Business and consumer services delivered in today’s digital economy are increasingly dependent upon resources distributed across a diverse ecosystem of stakeholders. Content Owners, Communications Service Providers (CSPs), Multiple System Operators (MSOs), Cloud Providers, Business and Consumer Users and of course Developers are all interdependent. As evident in Figure 1, the processes of creating content / services, service delivery and of managing the overall experience end-to-end in this multi-service provider / multi-cloud environment has become challenging.
Service Providers today are dealing with four major trends:
- Multiple devices from a variety of manufacturers.
- Complex developer ecosystems
- Expediential Growth of Service APIs
- Reality of Multi-Cloud Service Delivery
To address these issues the TM Forum developed the Software Enabled Services (SES)1 Management Solution. It defines the concept of an SES Service that exposes both a Functional Interface as well as an explicit interface for the management of a service or a service composition.
The SES Management Solution is not particularly concerned with what the service does via the Functional Interface but does expand upon the manageability aspects especially in these two areas:
- The Simple Management Interface2 (SMI) defines a design pattern for an API that reveals how to manage any given service from a Provisioning, Assurance and Usage/Charging perspective.
- The Service Lifecycle Management (SLM) defines ITILv3 2011 aligned best practices and requirements for establishing a role based software/services factory and a Lifecycle Management Meta Data model.
There are two principal differences with cloud computing that make more difficult the problem of managing resources associated with cloud services. One difference is the virtualization at the elastic compute and elastic network layers as well as the sheer scale of that virtualization. The other difference is that multiple clouds and multiple enterprise domains are increasingly involved in the delivery of cloud services further complicating resource management.
- The term “SDF” and “SES” will be used interchangeably in this paper. Early TM Forum documents used the term “SDF” or Service Delivery Framework and later TM Forum documents use the newer “SES” term. When a drawing is pulled from a TM Forum document the term SDF or SES may appear depending upon the date of those docs. No attempt is made to refactor the terminology to the newer term.
- Simple Management Interface was the term adopted with the launch of the TM Forum Digital Services Initiative in December 2012. The term had progressed from “Simple Management Interface” to “SES Management Interface”. “Simple Management Interface” will be term used going forward.