Intelligent Operations for New 5G & Edge Ecosystems
Contributed by Vinod Joseph, Technical Leader of APJ and China, VMware
The digital era reinvented how communication service providers (CSPs) connect with customers. CSPs that deliver excellent services and customer service are rewarded, as every customer agrees that customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand.
An important part of the 5G ecosystem is edge computing. It facilitates radical new use cases that extend from the data center core to the network edges. Edge computing allows for compute and analytics to be moved closer to the data instead of exchanging ever growing amounts of data among cloud servers. As the ecosystem evolves, 5G and edge computing will further converge to enable edge network management, collect and capitalize on massive amounts of data while maintaining integrity and even ownership, and build pervasive intelligence for enabling various latency-sensitive, enterprise, and private services.
Intelligent operations & automation for 5G and edge ecosystems is paramount to delivering excellent services that win customers and trailblaze the latest and greatest service innovations. The three keys to supporting business growth with intelligent 5G operations is efficiency, flexibility and scalability achieved through automation, & consistent cloud infrastructure deployed across diverse assets & multiple clouds, respectively.
Building intelligent automation, & operations for a 5G and edge world
The rigidity of today’s hardware and siloed architectures makes it destined to fail in the current market where quick pivots are necessary to keep up with the competition. Appliance-based upgrades can take months and disrupt service. Cloud-native technologies and software-centric models provide the necessary agility and flexibility to adapt, deploy quick patches and upgrades, and to expand to meet ever-changing conditions, all while avoiding downtime.
Two tasks are fundamental to address the complexity challenge and for CSPs to succeed: automation and optimization. Automation is required to cope with new scenarios in network and edge planning, operation, and management. Automation should ease the operation of network and compute infrastructure for rapidly growing vertical industries, transportation, and enterprise use cases that are bringing along with them new infrastructure owners. Optimization should also ease the extension of cloud computing and fast-growing Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) applications to the edge, as well as introduce self-optimization to best serve applications. Optimization strategies will ensure that every node in mobile networks can provide low latency, high reliability, and pervasive intelligence capabilities.
An operational framework that is backed by intelligent automation & optimization is necessary to build the 5G Core, protect the edge and virtualize the RAN. This is essentially ruled by these five pillars:
VMware can help guide CSPs through their digital transformation journey. VMware enables CSPs to consolidate their legacy siloed platforms & operational frameworks to a consistent multi-cloud infrastructure. This allows CSPs to deploy any application on a common cloud layer with intelligent automation & operations.
Unleash 5G potential with automation and end-to-end scalability
Intelligent, analytics-driven automation is more than just automating manual processes. It is the ability to take input from several sources, analyse that input to generate actionable insights, and then execute upon them via intelligent actions. This type of automation is required in the complex end-to-end setting of 5G architecture. VMware Telco Cloud Platform provides Intelligent automation required at the network core, edge, & RAN. Furthermore, by incorporating analytic and AI capability into the automation process, critical insights can be extracted from the network assets which can be used to generate optimal, dynamic configurations allowing rapid service deployment and providing a framework with business agility and flexibility.
Intelligent automation software is the key to the proper placement of Cloud-native Network Functions/ Virtual Network Functions (CNFs/ VNFs) within a mobile network and enabling Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to maximize the utilization of network resources by re-allocating unused resources to other slices. With its advanced analytics, and automated orchestration features,
The VMware Telco Cloud Platform enables the creation of a self-driving, self-healing, and self-optimizing 5G network with zero-touch capabilities. CSPs can now implement zero-touch service lifecycle management, which includes automating the design, creation, modification, and monitoring of network functions and services, as well as the provisioning of underlying resources for those services, as and when required. The VMware Telco Cloud Platform supports the scaling and orchestration of network resources for 5G Core, RAN, & the edge.
Workload balancing, initiating tests across clouds and edge clusters, network provisioning and lifecycle management are all tasks at which the VMware automation solution excels. The VMware Telco Cloud Platform is always aware of Kubernetes clusters resources and dynamically reallocates work to optimize performance and create a self-organizing network.
Adopts multi-cloud for multi-access edge computing
CSPs employ huge, distributed networks comprised of various types of environments hosted by various providers. This allows them to provide a variety of services and take advantage of cost-effective compute and storage offered by various vendors. Distributing work across platforms, clouds and environments allows CSPs to optimize their investments, reduce their capital expenses, and offer new services.
VMware Telco Cloud provides multi-layer, end-to-end visibility so administrators can easily keep tabs on network and service layers through a single pane of glass. Consistent deployment and management across multi-cloud environments allows network teams to operate and manage multiple vendors, networks and resources through one control panel. Simplicity and visibility, again, saves time for IT teams and allows them to dedicate their effort toward the most important component of business failure or success: the customer experience.
This blog is adapted from a previous version published on the VMware Telco Blog website. To see the original blog and to learn more about VMware Telco Cloud visit our blog site here: https://blogs.vmware.com/telco/