and IP data sharing considerably simplifies network management, for both IPv4 and IPv6 networks, and is an important step for Telcos wishing to move towards autonomous networks. And at the same time, service rollout is accelerated, bringing quicker time to revenue for new 5G services.

Regulatory enforced filtering is another area where SOLIDserver DDI brings important value to service providers. DNS Threat Intelligence brought by our DNS Threat Pulse feed strengthens protection of subscribers against malicious attacks like ransomware and malware. Filtering as a service can also be offered in order to restrict content for uses like “parental control”. Blocking access to malicious sites or content via a combination of DNS Client Query Filtering, DNS Firewall, and DNS Threat Pulse is definitely a topic for telcos to seriously consider.

But don’t just take our word for it. Numerous telecommunications companies, ISPs, and broadband providers around the globe have already adopted SOLIDserver DNS, DHCP and IPAM solutions for enhancing management, automation and security of their networks. By utilizing DDI as a Network Automation Hub to push and pull actionable data through automated workflows, dozens of use cases have been adopted. These range from zero touch provisioning, regulatory compliance, and UX improvement, to security policy deployment and filtering.

To learn more on how to move your network automation journey forward with DDI, don’t hesitate to contact us for a live demo.

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