What’s on the horizon for cloud management?
The urgent need for better network automation
Networks have always been complex constructs driving the need to manage layers of co-existing new and old technologies from different vendors. And 5G brings additional complexities. Appledore Research expects a 100-fold increase in actions within the network driven by virtualization. This means that if you are serious about tapping the opportunities of the 5G era you need to wholeheartedly embrace the concept of intelligent automation.
Network and service operations are the critical domains for you to consider automation, as the payoff for being highly automated there is substantial. STL Partners predicts implementing automation technologies in these areas can deliver greater financial value than all other domains combined. It’s estimated that savings could on average be equivalent to 5.7 percent of the total annual revenues of a service provider.
Earlier this year, Nokia and STL Partners surveyed 100 service provider executives and found that to date only 39 percent of network function lifecycle management has been automated, making it one of the least automated areas. This is because to be effective, automation must be implemented for end-to-end service operation functions and the underlying radio, transport and core domain controllers and assurance tools.
Survey of 100 CSPs shows need and potential for automated network function lifecycle management
What about the cloud domain?
The cloud domain is a common enabler across all domains, helping to deploy and manage the required network functions contributing to the end-to-end service, with the expected high level of automation.
Essentially, it is underpinning the different domains by providing the programmable infrastructure and the required management system to leverage these infrastructures and manage the lifecycle of our network services in an automated way.
For this to work in today’s hybrid telco clouds, you require an automation platform that is highly flexible and able to hide the complexities of delivering any workload on any cloud.
This platform needs to be cloud-native, open and vendor agnostic. It must be able to link together key network assets such as infrastructures, SDN Controllers, VNFMs, and the managed network functions. It needs to be able to deploy workloads in traditional virtualized clouds and container infrastructures, too.
For such a solution to address your specific requirements, it needs to be able to flexibly support:
- different deployment models (on-premise, public, hybrid),
- different location characteristics (centralized, edge, far-edge),
- different underlying virtualization and cloud technologies,
- varying hardware and software capabilities,
- and finally, implementations from different vendors.
Why is Kubernetes changing the game?
The widespread use of Kubernetes started a new era of cloud platforms. Many of the on-premise or public offerings for virtualization based clouds implemented different technical solutions (APIs, templates), requiring specific support from the lifecycle management and orchestration tools.
In contrast, the cloud native platforms are all relying on a normalized engine based on Kubernetes. This provides a simple, straightforward approach for any-cloud support, with wider coverage and better portability.
Beyond workload lifecycle management, there are community efforts for harmonized interfaces to perform the dynamic lifecycle management of the Kubernetes based infrastructure as well, which further extend the reach of automation.
Nokia’s cloud management and network function R&D teams are working closely together to bring all these pieces together into a unified, highly automated chain of actions.
Watch a state-of-the-art cloud lifecycle management automation solution in action
Please watch our demonstration of how Nokia can help you to simplify the lifecycle of Kubernetes enabled, cloud-native, containerized network functions which are at the heart of any modern 5G network.