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Telco Bits & Bytes – 11 February 2021

Our regular roundup of the technology news that matters

Welcome to the next edition of our ‘Telco Bits & Bytes’ news blog. Here we share news and insights from across VMware and the technology industry that caught our attention, so you don’t miss a beat. Enjoy!

VMware Bits

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Technology Bytes

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VMware, Dell Technologies & SK Telecom to Collaborate on an Integrated MEC Solution

OneBox MEC To Bring Together Edge Computing and Private 5G

Today we announced VMware is partnering with Dell Technologies and SK Telecom to develop a multi-access edge computing (MEC) solution, OneBox MEC, that brings together private 5G and edge computing capabilities.

MEC moves compute workloads from a centralized cloud to the edge of a network. By analyzing, processing, and storing data closer to the customer, we can achieve low latency and real-time communications.

Let me share a use case where it would be advantageous to move compute from the cloud to the edge.

Tech-forward retailers use smart surveillance cameras to analyze how customers move around their stores. The insights gleamed from this data help them provide a better shopping experience. If the retailer connected hundreds of cameras set up across multiple store locations to the cloud, high connectivity costs may become prohibitive.

Instead, with an edge computing solution, analysis of the video is streamed via a reliable and high-performance 5G connection to a server on the retail premises, which can aggregate the video feeds and perform the analysis. The only data that would need to be sent to the cloud would be that used for longer-term trend analysis and storage. From a security standpoint, all identifiable footage of customers would remain on the retail store premises.

This is just one of many use cases that exist today. The healthcare industry could use this model to improve in-patient monitoring. As robotics continue to proliferate on the assembly line, manufacturers could utilize a MEC solution to improve predictive maintenance on these connected machines.

Leading operators, like SK Telecom, see an opportunity to deliver MEC as a service to enterprise customers across a variety of industries that face similar use cases.

The MEC solution that SK Telcom is developing with Dell Technologies and VMware pairs edge computing functionality with private 5G network functions – using the same hardware. A solution that combines edge computing and private connectivity will be able to deliver both operational simplicity and infrastructure benefits in terms of the cost and space of the solution.

Let’s take a closer look at the OneBox MEC solution.

The OneBox MEC can use the Dell EMC PowerEdge XE2420 server for data-intensive, low-latency edge services to deliver the performance, availability and security required for CSPs to build their portfolio of private 5G and edge solutions.

Workloads can run on top of VMware’s Telco Cloud Platform, which enables the solution to include both virtualized network functions and cloud native applications. In addition, VMware Telco Cloud Automation will provide onboarding, life cycle management, and zero touch provisioning of both the MEC infrastructure and applications/services.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are excited to play a critical role in delivering a solution that will help enterprises innovate at the edge with greater velocity. Our Telco Cloud Platform provides a foundation on top of which enterprises can deliver edge services on any cloud with agility and a consistent experience. Be sure to check back here for updates from the team as we continue to work with Dell Technologies and SK Telecom to bring this solution to market in the future.

 

 

Forward-Looking Statements

Except for historical and factual information, the matters set forth in this post identified by words such as “will,” “expects,” “believes,” and similar expressions are forward-looking statements as defined by the federal securities laws, and are subject to the “safe harbor” protections thereunder. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future results and are based on current expectations only, and are subject to various uncertainties. Actual events and results may differ materially from those anticipated by us in those statements for several reasons. We may change our intentions or plans discussed in our forward-looking statements without notice at any time and for any reason.

 

Telco Bits & Bytes – 28 January 2021

Our regular roundup of the technology news that matters

Welcome to the next edition of our ‘Telco Bits & Bytes’ news blog. Here we share news and insights from across VMware and the technology industry that caught our attention, so you don’t miss a beat. Enjoy!

VMware Bits

Upcoming Events:

Technology Bytes

For daily VMware and technology news, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

For more information, find out more on our website

Join our Telecom Services and Operations Group VMUG

Helping Communications Service Providers Go Green

By Nicola Acutt, vice president, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

When it comes to popular perceptions of environmental sustainability, big business can sometimes get a bad rap. It’s the biggest names in the industryfrom Microsoft to Google to VMwarewho’ve been leading the way in reimagining how big tech can create more sustainable operating models.  

At VMware, we take this mission very seriously. Our success as a company—arguably, the whole reason we exist in the first place—is based on helping customers reduce energy consumption and waste. That is, after all, one of the core drivers for virtualization: the ability to support and grow your business while using less IT hardware. 

Over the years, we’ve set ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, shifting to renewable energy, and conserving natural resources. We publish an annual Global Impact Report to track our progress. In many cases, these efforts have focused on enterprise virtualization. That work is important, and it’s worth taking a closer look at how these efforts translate to the serviceprovider space and will be able to impact the world’s communication networks in the coming years.  

A Longstanding Commitment to Green Operations 

Source: Global Impact Report

Review the latest highlights of our sustainability efforts, and you’ll note the big, overarching goal we’re working towards: radically decarbonizing our supply chain, operations, and customer ecosystems by 2030. We have a long list of initiatives we’re working towards on this front, including cutting our emissions in half, improving the carbon efficiency of workloads, and fueling the transition to zero-carbon clouds.  

The most impressive aspect of these efforts, however, is just how much progress we’ve already made. In November 2018, we officially achieved carbon neutrality—two years ahead of schedule. In 2019 (our fiscal year 2020), we cut our emissions intensity by 46% over the previous year, even as we grew total revenue by 12%.* We also now source 100% of the electricity for our global operations from renewable sources. In fact, Dow Jones just ranked VMware in the top 94th percentile in the software category for leadership in corporate sustainability.**  

Our goals for 2020 were no less ambitious: 

  • Maintaining carbon neutrality and continuing to use 100% renewable energy across our operations 
  • Instituting aggressive water conservation in India and other water-stressed regions in our portfolio 
  • Achieving over 90% waste diversion globally and sending zero e-waste to landfills 
  • Procuring at least 50% of our business operations from suppliers who are committed to meeting the same kind of targets for sustainability and social responsibility 

 Building Transformative Products 

The simplest way to reduce energy consumption in your digital footprint is also the most obvious one: run less hardware. As you might expect, this is an area where VMware excels. IDC estimated that from a cumulative standpoint, IT infrastructure efficiency due to VMware virtualization equates to energy savings of 347,968,000 MWh and carbon emissions avoidance of 1.2 billion metric tons from 2003 to 2019.***

Boosting Service Provider Efficiency 

VMware technologies already translated to huge reductions in global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. But until recently, most of this innovation was happening inside global enterprises. When it comes to some of the world’s biggest users of IT and network hardwarelarge national and regional communications service providers (CSPs)—the benefits of virtualization are just getting started.  

CSPs provide the connectivity to power digital transformation. But inside their own vast networks—sprawling environments with thousands of sites running tens of thousands of devices 24/7—many have continued to rely on legacy infrastructure models. As a result, the industry hasn’t benefited from modern efficiency advances as much as enterprises have. In the last few years though, that status quo has started to change.  

Today, CSPs are moving away from dedicated physical hardware in every part of the network and using virtualized network infrastructure instead.**** This allows them to deploy and upgrade services much more quicklyBut, it also means that the same benefits of lower power usage and carbon emissions that enterprises have long enjoyed can now extend to CSP networks. That’s a huge deal, and it will have a huge impact on our environment.  

Vodafone, for example, has been working with VMware to virtualize and “cloudify” their mobile and fixed broadband networks in 43 geographies around the world. In the UK, that work has already translated to a reduction of 100,000 MWh hours of energy consumption over the last three years and prevented 25,000 tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.*****

5G Kicks Virtualization into High Gear  

CSP virtualization has long been viewed as a “nice-to-have” capability. As mobile operators roll out 5G though, it becomes a core technology requirement as the automated delivery and scaling enabled by virtualization will be necessary to deliver the on-demand, customizable services expected of 5G, and beyond.   

This evolution is kicking off a huge shift from legacy hardware to virtualized infrastructure in the world’s largest networks, and it will have a huge impact on global sustainability. One recent study conducted by Telefonica and Nokia, for example, forecasts that Telefonica’s new 5G network will spur a 90% reduction in energy usage compared to 4G.******

It’s not just CSPs’ internal operations that will get more efficient. In the coming years, CSPs and their partners will use 5G network capabilities to deliver a wide range of new services that enable cleaner, more efficient energy production and distribution. That includes things like: 

  • Predictive maintenance for energy generation, storage, and transmission infrastructure to improve efficiency and avoid failures
  • Automated control of both renewable and conventional power generation equipment, using more sensors and artificial intelligence to maximize output 
  • Location-based battery supply systems to track demand for electric vehicle batteries and optimize supply and storage 
  • Intelligent energy demand/supply management applications that reduce and optimize energy consumption 
  • Smart grid load-balancing that uses real-time data and modeling to balance supply and demand across large-scale consumers and energy resources 

These and other new 5G capabilities will help CSPs shake off the legacy hardware models of the past and become standard-bearers for a greener, more sustainable future. At VMware, we’re excited to play a key role in this transformation, and to enable some of the world’s most important, high-impact sustainability projects in the coming years 

For more information on the VMware 5G solutions visit: https://telco.vmware.com/

 

 

* https://www.vmware.com/content/dam/digitalmarketing/vmware/en/pdf/microsites/vmware-global-impact-report.pdf  

** https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201130005275/en/VMware-Named-to-Dow-Jones-Sustainability-Index  

*** IDC, Sriram Subramanian, Brad Casemore, Enabling More Agile and Sustainable Business Through Carbon-Efficient Digital Transformations An IDC White Paper, Sponsored by VMware, August 2020, #US46663420 – https://www.vmware.com/content/dam/digitalmarketing/vmware/en/pdf/company/vmware-idc-whitepaper-2020.pdf 

**** GSMA, Migration from Physical to Virtual Network Functions: Best Practices and Lessons Learned, October 2018 https://www.gsma.com/futurenetworks/5g/migration-from-physical-to-virtual-network-functions-best-practices-and-lessons-learned/ 

***** https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk/planet/vodafone-uks-energy-reductions-save-25000-tonnes-of-co2/?utm_source=TelecomTV&utm_campaign=4f9848eb90-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_10_08_07_14&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6197c572c4-4f9848eb90-166720778 

****** https://www.totaltele.com/508072/Nokia-Telefonica-trial-shows-5G-90-more-energy-efficient-than-4G?utm_campaign=364200%20-%20Total%20Telecom%20Newsletter%2003122020&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua&evtuEID=0.0000&evtuID=CTRHD000022939515&elqTrackId=63bd53afb2c84c6bb056270c098fee42&elq=2fb73cfab700401bb42520e63be32a59&elqaid=199096&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=6362

 

Telco Bits & Bytes – 14 January 2021

Our regular roundup of the technology news that matters

Happy New Year and welcome to the first edition of our ‘Telco Bits & Bytes’ news blog for 2021. Here we share news and insights from across VMware and the technology industry that caught our attention, so you don’t miss a beat.

VMware Bits

Technology Bytes

For daily VMware and technology news, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and our website

Join our Telecom Services and Operations Group VMUG

Evolving 5G as we Pave a Path Toward 6G 

In my last blog, I talked about VMware’s participation in the newly formed ATIS NextG Alliance. If you follow the research community around wireless technologies, you’ll note that this is just one of several industry organizations focused on upcoming wireless generations—commonly referred to as “Beyond 5G” (B5G). Already, we see B5G/6G initiatives launching from 3GPP, IEEE, ITU, the 6G Flagship Program in Europe, China’s new 6G satellite program, and several others. All of which raises the question: If we’re still in early days of deploying 5G, why is there already so much activity around what comes next? Let’s take a closer look.


Evolution of the Next Big G

Let’s start by looking at it from a pure wireless generation evolution perspective. Tradition holds that every generation introduces a new service concept. To support the new concepts, groundwork is laid for aligned evolution of radio and other essential elements. It isn’t until the next generation comes along that the work needed for full-scale adoption is completed. This pattern can be traced all the way back — cellular telephony introduced in 1G saw mass adoption in 2G, packet data was introduced in 3G, but full benefits weren’t reaped until Long Term Evolution of the architecture with 4G.

Another notable observation here is that mass adoption of almost every new wireless service introduced by 3GPP in the past has been led by an over the top phenomenon. Apple App Store being the 3G surprise, and the rise of the hyper scale cloud in early 2000s created a demand side pull for massive broadband. In turn, this enabled mass dissemination of compute which gave rise to services like uber – unthinkable without this powerful duo at play.

5G is no different – only a bit broader in its original ambition. The previous generations have been focused on evolution of wireless systems for higher performance and bandwidth, improving the quality of experience for human centric communications and content consumption and entertainment. 5G is the first generation of wireless designed for highly interactive collaboration amongst ‘smart things’, be it humans, machines, cyber-physical systems or any combination of the above. Antiquated technologies underpinning currently prevalent Packet Data Networks (including the wireless networks) designed and optimized for remote human consumption are seriously challenged with the new service characteristics vectors being shaped with machine centric communication and collaboration.

Hence, a new plan, design and operations paradigm was envisaged for 5G with a few key elements deemed essential to a solid foundation for the unprecedented applications ecosystem anticipated with 5G. We’ve come a long way with implementation of these essential elements, thanks to the leadership from 3GPP global community and telecommunications service provider led efforts (e.g. massive broadband, cloud native 5G and pervasive connectivity) but much remains to be completed for some of the broader elements that sit at the cross section of wireless, networking and cloud.

Below is a rough score card of our progress on these essential 5G elements, in the order of maturity from left to right:

As service providers prepare for their initial 5G deployments, mainly targeting broadband access and New Radio capacity augmentation of LTE for network densification, the research community continues to unravel the more complex challenges. These challenges include areas around network programmability and autonomics which must be addressed before we are able to take a crack at Time Sensitive Communications – the most interesting element of the 5G foundation.

At VMware, we think it’s critical that someone like us—a company that has one foot in the world of service provider networks and the other foot in the cloud—help lead this new chapter of 5G evolution.

 

How VMW is shaping the new chapter of 5G evolution toward NextG

A 5G connected world is anticipated to be an ecosystem of interconnected intelligence components, systems and fabrics enabled with fusion of technologies that sit at the intersection of wireless, networking and cloud industries. VMware aims to bridge these somewhat disparate industries for unification of cross-sectional technologies that maximizes the interoperability while maintaining individual differentiation of each for a sustainable win-win for all.

We analyze below, foundational imperatives of this unification for 5G era, paving a path toward 6G:

  1. Virtualize the data center: We need the ability to adapt, federate, and optimize heterogeneous resources that span multiple physical data centers managed by disparate providers, across multiple geographies, as a unified pool of adaptive compute capabilities. 
  2. Virtualize the network: Next, we need to be able to adapt, federate, and optimize heterogeneous networks to enable distributed applications that span multiple providers, across multiple geographies such that the underlying networks become invisible to the application.
  3. Virtualize the edge: We need the ability to adapt, federate, and optimize heterogeneous platforms spanning multiple providers, across multiple geographies to enable a fungible edge that continuously optimizes itself to maintain QOE across vastly interactive, highly mobile, distributed applications.
  4. Virtualize the control: Finally, we need to be able to adapt, federate, and optimize heterogeneous entities contributing to collaborative controls applications that are distributed across multiple intelligence agents that span multiple providers and geographies, ultimately leading to universal autonomy with complete virtualization of control.

We realize that this is a significant undertaking that can only be successful with a strong collaborative effort bringing together best and brightest of all the relevant industries. We are developing a world-class ecosystem to help unravel these challenges in a real-world setting. With the unique combination of our long-standing leadership in virtualization and our deep expertise in service provider and data center networks, VMware is perfectly positioned to drive harmonization across wireless, cloud and networking industries. And, we are already doing it through our participation in cross-functional industry groups like 5G Americas, ATIS NextG Alliance, 5G Open Innovation Lab and many others.

These NextG imperatives align closely with the major initiatives VMware is pursuing right now. Today, we’re partnering with our key customers to enable edge-to-cloud virtualization underpinned with our multi-cloud 5G edge platform. We’re also building a new generation of network controls and intelligence to lay a solid foundation for the most ambitious goal of tomorrow’s networks: universal autonomy. When the industry comes together to realize universal autonomy, VMware will be right in the thick of it.

Join us in our journey toward 6G by leaving comments on this blog and following us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

Want to know more about what we’re doing in 5G? Watch this video.

Telco Bits & Bytes – 22 December 2020

Our regular roundup of the technology news that matters

Welcome to the last edition of our ‘Telco Bits & Bytes’ news blog for 2020. Here we share news and insights from across VMware and the technology industry that caught our attention, so you don’t miss a beat. Happy Holidays Everyone!

VMware Bits

Technology Bytes

For daily VMware and technology news, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and our website

Join our Telecom Services and Operations Group VMUG

Telco Bits & Bytes – 10 December 2020

Our regular roundup of the technology news that matters

Welcome to the next edition of our ‘Telco Bits & Bytes’ news blog. Here we share news and insights from across VMware and the technology industry that caught our attention, so you don’t miss a beat. Let us know in the comments below how we can improve this service and enjoy!

VMware Bits

Telco Bits & Bytes Live! On Demand

Technology Bytes

For daily VMware and technology news, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and our website

Join our Telecom Services and Operations Group VMUG

Telco Bits & Bytes – 26 November 2020

Our regular roundup of the technology news that matters

Welcome to the next edition of our ‘Telco Bits & Bytes’ news blog. Here we share news and insights from across VMware and the technology industry that caught our attention, so you don’t miss a beat. Let us know in the comments below how we can improve this service and enjoy!

VMware Bits

Upcoming events

Technology Bytes

For daily VMware and technology news, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and our website

Join our Telecom Services and Operations Group VMUG

Running CNFs on Bare Metal — Merit or Mirage? The Abstraction of Virtualization Yields Concrete Benefits

As CSPs turn to containers to help roll out 5G services and pursue new use cases, engineers and architects at CSPs are trying to gauge the benefits of running containers on virtual machines or bare metal.

A container wraps a network function in a consistent, portable package that can be independently distributed and modified with little effort and few dependencies. Containers then run on a host operating system and share its kernel. The host operating system resides on either a virtual machine or a physical server.

If you’re part of 5G effort at a CSP, you’re probably considering the merits of running containers on virtual machines or bare metal. Containerized network functions (CNFs) help CSPs streamline the development and deployment of 5G services and functions so you can gain flexibility, speed, and agility to address 5G use cases while maintaining or exceeding your existing levels of security, performance, and reliability.

Embodied in the term cloud-native technologies, this containerization trend is advanced by using a microservices architecture and a container orchestration system—typically Kubernetes. Containers, in general, can ease the path to being able to independently deploy, modify, and maintain network functions. Kubernetes comes into the picture to automate the deployment and management of containerized functions and services at scale.

When it comes to containers, some people tend to cast the choice between virtual machines and bare metal as a binary one, but that’s not the case. Containers are a form of operating system virtualization; virtual machines are, of course, hardware virtualization, which was originally developed to eliminate the many pain points of working with physical hardware and to reduce costs.

As such, VMs solve infrastructure-related problems by better utilizing servers, improving infrastructure management, streamlining IT operations, and isolating resources for security. These are some of the reasons why the major public cloud providers use hypervisors and VMs to run containers. Containers solve application-related problems by, among other things, streamlining DevOps, fostering a microservices architecture, improving portability, and further improving resource utilization.

Containers complement the many benefits of hardware virtualization, and security is a case in point. Because containers alone are inadequate security boundaries, the strong isolation provided by VMs improves security for containerized functions and services, and the mature, proven ecosystem of virtualization technology enables you to build security into the infrastructure with such measures as micro-segmentation.

This passage from the NIST Application Container Security Guide (NIST Special Publication 800-190) sums up this synergy nicely:

“Although containers are sometimes thought of as the next phase of virtualization, surpassing hardware virtualization, the reality for most organizations is less about revolution than evolution. Containers and hardware virtualization not only can, but very frequently do, coexist well and actually enhance each other’s capabilities. VMs provide many benefits, such as strong isolation, OS automation, and a wide and deep ecosystem of solutions. Organizations do not need to make a choice between containers and VMs. Instead, organizations can continue to use VMs to deploy, partition, and manage their hardware, while using containers to package their apps and utilize each VM more efficiently.”

Because of this synergistic problem-solving relationship, running containers on virtual machines helps CSPs speed up the transition from 4G to 5G and ease the management of CNFs and 5G services. At the center of this combination is VMware Telco Cloud Platform, which uses a telco-grade Kubernetes distribution to orchestrate containers on virtual machines in a telco cloud.

A new white paper and an executive level solution brief from VMware explains how running containers on VMs establishes the perfect catalyst for efficiently and securely operating CNFs at scale.

Visit telco.vmware.com for more information on VMware’s Telco Cloud.