As a communication service provider (CSP), you constantly face these challenges:
- You deal with tens of millions of subscribers. Following best practices, you go through Proof of Concept (PoCs) followed by limited field trials before taking any use case to production. However, these PoCs are a huge investment of time, effort and money. Additionally, it can take months to have an outcome. How can you experience the same without going through this ordeal?
- You want to be part of the innovation that telco cloud is going through. VMware is constantly releasing new products and updates to existing ones. You want to experience this on real carrier-grade hardware like what you have in your labs as well as provide early feedback to help create better products and solutions.
- Your modern network calls for the deployment of best-in-breed solutions across all domains. How can you go about integration of this multi-vendor ecosystem to provide an almost seamless experience?
How VMware Telco Labs Can Help
The VMware Telco Labs is a platform that enables you to schedule and run demo labs of complex telco use cases. You will experience this in a live environment through an easy-to-use portal with no other requirement other than an Internet connection and a web browser.
Our demos respond to the most current and popular industry use cases and will serve as your proving ground for solution integration and validation. The lab is built to be independent and with easy collaboration in mind. VMware partners, vendors and customers can access the lab remotely to work on solution integration and creation of demos.
It is hosted in a DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) environment and uses state of the art carrier-grade hardware required to support the demos, such as:
- Server Hardware that is NUMA aware
- Dedicated CPU cores with isolation
- Huge pages
- SR-IOV (Single Root I/O Virtualization) supported Intel NICs
- Hardware accelerators such as Intel ACC100 required for Intel FlexRAN solution.
How can you engage?
With a few simple clicks you can register to use the portal at https://telco-labs.vmware.com. Once logged in, you will find the three sections that address your challenges.
- Under the Use Cases section, you will find demo-labs for the common telco use cases. You can schedule and experience these labs before going through with a full-fledged PoC. Thus, saving time, effort and money
- Under the “Products” section, you will find newly introduced products and/or releases such as TCSA 2.0 and the cRIC rApp for Energy Savings. This rAPP reduces RAN energy consumption and improves network energy efficiency. It does so by using RAN PM (Performance Management) counters and CM (Configuration Management) capability to intelligently power down cells during off-peak hours to save energy without impacting subscriber experience.
- The “Solutions” subsection houses demo-labs that will serve as “providing grounds” where you can work alongside with the VMWare team to co-develop solutions.
You can schedule a lab by simply clicking on the “SCHEDULE LAB” button, provide the data on the pop-up form including the period for which you want to schedule the lab.
Once scheduled, labs will show up under the “My Labs” section. The status of each scheduled lab is shown on the top right of each card. Labs go through various stages – SCHEDULED, DEPLOYING and ACTIVE. You can then connect to active labs using the “CONNECT TO LAB” button that launches an RDP session within the browser (no other special tools required).
Behind the scenes, Telco Labs uses automation and pipelines to prepare the software stack as well as the hardware. Including complex tasks such as BIOS configuration, networking and storage setup as well as installing ESXi and tools such as vCenter, VMware Telco Cloud Automation required to make the demo labs experience come as close to a PoC as possible.
Using Telco Cloud Automation, you can experience the easy of configuring key Telco features (NUMA alignment, CPU inning, Huge Pages, SR-IOV setup, PTP (Precision Time Protocol) setup as well as ability to onboard VNFs and CNFs using ETSI/MANO compliant TOSCA based CSAR (Cloud Service Archive) as shown below:
The setup is flexible. You can even onboard your own CNFs by uploading them to the lab. You will have access to the ESXi hosts via ssh, access the Kubernetes Tanzu pods using kubectl and execute show commands on the CLI.
In this in this post-Covid era where onsite is difficult to achieve, the VMware Telco Labs is a step in the right direction to help you optimize time by reducing the burden of proof, contribute to innovation by having access to new products and releases as well as co-develop solutions using this hosted lab environment remotely. To learn more about VMware Telco Cloud solution portfolio, please visit our website.