Huawei has officially unveiled three stages of network evolution towards an ‘All Cloud’ architecture enabled by the Network Function Virtualization technology. The three stages are to help telecommunication operators transform their networks so they can support growth, deliver high service levels and reduce costs. Huawei claims to have provided operators with a clear roadmap for network transformation and outlined its strategy to drive industry development around ‘Virtualization’, ‘Cloudification’, and ‘Cloud Native’.
In a connected world where network speeds are going upwards of 4.5-5G, will feature IoT, video, and cloud services that demand telecom operators to deliver real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY, and Social experience for enterprise and consumers. Network operators are bing faced with the pressure for these services together with intensifying competition to roll out services faster. And, because of the rigidity and complex networks, they will be limited to meet customer’s needs.
Operators will have to leverage Software Defined Networks and Network Function Virtualization technologies for gaining agility and flexibility that will transform traditional static, equipment-centric network planning, deployment and management to a dynamic, on-demand approach, enabling them to rapidly expand or change services to meet customer demands.
Libin Dai, Director, Network Transformation, Huawei, says, “Huawei’s strategy and solutions are designed to help operators transform from legacy networks to a cloud based infrastructure enabled by NFV and SDN to reduce network complexity, gain network agility and control to deliver service innovations and generate increased revenues. By outlining the three stages of carrier network transformation, we are helping operators overcome the complex process of migrating their current networks to NFV to ensure continued performance of the network, high-quality service provisioning and more agile innovations than ever before.”
Huawei states that the three core stages for an ‘All Cloud’ network evolution are based on comprehensive industry analysis and opportunity evaluation, providing a clear transition roadmap for operators.
This is the initial stage of NFV development and enables network functions to be separated from underlying hardware and deployed as software on standardized platforms. This stage improves resource usage and increases operations and maintenance efficiency to scale up or down rapidly. Most operators are in the Virtualization stage, and the industry has a long way to go towards the third stage of ‘Cloud Native’.
Cloudification (combining virtualization, orchestration, and automation)
At this stage the entire software system is decoupled in finer granularity to evolve the network towards ‘Cloud Native’. Specifically, the system is broken down into discrete software services, which are scheduled flexibly and deployed separately. This creates a flexible and agile system, improves resource usage and performance, and optimizes the use of cloud computing technologies on communication networks.
At this stage of Network Function Virtualization evolution, the entire software system comprises a series of software micro-systems that provide micro-services. These can be independently developed, deployed, and maintained. Operators integrate them into a cloud platform system, helping achieve fast service provisioning, improve operational efficiency, and respond to shifting demand from consumers and enterprise customers. The openness of cloud telecom networks allows operators to share resources with software developers in real-time and perform joint innovation. Mutually beneficial collaboration among operators, third-party developers, and end users allows more traffic to be introduced to networks through a healthy ecosystem of innovative services.