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Tag Archives: Telco Cloud

With the Next G Alliance, VMware Prepares for 6G: Multi-disciplinary systems call for multi-industry alliances

It’s only been months since the first 5G-enabled consumer devices hit the market, but the industry is already preparing for what comes next. Here, you’ll find the first of a two-part blog series discussing where the telecom industry is headed and how VMware is helping to shape the next big evolution to 6G and beyond.

After living and breathing 5G nonstop over the last couple years, you’re probably still trying to catch your breath. Thinking about yet another generation of wireless networks may be the last thing you want to do. But here’s something to consider: Wouldn’t it be great if your transition to 6G wasn’t the same kind of massive, all-encompassing transformation effort as the move to 5G?

That’s exactly what a new North American industry group, the ATIS  Next G Alliance, will study – among other objectives in establishing North American 6G leadership.

As a founding member of the ATIS Next G Alliance, VMware is joining  some of the leading network operators and equipment suppliers in the world to set the agenda for next gen wireless. And, we have some good news: many of the things you should be doing to prepare for 6G have already begun as you scale out your systems with 5G.

 

Planning Ahead

Historically, when we’ve gone from one wireless generation to the next (2G to 3G, 3G to 4G), it meant significant infrastructure investments considering bespoke systems that had to swapped out. You can understand why it happens; you can’t just move all your customers to a new network generation overnight. So, you add the new technology as an overlay, continue running the old, and hope that eventually you can switch everything over. In the interim though, you spend a ton of time (and effort, and resources) running multiple siloed architectures at once.

The first few times we went through this process, you could excuse it. By the time 4G rolled around though, we knew all about the costs and hassles of building yet another silo. We knew we’d be better off making more fundamental changes to our processes and organizations. Specifically, we knew that by embracing software-first models from the world of IT and web-scale data centers, we’d be able to evolve our networks much more easily and cost-effectively.

But we didn’t. Instead, we kicked the can down the road. We left the most profound changes for the next major network evolution: breaking down legacy network siloes, moving to cloud-native infrastructure, implementing continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines, retraining network teams in agile development process and DevOps.

How much easier would implementing 5G have been if you already had all that in place? Well, we’re finally in position to build a more flexible, capable foundation for future network evolutions. By embracing agile software models and cloud-native applications as we expand 5G, we can make the next transition a lot simpler.

 

Entering the Next G

Preparing for the next big telecom evolution years in advance is nothing new. Several other regions have already announced plans for 6G research initiatives. If North American industry wants to lead in this space, we need to start laying the groundwork now. VMware and other companies participating in the Next G Alliance aim to do it.

It’s still early days for this effort, and plenty of details remain to be worked out. But we already know some of the things that need to be in place for 6G and beyond. Things like:

  • Openness: We need to move beyond vertical ecosystems to horizontal platforms that enable full separation of ‘function’ from the underlying hardware and software, with multiple industries, multiple providers and multiple vendors contributing to the end to end system compositions.
  • Cloud-native applications and infrastructure: We need to eliminate a reliance on monolithic network functions and systems. Instead, we need to embrace containerized microservices from the world of IT, which will let us treat the network as a flexible pool of resources that can be assembled and reassembled at will.
  • Automation: We need to lay the foundation for use of Machine Intelligence in all aspects of plan, design and operations enabling self-organizing, self-healing and self-optimizing systems.

If those principles sound familiar, they should, because they’re the foundation of the offerings VMware is bringing to 5G networks and services right now. And, that’s the best part: whether you’re thinking about 6G today or not, you’re likely already taking many of the steps that will make future evolutions easier.

 

Envisioning Tomorrow’s Network

Stay tuned to industry efforts like the ATIS Next G Alliance—and expect to see VMware leading the way in many of them. In addition to our own Ready for Telco Cloud certification and partner program, we’ve been longtime contributors to industry groups like the O-RAN Alliance, TM Forum, and GSMA.

Recently, we became a founding member of the 5G Open Innovation Lab (5GOILab), where we’re helping startups develop groundbreaking 5G applications and services. Leading into 5G, we recently joined the Board of Governors for 5G Americas to help bridge the wireless and cloud industries. And, we’re working with the Open Infrastructure Foundation (OIF) to support the open-source communities developing tomorrow’s open infrastructure software.

Through efforts like these, we’re working to help service providers capitalize on the most innovative 5G capabilities today, while smoothing the transition to the networks of tomorrow.

Learn more about how the VMware telco cloud portfolio supports the transformation for future-ready networks by reading Telco Cloud for Dummies. And, stay tuned for the next blog in this series, where we’ll explore previous network evolutions and discuss why the next one will look very different.

Telco 5G Takes Center Stage: News, Customer Commentary, and Analyst Remarks from VMworld 2020

The Telco industry has seen a tremendous amount of progress over the last few years, and this year has been no exception. From releasing the Telco Cloud Platform, to bringing cloud agility to the RAN, VMware is enabling the digital transformation of communications service providers (CSPs) around the world. The Telco/5G track at VMworld 2020 explored the important themes that are impacting CSPs the most. Together with our customers, we discussed software defined IT datacenters, unified multi-cloud networks, and monetization of enterprise services.

In a recent report, 451 Research outlined how VMware is positioned to become a leader in 5G. The report reviews the strengths and opportunities showcased at VMworld and what CSPs can utilize in their digital transformation with VMware moving forward:

  • “VMware’s core cloudification and go-to- market assets line up well with the complex market forces facing telecom operators as they move to disaggregated networks, edge computing and 5G. The company has parlayed incumbency in IT to penetrate core networks in many accounts.”
  • “VMware is smart to introduce the idea of packaging its core SD-WAN and security assets into its telco cloud proposition. Monetization is perhaps the most important challenge that must be overcome for ROI of 5G/edge platforms in B2B.”

Beyond 451 Research, other analysts have commented on VMware solutions:

  • IDC: “VMware is positioned as one of the leading go-to partners for service providers and enterprise virtualization needs. The company is well positioned in the emerging market for telco cloud operations (private and public cloud), both from an infrastructure and orchestration/automation standpoint.” (source)
  • Analysys Mason: “CSPs need a new digital operations model powered by a network and service automation platform, to abstract complexity and automate the lifecycle of multi-cloud networks and digital services in the 5G era. The VMware Telco Cloud Platform solution is positioned to take advantage of this fast-growing market.” (source)

It goes without saying that 5G remains a priority for service providers and hence was a key theme at VMworld. VMware’s CEO, Pat Gelsinger, noted at VMworld that VMware Telco Cloud Platform is becoming the operating system of 5G. With a horizontal automated platform, service providers have the opportunity to monetize 5G – the flexible foundation enables agile service innovation across and end-to-end network with intrinsic security. In addition to the multi-cloud expertise required to build this foundation, VMware has deep enterprise roots which can help drive 5G success through monetization. Going beyond carrier grade performance and 5G speeds, VMware enables personalization through context-aware services and dedicated network slices.

The VMware Telco Cloud Platform released leading into the show was created to support 5G deployments which will be more distributed, more decoupled, with more technology vendors.

Progressing through their digital transformations, service providers are moving to cloud native architectures to fully embrace a cloud-first approach. At the show, results were shared for data plane pod performance – single side-by-side comparison showed CNF on VMware Telco Cloud Platform performs as well as a VM. ACG reviewed the economics for VMware Telco Cloud Platform which automates cloud-native application onboarding, provisioning and life cycle management – models yields include 18% increased services revenues, 33% OPEX avoidance, and 19% CAPEX avoidance.

Another hot-button topic at VMworld 2020 was O-RAN. Several VMware customers took the stage to highlight their projects to open up the RAN – bringing cloud agility to their RAN networks is helping them make 5G a reality. Because 5G pulls applications closer to the customer, it will require more RAN sites that will be mostly virtualized. By transitioning from a traditional, purpose-built RAN to vRAN and ultimately O-RAN, CSPs will be able to create programmable, open interfaces which allow the RAN to be unified with the rest of the network. Intel took the stage on this topic where they announced a collaboration on an integrated software platform for vRAN to accelerate the rollout of both existing LTE and future 5G networks.

Other topics in the show included unified network intelligence and management where a case study was shared that explained that a customer with 1M+ devices under management leveraged VMware Telco Cloud Operations saved $12M in development costs. Several partners from VMware’s robust partner ecosystem also took the stage including Accenture to announce a new pre-integrated solution including Accenture’s Cloud Native Box and VMware’s Telco Cloud Platform. This solution will accelerate end-to-end brownfield and green field cloud-native deployments.

We weren’t the only ones who noticed all the valuable conversations at VMworld. Here is just a sample of some of the amazing feedback we received from the press:

  • Protocol: “What I’d say is generally most customers are running some [cloud workloads], most customers plan to run more going forward, and I’ve said I expect this to get to 50/50, or a little bit more than 50% of the workloads running in the cloud. I’ve called it the three laws of the hybrid cloud: the laws of physics, the laws of economics and laws of the land…. The third is what I call the laws of physics, where we expect … 5G and edge computing to bring a burst of infrastructure at the edge.”
  • Light Reading: “Rouanne made his comments at the virtual VMworld trade show, hosted by VMware. Dish announced recently that its 5G network functions will run inside of the VMware Telco Cloud via a new multi-year agreement between the two companies. Dish officials explained that the move will allow the company to shift its computing needs across public and private clouds, as necessary, while maintaining a cohesive and unified software operation running on top of VMware’s platform. VMware will also act as Dish’s software gatekeeper, approving the software from other vendors that will run inside of Dish’s network.”
  • SDxCentral: “VMware recently repackaged various technologies for mobile network operators as the 5G Telco Cloud Platform. This included updated versions and more integrated support for VMware’s cloud-native software stack and network automation services. ‘VMware is providing us a very large set of software capabilities — all the way from the low-level capabilities to hypervisor, networking, and storage capabilities — but all the way to the automation and Kubernetes orchestration and the network function orchestration, so it’s a full stack that we are going to consume based on our requirements,’ Rouanne said.”

As the industry advances, VMware will continue to partner with our customers and telco ecosystem to help shape the future of communications.

To see how VMware enabling successful digital transformations for our service provider customers read this case study e-book 

Understanding the Power of Cloud in Service Provider Networks: Telco Cloud for Dummies

It’s no secret that service providers have long identified the need to leverage the power of the cloud. That said, we’re still seeing a struggle in the market to discover the right ways and places to leverage these technologies. To support that discovery, we worked with Wiley Publishing to produce this Telco Cloud for Dummies book.

In this book, we walk through the transformation of service providers to digital service providers. Brought about by increasing customer expectations, a lack of business and service agility, and rising network costs, service providers know that this next generation of networks architectures will be the key to reimagining customer relationships and thriving in the digital marketplace. You will learn how the telco cloud is the foundation of the transformation toward software-driven, cloud-enabled network architectures, flexible DevOps-driven operations, and the ability to leverage new revenue-generating business models.

VMware Telco Cloud lets you run your telco network like a cloud with software-driven telecom infrastructure built to run virtual and cloud native network functions, and enable agile operations. The telco cloud is an essential platform to build and deliver new consumer and enterprise applications and compete with agile over-the-top vendors who have been operating digital, cloud-enabled networks for years.

You learn how the telco cloud can help you succeed on your digital transformation journey in the new cloud economy:

  1. What it takes to become a digital service provider in a multi-cloud world
  2. How to build a foundation for the telco cloud
  3. The requirements for the telco cloud
  4. Which VMware technologies power the telco cloud
  5. Key benefits of the telco cloud

Download the book, today.

 

Telco Bits & Bytes – 20 August 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

Technology Bytes

For daily updates, follow us on LinkedIn and our website

Join our Telecom Services and Operations Group VMUG

Telco Bits & Bytes – 25 June 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

Technology Bytes

For daily updates, follow us on LinkedIn and our website

 

Getting ready for the 5G transformation with VMware Ready for Telco Cloud

Today, we are announcing another milestone in our support for communications service providers (CSPs) as they transition to a software-defined telco cloud. We are enhancing our award-winning VMware Ready for NFV program by including interoperability and readiness for VMware Telco Cloud Automation.

The addition of VMware Telco Cloud Automation into the program further accelerates the ability of CSPs to deploy software-based workloads on the VMware Telco Cloud platform. In order to reflect this expanded scope, we are renaming the program to VMware Ready for Telco Cloud. The original Ready for NFV certification will become Ready for Telco Cloud Infrastructure while the new certification level for VMware Telco Cloud Automation is called Ready for Telco Cloud.

As the telecommunication industry continues its migration to 5G, there are two critical shifts occurring that will shape the industry for years to come: a need for improved automation and the migration of network functions to a cloud native architecture. The expanded scope of the VMware Ready for Telco Cloud program reflects VMware’s commitment to supporting our carrier service provider customers as they engage with these shifts. The new certification level, VMware Ready for Telco Cloud, introduces our telco partner ecosystem to VMware’s multi-cloud and standards-based automation and orchestration product, aptly called VMware Telco Cloud Automation. A partner Network Function successfully completing this level of certification has demonstrated its support for a more automated deployment and operations.

The updated program offers two paths for partners by introducing two levels of certifications:

The Ready for Telco Cloud Infrastructure certification identifies virtual network functions that have been proven to interoperate with the core infrastructure layers of the VMware Telco Cloud, as referenced by the ETSI-compliant VMware vCloud NFV Reference Architecture. The focus of this certification level is on compatibility with the virtualized infrastructure manager (VIM) as well as compatibility with the other core components: VMware vSphere for virtualized compute, NSX for virtualized networking, and vSAN for virtualized storage. The fully automated program is available at no-cost to VMware partners, both in the VMware on-premise certification lab as well as in the VMware cloud as self-certification.

The second and new level of certification is called Ready for Telco Cloud. The certification additionally ensures that network functions are ready for deployment and lifecycle operations through VMware Telco Cloud Automation. In this level, the VMware team collaborates with partners to create an ETSI-compliant descriptor as well as a workflow, resource and commissioning artifact for a validated and tested Cloud Service Archive (CSAR). The built-in generic VNF Manager (gVNFM) function within VMware Telco Cloud Automation and the network function designer are central elements in this tier. This higher-level certification is available at the Ready for Telco Cloud lab on the VMware premises and includes the VMware Ready for Telco Cloud Infrastructure certification as a prerequisite.

The following diagram illustrates the path from the Ready for Telco Cloud Infrastructure certification to the Ready for Telco Cloud certification level:

 

The telecommunication industry has been on a journey toward software-based network functions that will leverage cloud-native architecture and design. Eventually, software development and delivery models will evolve to become more collaborative, significantly faster, and more automated.

We are committed to supporting our customers in their journey and are more than happy to share the extensive experience we have in the area with our partners. We see a logical progression in the way we engage with our telco partners:

  1. Ensure that the network function is interoperable with the fundamental cloud platform
  2. Automate the deployment and lifecycle operations

As containerized network functions become available, we will continue supporting our ecosystem. We see full alignment between suppliers and customers: we all want to accelerate the adaptation of software-based network functions, increase components integration, and elevate innovation. This is why the VMware Ready for Telco Cloud has embraced automation, cloud labs, and a continued evolution.

Connect with us: To certify a network function through the VMware Ready for Telco Cloud program, reach out to us at TelcoCloudCertification@vmware.com.

Telco Bits & Bytes – 11 June 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

Technology Bytes

For daily updates, follow us on LinkedIn and our website

Announcing VMware User Group for Telecoms Services and Operations

Announcing the VMware Telecoms Services and Operations User Group

In November I posted a blog overviewing an invitation-only Telco user forum, held on alongside VMworld Europe. Over 20 representatives from 10 customers began the process of building the first VMware community for Communication Service Providers (CSPs). The community will focus on supporting telecom infrastructure and services projects.

Delegates meet at Telco Customer Forum, November 2019. Barcelona

I’m delighted to announce that the Telcoms Services and Operations VMUG is now live!

Delegates agreed that the new community should meet through a combination of online and face-to-face activities. Coronavirus has had a massive impact on all our lives and face-to-face activity is no longer an option for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, VMUG is a fantastic online community platform.

Our first event will be on April 21st 2020: An Introduction to VMware Telco Cloud. You can register here or through the VMUG Group page. The webinar will provide the context for follow-on, deeper dives  and highlight some key technologies including Orchestration and Assurance.

Get Involved!

If you are part of a team planning or operating virtualised telecom infrastructure including NFV, or the next wave of Enterprise services such as SD-WAN, join the conversation by joining the Telecoms Services and operations VMUG or contacting memberservices@vmug.com for more information.

I would like to thank the teams at Telia, BT, TalkTalk, Vodafone, Swisscom and MTS for their input and support that has led to the creation of this group.

About VMUG: Officially launched in August of 2010, the VMware User Group (VMUG) is an independent, global, customer-led organization, created to maximize members’ use of VMware and partner solutions through knowledge sharing, training, collaboration, and events.

4 VMware Telco Events to Get You Ready for MWC Barcelona 2020


The biggest telco event of the year, Mobile World Congress, is fast approaching, and of course, VMware will be participating, exhibiting, and presenting our innovative telco cloud solutions in Barcelona. But what if you can’t wait till the end of February to hear what we’ve got in store?

Well, you’re in luck. We have a number of events coming up for you to learn more about our latest solutions and how we’re helping our customers today. Here’s how you can connect with us in the next few weeks:

Event: TM Forum’s Middle East Event

Join us at TM Forum’s Digital Transformation Middle East event in Dubai on the 20th and 21st where 400+ communication service providers and suppliers from across the globe will come together at the Conrad Dubai hotel to share best-practices around accelerating their internal digital transformation. We’ll be there and if you’re interested in meeting our regional team, send an email to telcocloudteam@vmware.com and we’ll put you in touch.

Webinar: Taking Innovation and Disruption to the Edge

Register for the Mobile World Live ‘Taking Innovation and Disruption to the Edge’ webinar on Tuesday, January 28th where ASOCS, VMware and GSMA Intelligence will discuss how you can successfully deliver edge cloud services. Amongst other things we’ll be presenting what it takes to successfully deliver telco edge cloud services including how to overcome barriers and sharing successful use cases.

Webinar: The Total Economic Impact™ Of A Common Platform Approach to NFV (coming soon)

Stay tuned for details about our upcoming webinar with the GSMA on Tuesday, February 11th. In the webinar, we’ll discuss the Forrester Consulting ‘The Total Economic Impact™ Of A Common Platform Approach to NFV’ study which compares the incremental total economic impact of a common platform deployment for NFV with a vertical stack approach. Once details are final, we’ll post them to our LinkedIn page.

Webinar: Orchestration & Automation for the Telco Cloud Era

Enroll for the Light Reading ‘Orchestration & Automation for the Telco Cloud Era’ webinar on Thursday, February 13th. VMware subject matter experts will be discussing the growing need for cloud-first orchestration including the state of Management and Network Orchestration (MANO) in the market and what’s required for the transition from NFV to telco cloud. Finally, bookmark and keep up to date on our plans for MWC2020 on our dedicated event microsite which showcases some of the ways you can meet with us in Barcelona including how to request a meeting with us at our stand in Hall 3 and details of our key note speaking session.

We’re really excited about what’s coming up in 2020 and we look forward to seeing you in Barcelona if not before at these events!

Check out telco.vmware.com for more information on VMware Telco Cloud offerings and follow us on Twitter (@vmwaretelco) for all the latest news and announcements around VMware telco. 

VMware Customers back formation of a VMware User Group (VMUG) for Telco Cloud

At a special invitation-only user forum held on November 5th alongside VMworld Europe 2019, over 20 representatives from 10 Communication Service Provider (CSP) customers began the process of building the first VMware User Group (VMUG) community specifically focused on supporting telecom infrastructure projects for NFV and Telco Cloud.

VMUG, an independent and customer-led organisation, helps customers connect, collaborate, and network with fellow VMware users through a combination of ‘UserCons’ (delivered around the world), virtual events and webcasts. By launching a community within VMUG specifically focussed on the Telcom Infrastructure use-case, VMware aims to create a self-serve collaborative environment for CSPs to advance their ambitions to become cloud-first service providers.

The Event

The half-day event, held at the Renaissance Fira Hotel, was opened by Honore’ LaBourdette, VP GTM Telco Edge Cloud (TEC), who set the scene and the objectives for the day, which included actionable outcomes to take the community forward. Immediately following, Gabriele Di Piazza, VP Solutions TEC  provided  a deeper dive into the ‘telco’ announcements made during Pat Gelsinger’s general session at VMworld Europe earlier in the day; including the technology preview of Project Maestro. Project Maestro is a telco cloud orchestration solution that will accelerate the time-to-market of modern network functions and services while igniting operational agility through simplified automation, across any network and any cloud. You can read more in Gabriele’s blog.

“One of the highlights for me at VMworld Europe was the Telco and Edge Cloud User Forum.  It was great seeing CSP industry peers discussing the disruptive changes they are facing and how they are embracing the changes. Events like this forum allow CSPs to deliver what the customer is asking for today and what they will be asking for in the future.” Brad Tompkins. VMUG Executive Director.

Discussions then centred on the status of existing NFV deployments, which serve as a the foundation for Telco Clouds and how, as a community, we could generate greater success for our members. Experience in the room ranged from well-established multi-country, multi-vendor Telco Clouds to early phase NFV deployments. Key topics included operational transformation, automation and orchestration. There was also discussion on deployment strategies and the need to better specify requirements to VNF vendors to ensure operational success.

Going forward

It was agreed that the new community should meet through a combination of online and face-to-face activities and on a quarterly basis. Meeting agendas and topics will be driven by the community and supported by VMware. As a next step, a number of customers volunteered to act as advisors to shape the formalised VMUG group and the focus of the next event.

Get Involved!

If you are a VMware telecom infrastructure customer deploying NFV and Telco Cloud, and would like to be kept informed on the progress of this new user group, please contact memberservices@vmug.com.

About VMUG: Officially launched in August of 2010, the VMware User Group (VMUG) is an independent, global, customer-led organization, created to maximize members’ use of VMware and partner solutions through knowledge sharing, training, collaboration, and events.