5G AND NETWORK SLICING
The market challenge and opportunity
5G networks promise to enable unprecedented network coverage and density, massive data rates and capacity, optimized deployment of virtualized resources in a multi-tenant and multi-service network, capable of fulfilling the dynamic and demanding requirements of numerous applications.
Network slicing is a key enabler of the 5G use case to allow multiple customized and isolated virtual networks upon a single shared physical network infrastructure. Creating more network slices inherently adds an order of magnitude, in terms of complexity, to network operations and ongoing optimization efforts.
A technology example of the complexity that 5G introduces is Dynamic Network Slicing. Dynamic slices are created and deployed in real-time over a distributed cloud infrastructure, each with unique capabilities dedicated to a supported service group, use case, or business model. The slices are built/optimized with only required network capabilities that match the needs of the supported service, use case or business case as per the service model. They are then torn down once the use case/requirement ‘expires’.
The orchestration and automation layer is the core technical enabler for the effective transformation from the legacy physical network infrastructure to a cloud-native, dynamic, distributed hybrid 5G-enabled network. This layer determines if it succeeds or fails.
The solution must effectively manage the orchestration of a multi-vendor, multi-domain and hybrid environments (physical, virtual and cloud native technologies). Existing orchestration platforms provided by the closed vendor-centric world of networking and security vendors, often using multiple legacy acquired and integrated products, are not fit for purpose for such a radical transformation.
In order to succeed, it is critical to ‘disaggregate’ the orchestration and automation of the services and processes from the configuration of the physical devices and systems involved, and to fully leverage new cloud-native technologies to enable the transition to the 5G network and the realization of its promise.
5G and Network Slicing with Stratoss
Built from the ground up, as a fully cloud native product, Stratoss offers comprehensive end-to-end Service Orchestration, productized service modelling and design-to-operation DevOps CICD features.
Stratoss provides the following features to enable 5G/Network Slicing:
Radical 5G entrants such as Rakuten are deploying Cloud-Native ‘greenfield’ networks, with dramatically lowered operating costs and increased agility. This is placing enormous competitive pressures on incumbents to rapidly respond. Stratoss is unique. Our fully cloud-native technology enables all features including containerized/Kubernetes instances as well as manging legacy physical and virtual networks, and all the services that run over them.
5G Service models
Whereas other products enable network intent-based on workflow, Stratoss enables end-to-end Service Modelling where the product creates productized patterns that can repeatedly deploy the service across hybrid, distributed networks without human manual interaction. As technology such as Dynamic Network Slicing becomes ubiquitous, and multi-tenanting the ‘norm’ this capability is required to manage the volumes, dynamics and complexity.
‘Opinionated’ Product Model
The product is architected around a product philosophy where all service design configuration is standardized once and then imposed/utilized repeatedly across the IT/network landscape’. The scale of business cases, prevalence of edge/distributed networks and multi-vendor landscape mean that the traditional workflow/scripting orchestration tools simply cannot deliver the extreme levels of automation required to compete.