How to orchestrate your journey to Cloud Native
Expectations on the possibilities with 5G technology are increasing daily. The Telco industry is coming out of the shadows and is now firmly front of stage; holding most of the cards with regards to the next transformational wave of technology innovations. However, the journey is complicated, it involves standardization to allow connectivity across industries and disciplines, and it must balance this need for multi-vendor openness while satisfying security concerns.
How do you become and remain a technology leader? What cycles of Telco transformation have we witnessed over the past 5 decades? Where are we today and what technology must we absolutely embrace if we are to realize the next phase of that journey?
In the latest in our Transmissions from Tomorrow podcast featuring Anders Rosengren, Head of Architecture and Technology at Business Area, Digital Services has an invigorating discussion with Dez Blanchfield, data scientist and co-founder of the podcast series. Together, they discuss how to break down barriers and open-up connectivity across industries to fulfill the edge computing promises of Augmented Reality glasses, Industrial Robotics and Connected Vehicles to name but a few of the up and coming innovations.
Looking at what will be the catalyst for the next change in the Telco industry, Anders believes Open Source is transformational for the entire industry. He admits there are challenges in operating in an Open Source way – including aligning across multiple open source and standardization projects and changed ways of working but also significant upsides and benefits.
Standardization – pitfalls and possibilities
Anders explains how Ericsson Digital Services works with standardization and open source. He explains how important ‘boots on the ground’ is for leading in open source and how our Ericsson Service Orchestrator and our Orchestration suite benefits from our deep engagement in ONAP (Open Networking Automation Platform).
“We for example demonstrated our engagement to open source and its importance for 5G orchestration via a live demo at the recent ONS event using ONAP orchestrating end to end network slicing”. Network Slicing is going to be a very important concept for 5G, allowing the network to be sliced end to end, all the way to multiple end-points in the same device, providing different quality of services, characteristics and security on top of the same network
Anders also explains that; “Open Source is of course critical for the Cloud Native evolution of Telco, with CNCF (Cloud Native Compute Foundation) at the center. We are working closely with CNCF and Dan Kohns, Executive Director, CNCF on how we jointly across the industry can contribute to CNCF to make it even more suitable for Telco workloads. For example, we joined KubeCon Europe in Barcelona end of May to discuss this in more details with industry representatives from both operators and vendors. Here we definitely see the value of open source and industry collaboration, also across the industry boundaries with IT and Telco coming together.”
When looking at implementing 5G it is important to ensure that you´re addressing the increasing complexities as well as opportunities that come with higher speeds, lower cost, edge compute and exposure and APIs. All of these will require the fundamentals of Open Source and interworking and that you´re addressing your management and orchestration solution and review how to implement closed loop automation and zero-touch operations.
Cloud Native is the next step in the virtualization strategy for CSPs
Cloud Native design principles means the products are running in the most optimized way in the cloud. Dez and Anders also discuss Kubernetes and Anders says as it was ‘born in the IT industry’ we need to get it working for the Telco space.
“Ericsson is not just talking about this, we are now also delivering products, for example our recently launched dual-mode 5G Cloud Core is fully Cloud Native and can be deployed on CNCF-based cloud environment.”
There will be no 5G without Cloud Native – but this requires that you review and address both your complete technology stack including cloud platform, network functions and your orchestration solution, as well as addressing your way of working and your processes, e.g. implementing a full CI/CD flow all the way into your network.
Telco Edge Compute is key to realize 5G use cases
“Telco Edge running both telco workloads and third-party applications is a critical component in realizing 5G use case, delivering on ultra-low latency and geographical proximity” Anders explains. This is imperative, he says, to allow innovations in technology to flourish with the opportunities that lie within 5G powered innovations for e.g. Augmented Reality, Virtual Medical assistance – according to our Ericsson Consumer Lab report ‘Hot Consumer Trends’ 2019 we will all be wearing AR glasses by 2025.
However, these innovations and efficient access to Telco Edge computing for third-party applications require ‘openness’ between industries. This comes hand in hand with the responsibility of ensuring security of data, security of systems, networks and uncompromising quality of the technology itself. The journey also hinges on Open Source being an accepted principle across industries and must be based the building blocks of ‘cloud native’.
This and more are revealed in our latest podcast featuring Anders Rosengren, Head of Architecture & Technology and Dez Blanchfield.