5G and 6G RAN SASE and Edge Telco Cloud

A Big Day for Cloud-Smart CSPs: Edge, Public Cloud, RAN, Core

It’s a big day for us over here at VMware, and an even bigger day for communications service providers (CSPs) around the world looking to make the monumental shift toward cloud-native and multi-cloud. VMware unveiled enhancements to its Telco Cloud Platform today further accelerating the path for CSPs to bring innovative apps and services to market. Creating multi-cloud, multi-vendor networks from core, edge, RAN to public cloud, these enhancements help manage network complexity while empowering service provider differentiation and service creation.  

CSP networks are becoming increasingly distributed by the day. The proliferation of 5G services, advancing provider edge modernization, balancing hyperscaler relationships and disaggregating the RAN are equally all becoming increasingly important. CSPs are trying to find ways to enable new business models as their networks expand and transform without returning to network silos or compromising performance (read more about our performance testing). With our new and expanding portfolio of Telco Cloud solutions, we’re supporting our CSP customers on this journey continuum by applying the learnings from over 150 CSP network transformations to the distributed network.

Included in this announcement: 

  • VMware Telco Cloud Platform – Public Cloud, enabling service providers to seamlessly incorporate public clouds into their overall 5G architecture. 
  • VMware RIC (RAN Intelligent Controller), accelerating service providers’ journey to an open radio access network (RAN). 
  • VMware Telco Cloud Platform – Edge, providing the foundation for delivery of next-generation communications and compute services at the provider and enterprise edge. 
  • Added capabilities to VMware Telco Cloud Automation, enabling consistent orchestration and automation of multi-vendor network functions across the entire network. 
  • Added performance enhancements to VMware Telco Cloud Platform – RAN, to meet strict latency requirements to support even the most demanding RAN workloads.

Let’s take a look at how each of these announcements is enabling the CSP journey.

Enabling Flexibility and Choice for End-to-End Networks – VMware Telco Cloud Platform – Public Cloud

VMware Telco Cloud Platform – Public Cloud is a cloud-smart solution, allowing CSPs to modernize their networks by seamlessly incorporating public cloud IaaS as an integral part of their 5G architecture. With VMware Telco Cloud Platform – Public Cloud, CSPs can now run both Telco and IT workloads in public cloud while keeping consistent operations across multi-cloud, from core, edge, RAN, to public cloud.   

VMware Telco Cloud Platform – Public Cloud enables CSPs to realize their multi-cloud visions and strategies. By providing a choice and flexibility to run their workloads in multi-cloud environments with ease, CSPs accelerate business growth with new offerings while reducing costs.

VMware Telco Cloud Platform – Public Cloud Features

  • Data Center Extension – Adapt to ever-changing business landscapes and customer demands with ease. Seamlessly migrate your workloads from on-premises telco cloud to public cloud.
  • On-Demand Capacity – Quickly scale capacity up and down with ease by utilizing public cloud. All driven by your business growth plan and change in traffic patterns.  
  • Workload Portability Migrate your workloads bi-directionally between on-premises telco cloud and public cloud without expensive and time-consuming workload refactoring.
  • Platform Consistency – Accelerate cloud migrations with the consistent platform and operations between on-premises telco cloud and public cloud, across your 4G, 5G and beyond.

With VMware Telco Cloud Platform – Public Cloud, CSPs reduce costly and time-consuming workload refactoring when migrating workloads to a public cloud with the power of VMware Cloud on AWS. Allowing them to adapt to changes quickly, the platform incorporates public cloud as a part of an 5G architecture – hosting both telco and IT workloads with dynamic automation and consistent operations. CSPs can adapt to ever-changing business landscapes, created by 5G, quickly by scaling their networks, expanding their footprints, and entering new markets without incurring heavy upfront infrastructure investments. In addition, the leasing of cloud IaaS encourages CSPs to adopt the SaaS model that tightly aligns with each CSP’s business growth plan, removing traditional upfront costs and risks.

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Driving Innovation and Reducing Costs in the RAN – VMware RIC

VMware RIC modernizes the RAN to be truly open and programmable, built with best-of-breed solutions from a rich and vibrant ecosystem of partners while providing the RAN programmability and intelligence for all the solutions to work harmoniously.

With choice and flexibility provided by VMware RIC, CSPs are empowered to evolve towards the future while minimizing disruption to their business operations and overhaul of their networks. VMware’s virtualization and cloud-native expertise combined with the ability to create a rich and vibrant ecosystem of RAN partners make VMware RIC a compelling RAN solution of today and tomorrow for CSPs.

VMware RIC Features

  • Modularity Integrates the RIC with solutions from ecosystem partners while supporting various Kubernetes implementations.
  • ProgrammabilityReduces operational complexity by consolidating all control and management functions of the RAN with open standards.
  • RAN Monetization – The readily available VMware RIC SDKs are the driving mechanism for the rich and vibrant app ecosystem, creating the positive circulation of innovative services to help CSPs maximize their business growth with their RAN. The ecosystem partners introduce innovation to CSPs faster, compare to the traditional RAN where innovations are offered CSPs only through a handful of major RAN equipment suppliers, enabling CSPs to monetize from them.

VMware RIC empowers CSPs looking to bring flexibility and choice to their transforming RAN networks. With it, CSPs will build flexible and future-proof radio access networks with best-of-breed multi-vendor solutions while protecting investments and improving adaptability of the RAN. Centralized RAN Intelligence helps simplify RAN operations by optimizing the network utilization and provides enables monetization opportunities via a vibrant application ecosystem.

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Accelerating Performance for Transforming RAN Networks – VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN

VMware RIC, combined with VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN, paves a clear and simple path toward RAN modernization. CSPs can virtualize RAN functions on a horizontal platform specifically optimized for RAN. The same platform, with VMware RIC, can be utilized for open RAN, providing CSPs flexibility and a smooth evolution toward the future without disrupting their business operations and overhauling network design.

Advancements to VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN aim to strike a balance between network performance and operational flexibility. The platform’s enhanced performance meets strict latency requirements to support even the most demanding RAN workloads, while its hypervisor functions as the unheralded workhorse to provide operational flexibility. 

VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN Features

  • Superior performance: VMware ESXi hypervisors deliver real-time performance for RAN workloads (read the blog).
  • Cost reduction: VMware’s Tanzu for Telco combined with VMware ESXi hypervisors allow CSPs to mix and match various RAN workloads and custom 5G applications on the same physical appliance, ideal for open and disaggregated RAN where space is limited at the cell site and the number of sites keeps growing. 
  • Operational consistency: VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN provides a common platform and end-to-end automation and orchestration across 5G networks to prevent creating siloed islands of network functions.

In addition to providing industry leading RAN-optimized platform through VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN, VMware offers various solutions that tightly align with the Service, Management and Orchestration (SMO) framework, architected by O-RAN Alliance, with the three key capabilities. The SMO framework allows CSPs to manage their RAN more efficiently with enhanced intelligence and programmability.

As shown below, VMware Telco Cloud Automation offers multi-layer RAN automation to manage and orchestrate underpinning platforms and vRAN functions while VMware Telco Cloud Operations provides fault, configuration, accounting, performance and security (FCAPS) capability for more reliable operations of the RAN. The newly introduced VMware Centralized RIC performs as a non-real-time RIC, providing control plane functions of the RAN while hosting rApps. 

With VMware, the SMO can be delivered as a complete solution for CSPs desiring an optimized and integrated SMO solution. However, due to the modularity of the above products which VMware offers, CSPs also have the choice of selecting specific SMO components to fit their unique needs.

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Enabling Monetization from the Edge – VMware Telco Cloud Platform – Edge

VMware Telco Cloud Platform – Edge is adapted for the edge to modernize the network and deliver on 5G monetization promises. It provides the foundation for deploying next-generation edge-native applications, accelerating core to edge innovation while providing automation and operational consistency across network domains.

The platform is open and multi-cloud, enabling CSPs to build with confidence and control their edge strategy while monetizing services with their selected partners. VMware certifies a robust ecosystem of network functions plus a suite of validated solutions that streamline modernization and time-to-revenue at the network and enterprise edge.

VMware Telco Cloud Platform- Edge Features

  • Modernize the network – Leverage consistent VM and cloud-native infrastructure with automation and centralized management across the distributed edge sites, service domains, and clouds
  • Reimagine services Build differentiated services adapted to your customers’ new digital requirements and accelerate value creation by onboarding VMware partner’s solutions (including those with Ori and ASOCS) for use cases like Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC), CDNs and Private Mobile Networking.
  • Monetize and own the edge Monetize communication and compute services to new enterprise, ISV and developer audiences while remaining sovereign of your edge strategy with services deployed on your platform

Learn More:

New Telco Cloud Automation Capabilities Enable Multi-Cloud Operations

Spanning the entire network, Telco Cloud Automation is the orchestration and automation engine for Telco Cloud Platform. It enables consistent operations and cloud-native-first approach to management and orchestration by abstracting cloud complexities and exposing the new multi-cloud ecosystem through standard telco interfaces and unified resources.

New Telco Cloud Automation Features

  • Consistent Multi-Cloud Operations: Telco Cloud Automation customers will be able to leverage Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) public cloud resources through either VMware Cloud on AWS or Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS).
  • Network Slicing: VMware today unveiled Project Lattice, a tech preview, which will extend Telco Cloud Automation capabilities with 3GPP standard-compliant network slicing management. This will enable service providers to plan, design, and instantiate end-to-end network slices across the RAN, edge, core and transport network domains. An add-on module to Telco Cloud Automation, the new network slicing capability will help service providers unify these domains and close the gap between the delivered services and required network resources from physical or cloud infrastructure.
  • Accelerate onboarding and instantiation of network functions: Telco Cloud Automation will offer new “designer” capabilities to enhance network function automation templates with custom life-cycle management workflows plus CaaS and infrastructure configurations. These new capabilities aim to support more LCM automation options and to accelerate onboarding and instantiation of network functions through automated CaaS and infrastructure customizations.
  • Network operability improvements: Telco Cloud Automation will enable new automated Day 2 operations for CaaS operations, BIOS and firmware upgrades which reduce maintenance time while allowing greater management flexibility across data centers.
  • Augmented CI/CD automation: Updates will make it easier to integrate Telco Cloud Automation into existing CI/CD pipelines with new SDK and enable a CSP to decrease new application deployment and update time—reducing integration costs and OpEx.
  • Infrastructure Automation Enhancements: Telco Cloud Automation will also offer Mount Bryce driver support, and Precision Time Protocol (PTP) network function automation. These integrations automate away manual infrastructure-level operations that prove essential for running vRAN and other high-performance apps.

A critical component for a cloud-native, software-defined network, Telco Cloud Automation abstract much of the network resource management and allows better alignment between application requirements and the multi-cloud infrastructure, thus reducing the number of servers, network and storage required. Centralized and unified automation further reduce costs by transforming traditional processes and reducing manual tasks required at four operational levels: infrastructure; CaaS; network function services. The addition of network slicing also offers the promise of better resource management and a new era of 5G differentiated services.  

Aforementioned capabilities will be generally available in VMware’s Q4 FY22 with the exception of Project Lattice, which is in tech preview.

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Join Us on November 11 8:00 am – 9:30 am PDT

If you’re interested in hearing more about these new platforms, please joins us on November 11th at Telecom TV’s Telco Innovation Summit: Strategies for 5G, RAN & the Edge.


VMware makes no guarantee that services announced in preview or beta will become available at a future date. The information in this blog is for informational purposes only and may not be incorporated into any contract.

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