When you think in current telecom markets, network operators appear as entities that are focused on providing and selling network services on top of the physical infrastructures they own, deploy, control and manage. You, as a consumer, have no control over those services that are provided. However, the evolution of the Internet usage combined with the exponential growth of its traffic raises critical issues associated to the present infrastructure design and operational models; and furthermore, emerging applications are bringing into the arena new requirements that cannot be accommodated with current infrastructure within reasonable economical conditions. Businesses based on the typical huge-sized infrastructure operation usually impose high entry barriers into the market.
Future Internet research community partially believes that virtualisation is the key enabler in order to allocated isolated instances from networking and IT devices to different users or applications. Such virtualisation environments bring together with them new service-oriented architectures, which enable new service offering paradigms and business models for today’s telecom operators, carriers, and service providers.
All this new environment bring together with it new challenges to the research community. Typically, research efforts are focused on the technical aspects, while the business or economical aspects remain somehow as a collateral topic. However, within the GEYSERS project, we have worked on (i) how to model the interactions among the different business entities involved in service provisioning operations and (ii) how to match them with current infrastructure operation workflows.
As a result, we have produced the RORA Model, that allows us to describe the different elements and their relationships. The RORA model is built based on four major components: Resources, Ownership, Roles, and Actors.
Resources represent the first and basic component of the model. Basically, they refer to infrastructure resources, whether they are physical network or IT resources, or even a virtual representation of the device.
The Ownership scheme determines the different set of actions that each entity is able to perform over a given resource.
Roles help us in the value chain dscription, since they are considered as the minimal entity on the system. The business workflows must be defined in terms of roles and their relationships.
Finally, such workflows must be materialised or instantiated by Actors, the fourth element of the model. Figure above depicts an example of the role chain with traded services annotated, as named and defined in the GEYSERS project.
For more details of the RORA model, you should listen to my colleague Joan A. García-Espín in the NetCloud 2012 workshop, where he will be presenting the paper that contains all the technical specification and other details of the RORA model. In case you are interested in the model and cannot attend the workshop, use the comments section to start any discussion; and please, keep connected to us through the blog!