Streamlining and scaling profitable 5G services on cloud-native platforms
By 2025, there will be 1.2 billion 5G connections worldwide. To keep up with the complexity and volume of 5G connections, bare metal and cloud platform infrastructures need to be optimised, says W. Brooke Frischemeier, senior director, product management at Robin.io.
To create dynamic, agile, and efficient networks, supporting the customisation needed to reach your 5G services’ potential, your solution requires a highly automated and scalable cloud-native solution supporting bare metal to services integration on both containers and virtual machines.
Using cloud native and orchestration platforms helps to reduce cost, increase innovation and generate new 5G revenue streams. But just how do you choose the right cloud platforms and orchestration tools to best deliver your 5G solutions, while avoiding potential pitfalls? The answer is, you dig deeper into the solution and understand HOW it does things, by looking beyond high-level features descriptions.
Choosing bare metal to services orchestration solutions
When moving from the test lab to deployment and massive scale-out of 5G services, it will eventually become evident that how you automate is just as important as what you automate.
There is a lot of hand-waving in the industry where vendors and analysts praise the benefits of the cloud automation revolution as if it is a simple cure-all for any repetitive or scale-out task. However, there is more to making 5G services a success at a scale.
That is why it is so important to choose an automated cloud solution that works for massive scale 5G deployments. Automated cloud platforms and orchestration solutions have significant comparative benefits and choosing these platforms must be done with great care as they impact your time to outcome, resource utilisation, solution costs, and opportunities.
When choosing cloud native platform and orchestration tools, it is important to dig deep into the functionality and ease of use:
- How do I unify bare-metal with my services life cycle? Can I streamline these life cycles with a single tool, integrating bare-metal, cloud-2native clusters, services and appliance workflows?
- How do I onboard new applications and what environmental automation options do I have?
- How do I manage both containers, virtual machines and appliances?
- How many steps does it take, if any, to reuse workflows and resource pools when deploying VMs and containers side-by-side?
- How are resources reserved for multi-tenant deployments? What views and tools are available on a per-tenant basis?
- How flexible and customisable is your cloud platform’s automated workload placement algorithm?
- How does it help me with resource and outage planning across multiple events?
- How customisable are your roles-based access definitions?
- How easy and granular are my chargeback options, and what is the scope?
What we strive to automate
Your cloud platforms and orchestration tools must have the flexibility to unify your RAN, Core and services across multiple generations and locations.
The mission to re-shape the RAN industry towards more intelligent, open, virtualised and fully interoperable networks will enable telco operators to select RAN, core and application software and from multiple vendors, allowing them to be more adaptive over a wide array of markets, customers and solutions.
While the benefits of O-RAN to new services are enormous, they come at the cost of solution integration tasks in terms of interoperability and Network Function (NF) performance tuning. It is now more important than ever to rapidly automate the innovation and deployment pipelines.
As we push towards the 5G promise, the 5G core takes a leap forward with a modern, containerised Kubernetes architecture for better ease of use, maximum flexibility, performance, scale and resiliency. Benefits of the 5G Core align with those of 5G as a whole, including speeds 10 times faster than current 4G networks, improved Quality of Service (QoS) via network slicing, and ultra-low latency reduced to one millisecond.
Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC) completes the picture. An interoperable framework for distributed edge computing, MEC applications can interactively contribute to O-RAN optimisation, delivering faster, localised decisions that improve both data transport performance and service experience. Leading MEC applications include content delivery, interactive real-time gaming, connected transportation, smart cities and smart venues.
Implementation of the right cloud native platform has the potential for a 40% reduction in OpEx scalable orchestration & automation services, RAN and Core, and a 50% reduction in CapEx by enabling all of this on off the shelf hardware.
Enabling the future while modernising the past
Context aware Multi-Data Centre Automation Platforms and Cloud Native Platforms, like those of Robin.io, make integration easier, and facilitate rapid scaling of operations of your containers, virtual machines and legacy appliances. This streamlines operations processes, reduces time to outcome, and harmonises multiple generations of services, enabling you to best use both new and incumbent assets. This flexibility allows telco operators to rapidly deploy at scale from core to edge, ahead of the competition.
The author is W. Brooke Frischemeier, senior director, product management at Robin.io.