As a cloud solution architect, my passion is learning the details about how cloud computing uniquely supports specific business cases. This curiosity is what drove my excitement when Ericsson invited me to work with them during Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. As the largest mobile event in the world, MWC Barcelona brings together the latest innovations and leading-edge technology from more than 2,400 leading companies. With its highly-rated conference program and assemblage of telecommunications visionaries, it seemed like the perfect venue for getting details about how the cloud is driving changes across the mobile and wireless landscape.
Cloud computing and digital transformation have rapidly redefined telecommunications. From a service provider point of view, this redefinition requires entirely new skills including:
The ideation of new customer services and revenue streams; The operational flexibility to create, develop, test, deploy and manage these new services; and Automated and continuous service improvement across much more comprehensive service portfolios. Telecom service providers also need to efficiently manage the multitude of network types, service types, system stacks and infrastructure layers which can cause untenable complexity for many operators. Complexity is also the root cause of an inability to maintain profit margins or deliver customer desired service performance for new services (i.e., 5G and IoT). To be competitive, network operators experiencing this situation need to “digitally transform” operations through deployment of network virtualization capabilities and software-defined networking.
As the market leader, Ericsson is delivering a powerful, cloud computing-based solution to address all of these requirements today. They actually call it their “5G Platform.”
The solution includes:
1. NFV Orchestration Ericsson is adding the capability to orchestrate cloud native workloads on Kubernetes (K8s). This is augmenting hybrid orchestration capability to seamlessly combine PNFs, VNFs and Kubernetes based workloads into a single network service.
2. Service Orchestration . This is a new module built on cloud native principles providing Ericsson customers with the capability to create network services spanning across private, central and edge data centers.
3. CENX Service Assurance (acquired in September 2018). CENX Service Assurance is now natively integrated into Ericsson Dynamic Orchestration and gives visibility of the entire network in near realtime. It delivers assurance of services and network slices end to end across core, radio, and transport networks.
4. WAN Orchestration . This is a new module that automates the transport resources as part of a network slice. The module also includes pre-integration of Ericsson Dynamic Orchestration with Juniper nodes for quick time to market, reduced SI complexity, and enhanced TCO.
5. Ericsson Cloud Deployment Engine This module provides automated testing, onboarding, and continuous deployment of new services for both Ericsson and non-Ericsson applications.
The Pre-integrated and modular solution delivers the appropriate path for updating manual datacenters processes. Using automated provisioning and insight-driven service assurance, Ericsson Dynamic Orchestration simplifies operations while simultaneously moving companies closer to the zero-touch experience. Being a single radio, transport and core orchestrator that manages physical, virtual and cloud-native network functions, it enables tailored service level agreement design, delivery, and management capabilities. Also included are the essential network slicing capabilities for meeting quality of service requirements for applications like drones, factory robotics, and smart cars.
On top of all that, it uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to power closed-loop assurance functions that automatically adapts the network in real time. Its automated onboarding and continuous deployment accelerate time to market in multivendor environments. Finally, network slicing automation enables the quick monetization of new 5G and IoT business opportunities.