The wait is over! Now you can build compute capacity at the network edge
At this point it’s safe to say that the benefits of implementing a cloud computing infrastructure for telecom operators are now widely understood and accepted. Sizeable deployments are advancing and several networks are already in commercial service. So far, most of the live commercial cases are in functions like IMS, Packet Core and vCPE, where the traditional cloud architectures improve performance and flexibility.
Technologies like 4G and 5G will leverage cloud capabilities, including edge cloud, to power both simple and complex use cases with consistent reliability and performance. From providing immersive video experiences to tens of thousands of people in stadiums, powering the 4th industrial revolution with connected robots, to enabling smart cities by connecting and analysing data from millions of IoT sensors and devices.
The key to making this happen is to ensure that each service receives the right level of resources and prioritization, not more, not less. Automation and the concept of network slicing will be fundamental for the execution of this vision and a highly capable edge cloud infrastructure will be a key enabler of both. This is the inception of the Nokia Edge Cloud Solution launched last week at the NFV and Zero Touch World Congress in California (US).
As data consumers, we’re embracing the age of individual content live apps, where we want to be fast and agile in sharing HD videos, playing online AR/VR games, watching our favorite streaming channels on the go and being very active in social media. The immediate impact for a mobile network is even more traffic and data being generated and requested at the access of the network. As a frequent YouTube Live customer, I’m looking to receive good quality content and fast. Edge cloud is a way to ensure that more computing resources are available where this new demanding data is: at the edge of the network.
In practice, this will require the new ability to balance the available real estate and general infrastructure with the need to provide ultra-low latency and high throughput for some very demanding services and applications. As such, a layered architecture is required to distribute the workload across all layers based on their characteristics and the traffic profile. And that’s what the Nokia AirFrame open edge cloud infrastructure solution was designed to do - distributing established AirFrame capabilities to the edge and offers a smooth introduction of edge computing.
Squeezing more out of the existing hardware is also key. The AirFrame open edge server includes HW acceleration capabilities for Cloud RAN, Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence, augmented reality and content acceleration. With HW acceleration, powered by Nokia ReefShark technology, we can increase Cloud RAN performance by 100%.
On the software side, AirFrame Open Edge hardware is complemented with cloud infrastructure software, to meet CSP needs for scalability and performance in the 5G era. NCIR (Nokia Airframe Cloud Infrastructure for Real-time applications) is an NFV solution for managing both virtual machines and containers in an environment which can consist of a huge number of distributed clouds. Being an OPNFV* compatible OpenStack distribution, it is a truly open solution enhanced to run with real-time performance, hardware acceleration, telco-grade operability and minimal cloud overhead even in very small datacenters. Together AirFrame Open Edge cloud hardware and NCIR software provide the first solution in the market that enables CSPsto create edge clouds with widespread support of industry automation and real-time consumer applications.
For CSPs and IT/Cloud providers looking to evolve their networks to support new services and applications, and open up new business opportunities in verticals, 5G and IoT, Edge Cloud is a fundamental first step I’m excited to support the pioneers among them in building the networks for the future already today.
Download the Nokia Airframe open edge server Datasheet.
Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokia and @nokianetworks using #NFV, #Cloud, #5G, #industry40 #IoT
*OPNVF is Open source carrier grade NFV reference platform hosted by Linux Foundation. Aims is to speed up development and deployment of NFV, and accelerate the transformation of service provider and enterprise networks