Home > Blogs > VMware Telco Cloud Blog > Tag Archives: #cloud native

Tag Archives: #cloud native

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.

Telco Bits & Bytes – 12 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

Launching next week!

Technology Bytes

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

Join our Telecom Services and Operations Group VMUG

What’s Next for the Cable Industry?
Cable Cloud – A common and consistent architecture for multi-service across any network and any cloud

As SCTE·ISBE Cable-Tec Expo is approaching, we are tuning in to see what’s next for cable. Technology innovations in DOCSIS, Distributed Access Architecture (DAA), and 5G are driving communications service providers (CSPs), including cable, telco, and mobile operators, toward a distributed, disaggregated architecture. Disaggregation enables gains in flexibility and operational and cost efficiencies while meeting bandwidth demand and preparing for next-generation ultra-reliable low-latency services. Convergence of access and mobile will also bring new market opportunities and challenges to the industry.

Now the question is what software architecture will turn this vision into reality?

To reach a mass deployment of distributed access and edge architecture, both CapEx and OpEx need to be reduced to the point that can justify such a mass deployment.  Cable operators need to first virtualize their infrastructure by disaggregating the control plane from the data plane so that they can grow and scale independently from each other.  This will enable cable operators to build a simplified and agile architecture that can automate and dynamically assign, share and optimize the allocation of compute, storage, and networking resources for a broad set of planned or unpredicted network and service scenarios.

To build, run, manage, connect, and protect any service running on any device in a distributed multi-access network environment, cable operators need a high level of scalability and agility, and a much larger scale of automation, network and service visibility, service assurance and manageability.  Cable operators need an automation platform that can provide the scalability, repeatability, velocity, and operational efficiency to support large-scale deployments and serve a large amount of distributed remote edge sites.   In order to monitor and manage such a large amount of distributed scale virtual and physical networks more efficiently, cable operators will be benefited from AI- and ML-based real-time assurance platform that can provide intelligent operations insights that they need.

Most operators, if not all, would agree that network virtualization and moving to cloud architecture is the way to meet these requirements.  This shift to the cloud is similar to what mobile operators are experiencing in their 5G journey — cloud technologies provide the scalability, agility, and ROI to make mobile 5G a reality.  For the cable industry, with a strong broadband subscriber base and superior video delivery network, cable cloud will unleash the full potential of the cable network and make DAA, cable 10G, and convergence of cable and mobile reality, empowering cable operators to take advantage of the cloud economy and offer next-generation cloud services.

So, what kind of cable cloud architecture will give you a competitive edge with better ROI, faster service innovation, faster time to market, and greater operational efficiency?

A common and consistent horizontal architecture that is vendor-agnostic and application-agnostic addresses the challenges of silos. A common and consistent architecture also needs to be standards-based and future-ready — a hybrid architecture of virtualization and cloud-native technology enables cable operators to have consistent operations for any existing and future service running on any device across any network in any cloud.  In large-scale cloud-based networks that are co-located, a common and consistent architecture enables cable operators to further improve their cost and operational efficiency network convergence.

VMware cable cloud solutions are doing just that and much more.  To learn more, check out our cable cloud website at www.vmware.com/cablecloud.

If you’re attending SCTE-ISBE Cable-Tec Expo 2020, you can find out more by joining these two workshops featuring presentations from VMware experts: