Zero touch network & Service Management


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Zero touch network and Service Management is conceived as a next-generation management system that leverages the principles of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN). It will be designed for the new, cloud-based network infrastructures and functions, and based on cloud-native principles to address zero-touch (fully automated) management and operation.
The challenges introduced by the deployment of new network foundations such as NFV and new architectures such as 5G trigger the need to accelerate network transformation and radically change the way networks and services are managed and orchestrated.

These new network architectures come with an extreme range of requirements, including massive capacity (perceived as infinite in practice), imperceptible latency, ultra-high reliability, personalized services with dramatic improvements in customer-experience, global web-scale reach, and support for massive machine-to-machine communication. Networks are being transformed into programmable, software-driven, service-based and holistically-managed infrastructures, utilising enablers and catalysts, such as NFV, SDN and Edge Computing.

New business models, including those enabled by technology breakthroughs such as Network Slicing, are being considered to support new markets, imposing unprecedented operational agility and higher cooperation across network and service domains. The resulting extended reach of network and service delivery, and the exponential increase in overall complexity of end-to-end management and operation makes automation a dire and urgent necessity.

Upcoming events

  • ZSM#02, 13-15 March, Helsinki, FI
  • ZSM#03, 05-07 June, TBC
  • ZSM#04, 22-25 October, TBC
  • ZSM#05, 04-06 December, Sophia Antipolis, FR

Our Roles & Activities

Our Industry Specification Group Zero touch network and Service Management (ISG ZSM) will define a new, future-proof, horizontal and vertical end-to-end operable framework enabling agile, efficient and qualitative management and automation of emerging and future networks and services.

The goal is to have all operational processes and tasks (e.g. delivery, deployment, configuration, assurance, and optimization) executed automatically, ideally with 100% automation. ISG ZSM will initially focus on the 5G end-to-end network and service management (e.g. network slicing management) and will extend to the management for future network generations. We aim to facilitate the coordination and cooperation between relevant standardization bodies and open source projects.

The unique value of ISG ZSM will be in providing guidance for the implementation of management interfaces as well as coordinating and giving directions to achieve automated end-to-end network and service management solutions and architecture. As part of the end-to-end solution, the management architecture and interfaces will be identified to support the end-to-end zero touch network and service management in a multi-vendor environment.

ISG ZSM will study and document use cases and analyse the related challenges. It will review and reuse existing standardized solutions wherever applicable, and conduct feasibility studies. We will also evaluate and consider deliveries from open source projects. Based on these inputs, we will derive corresponding requirements and specify an end-to-end network and service management reference architecture.
It is proposed to complement the cooperation with other standardization bodies and open source projects with interoperability testing specifications, test platforms, acceptance tests, and test results dissemination in the context of end-to-end management and automation. This work will be done in collaboration with the related organizations.


The list of ZSM related deliverables in draft stage is available via the ETSI Work Programme on the Portal.

ETSI standards on ZSM will be available on this page as soon as they are publicly available.

A full list of related standards in the public domain will be accessible via the ETSI standards search. Via this interface you can also subscribe for alerts on updates of ETSI standards.

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