5G will eventually require a fully virtualized, software-controlled network in order to automate the complexity of network management and service delivery. Although we’re not there yet, test and proofs-of-concept like Deutsche Telekom and Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) work to deploy virtual network functions (VNFs) in a cloud-native shared data environment (SDE) is indicative of the progress toward zero-touch networks.
5G will encompass a huge variety of types of traffic, meaning networks need to be architected for flexibility. The three primary 5G use cases are enhanced mobile broadband, massive machine-type communications and ultra reliable low latency communications. Running the gamut from high-bandwidth activities like virtual reality to low-intensity, intermittent communications from connected sensors.
Sven Langer, DT’s senior core network architect, said the proof-of-concept “allowed a rapid and smooth integration with 3rd-party VNFs” and showed a response time around 1 millisecond,” which “provide[s]an excellent basis for cloud-native network functions to externally store all data, especially dynamic context data that allows seamless failovers and improves the customer experience.
HPE’s Dave Sliter highlight the challenges service providers will face with the move to 5G and the new types of services it enables. “Adoption of 5G technology,” he said, “introduces major operational and financial challenges. HPE Shared Data Environment is an essential enabler for this transformation and reduces these risks.”
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