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Opportunities and Challenges in Network Transformation

Release Date:2017-07-25  Author:By Wang Weibin  Click:

 

Network Transformation: The Consensus Among Operators

In the internet of everything (IoE) era, driven by 5G service requirements and SDN/NFV technologies, the transformation to a full cloud network has become the focus of attention in the industry. According to the IHS report in 2016, almost all operators over the world will start deploying SDN/NFV, and the period 2016–2020 will see large-scale SDN/NFV commercial launches. Network transformation has become the consensus among all operators. Here are the detail ideas and plans for network transformation from famous operators.
●   AT&T: AT&T has launched a series of transformation plan named Domain1.0, Domain2.0 and Intigo3.0. The plan introduces SDN/NFV technologies to build a new network centered on cloud data centers (DCs) , sets up a cloud platform (UDNC) with open, standard, and unified infrastructure, and puts the next-generation operation platform (ECOMP) as a core control of the network. AT&T aims to evolve from carrier-defined services to user-defined services, from central offices (COs) centered networks to DCs centered networks, and from tier-1 carrier to super carrier.
●   Telefonica: Telefonica has rolled out its UNICA transformation solution to construct a cloud data center platform with unified architecture, which supports hierarchical configurations and resource sharing through the distributed data plane and centralized control plane. Telefonica aims to build low-cost cloud networks that support public clouds, private clouds, and network function virtualization.
●   China Mobile: China Mobile has released its NovoNet—the next-generation innovative network development concept that incorporates new IT technologies to construct a new-generation network with globally managed resources, open capabilities, elastic capacity, and adjustable architecture to satisfy the communication needs of internet+, IoT, and 5G.

 

Network Cloudization: The Needs for Experienced Partners

Network transformation involves restructuring infrastructure, service functions, and operation and maintenance (O&M). In actual implementation, the requirements at different stages such as network planning, design, integration, deployment, O&M and optimization should be considered. Due to its large integration workload, long period, and high complexity, the implementation faces many challenges.
At the stage of network planning and design, the challenges include planning data centers, selecting an appropriate hierarchical decoupled mode, networking and assuring security. According to the complexity as well as the deployment strategy, the possible choices can be single-vendor mode, hardware-independent mode, shared virtual resource pool mode, or fully-decoupled mode. Selecting a proper decoupled solution is the most key factor in a successful project. For example, in deploying vEPC in five branches of VEON (formerly VimpelCom Ltd.), the hardware-independent mode was selected in consideration of mature interfaces at both the hardware resource layer and virtual resource layer. A quick integration and commercial operation launch helps VEON quickly address the issues of insufficient capacity and future network evolution.
At the integration and deployment stage, the major challenges are how to integrate multiple vendors' software components and hardware into a stable and efficient system, and how to assign SLA agreements between different components. As to the hardware, blade or rack servers can be a choice. But in addition to unified infrastructure, other factors such as reliability, networking, and installation should also be considered for hardware. The available virtualization software includes VMware and OpenStack. The open-source OpenStack is usually adopted to avoid vendor lock-in, and the native OpenStack API facilitates integration.
At the O&M and optimization stage, the challenges are how to achieve an optimal price to performance ratio, and how to quickly locate faults in a multi-component environment. To achieve the best price to performance ratio, component-based performance indicators at various layers such as hardware, virtualization software, service application software, and MANO software should be considered.The component at each layer has its own optimization method. In the core network swap project of Telekom Austria Group (TAG), a full virtual core network with different optimization techniques such as hardware BIOS parameters setting, virtual machine affinity deployment policy, and DPDK forwarding acceleration are used to achieve better performance and lower cost than the swapped legacy system. 
In addition to the above challenges, operators also face the pressure of rapid upgrade of IT technologies. Thus, an experienced vendor partner is helpful in network transformation progress.

 

美高梅手机版登录485: An Expert on Network Transformation

美高梅手机版登录485 has released its ElasticNet solution for network transformation. Based on SDN/NFV, big data, and AI technologies, the solution includes end-to-end cloud components and services, covering the cloud infrastructure (NFVI), cloud services (Apps), cloud bearer (SDN), cloud management (MANO) and cloud integration. It provides unified bare metal, virtual machine and container resources management, integrates software and hardware components of multiple vendors, and helps operators build an agile and open ecosystem with sustainable innovation capabilities. 
So far, the ElasticNet solution has had more than 240 deployments for mainstream operators worldwide including China Mobile, Telefonica, VEON and TAG. 美高梅手机版登录485 is one of the main contributors of standards organizations and open-source communities such as ETSI, 3GPP, ONAP, OPNFV, OpenStack, ODL and ONOS. It has been recognized by OVUM, Current Analysis and IHS as one of the best and reliable partners in the age of network transformation.

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