Cloud RAN with Google Distributed Cloud Edge; Strategy: host network functions of other vendors on Google Cloud
At MWC 2023 Barcelona, Google Cloud announced that they can now run the radio access network (RAN) functions as software on Google Distributed Cloud Edge, providing communications service providers (CSPs- AKA telcos) with a common and agile operating model that extends from the core of the network to the edge, for a high degree of programmability, flexibility, and low operating expenses. CSPs have already embraced open architecture, open-source software, disaggregation, automation, cloud, AI and machine learning, and new operational models, to name a few. The journey started in the last decade with Network Functions Virtualization, primarily with value added services and then deeper with core network applications, and in the past few years, that evolved into a push towards cloud-native. With significant progress in the core, the time for Cloud RAN is now, according to Google. However, whether for industry or region-specific compliance reasons, data sovereignty needs, or latency or local data-processing requirements, most of the network functions deployed in a mobile or wireline network may have to follow a hybrid deployment model where network functions are placed flexibly in a combination of both on-premises and cloud regions. RAN, which is traditionally implemented with proprietary hardware, falls into that camp as well.
In 2021,the company launched Google Distributed Cloud Edge (GDC Edge), an on-premises offering that extends a consistent operating model from our public Google Cloud regions to the customer’s premises. For CSPs, this hybrid approach makes it possible to modernize the network, while enabling easy development, fast innovation, efficient scale and operational efficiency; all while simultaneously helping to reduce technology risk and operational costs. GDC Edge became generally available in 2022.
Google Cloud does not plan to develop its own private wireless networking services to sell to enterprise customers, nor does the company plan to develop its own networking software functions, according to Gabriele Di Piazza, an executive with Google Cloud who spoke at MWC 2023 in Barcelona. Instead, Google Cloud would like to host the networking software functions of other vendors like Ericsson and Mavenir in its cloud. It would also like to resell private networking services from operators and others.
Rather than develop its own cloud native 5G SA core network or other cloud networking software (like Microsoft and AWS are doing), Google Cloud wants to “avoid partner conflict,” Di Piazza said. Google has been building its telecom cloud story around its Anthos platform. That platform is directly competing against the likes of AWS and Microsoft for telecom customers. According to a number of analysts, AWS appears to enjoy an early lead in the telecom industry – but its rivals, like Google, are looking for ways to gain a competitive advantage. One of Google’s competitive arguments is that it doesn’t have aspirations to sell network functions. Therefore, according to Di Piazza, the company can remain a trusted, unbiased partner.
Image Credit: Google Cloud
Last year, the executive said that moving to a cloud-native architecture is mandatory, not optional for telcos, adding that telecom operators are facing lots of challenges right now due to declining revenue growth, exploding data consumption and increasing capital requirements for 5G. Cloud-native networks have significant challenges. For example, there is a lack of standardization among the various open-source groups and there’s fragmentation among parts of the cloud-native ecosystem, particularly among OSS vendors, cloud providers and startups.
In recent years, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle and other cloud computing service providers have been working to develop products and services that are specifically designed to allow telecom network operator’s to run their network functions inside a third-party cloud environment. For example, AT&T and Dish Network are running their 5G SA core networks on Microsoft Azure and AWS, respectively.
Matt Beal, a senior VP of software development for Oracle Communications, said his company offers both a substantial cloud computing service as well as a lengthy list of network functions. He maintains that Oracle is a better partner for telecom network operators because of it. Beal said Oracle has long offered a wide range of networking functions, from policy control to network slice management, that can be run inside its cloud or inside the cloud of other companies. He said that, because Oracle developed those functions itself, the company has more experience in running them in a cloud environment compared with a company that hasn’t done that kind of work. Beal’s inference is that network operators ought to partner with the best and most experienced companies in the market. That position runs directly counter to Google’s competitive stance on the topic. “When you know how these things work in real life … you can optimize your cloud to run these workloads,” he said.
While a number of other telecom network operators have put things like customer support or IT into the cloud, they have been reluctant to release critical network functions like policy control to a cloud service provider.
Canalys: Cloud marketplace sales to be > $45 billion by 2025
Canalys now expects that by 2025, cloud marketplaces will grow to more than $45 billion, representing an 84% CAGR. That was one of the market research firm’s predictions for 2023 and beyond (see chart below).
Cloud marketplaces [1.] are accelerating as a route to market for technology, led by hyperscale cloud vendors such as Alibaba, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google and Salesforce, which are pouring billions of development dollars into the sector.
Note 1. A cloud marketplace is an online storefront operated by a cloud service provider. A cloud marketplace provides customers with access to software applications and services that are built on, integrate with or complement the cloud service provider’s offerings. A marketplace typically provides customers with native cloud applications and approved apps created by third-party developers. Applications from third-party developers not only help the cloud provider fill niche gaps in its portfolio and meet the needs of more customers, but they also provide the customer with peace of mind by knowing that all purchases from the vendor’s marketplace will integrate with each other smoothly.
“The marketplace route to market is on fire and cannot be ignored by any channel leader,” said Canalys Chief Analyst, Jay McBain. “Marketplaces grew more in the first three months of the pandemic than in the previous decade and have just kept growing,” he added.
“We under-called it,” explained Steven Kiernan, vice president at Canalys. “Cloud marketplaces are accelerating at such a dizzying speed that we’ve doubled our pre-pandemic forecast.
Some software vendors that are active on marketplaces, in particular cybersecurity vendors, are publicly reporting as much as 600% year-on-year growth via this channel, according to McBain.
In addition, the hyperscalers are now reporting growing numbers of billion-dollar customer commitments through enterprise cloud consumption credits, which cover more than just software.
The large cloud marketplaces have lowered fees from upwards of 20% down to 3%, enabling vendors to fund multi-partner offers inside the transaction.
Private equity is funding billions more into marketplace development firms such as AppDirect, Mirakl, Vendasta and CloudBlue to enable hundreds of niche marketplaces across different buyers, industries, geographies, customer segments, product areas and business models.
Canalys Chief Analyst, Alastair Edwards:
“The rise of this route to market represents a threat to both resellers and two-tier distribution. But as more complex technologies are consumed via marketplaces, end customers are also turning to trusted partners to help them discover, procure and manage marketplace purchases. The hyperscalers are increasingly recognizing the value of channel partners, allowing them to create customized vendor offers for end-customers, and supporting the flow of channel margins through their marketplaces. Hyperscalers’ cloud marketplaces are becoming a growing force in global IT distribution as a result.”
By 2025, Canalys conservatively forecasts that almost a third of marketplace procurement will be done via channel partners on behalf of their end customers.
Canalys key predictions for 2023 and beyond:
Canalys is an independent analyst company that strives to guide clients on the future of the technology industry and to think beyond the business models of the past. We deliver smart market insights to IT, channel and service provider professionals around the world. We stake our reputation on the quality of our data, our innovative use of technology and our high level of customer service.
Canalys: Global cloud services spending +33% in Q2 2022 to $62.3B
AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud account for 62% – 66% of cloud spending in 1Q-2022
IDC: Cloud Infrastructure Spending +13.5% YoY in 4Q-2021 to $21.1 billion; Forecast CAGR of 12.6% from 2021-2026
Omdia and Ericsson on telco transitioning to cloud native network functions (CNFs) and 5G SA core networks
Telco cloud has evolved from the much hyped (but commercially failed) NFV/Virtual Network Functions or VNFs and classical SDN architectures, to today’s more robust platforms for managing virtualized and cloud-native network functions that are tailored to the needs of telecom network workloads. This shift is bringing many new participants to the rapidly evolving telco cloud [1.] landscape.
Note 1. In this instance, “telco cloud” means running telco network functions, including 5G SA Core network on a public, private, or hybrid cloud platform. It does NOT imply that telcos are going to be cloud service providers (CSPs) and compete with Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud, IBM, Alibaba and other established CSPs. Telcos gave up on that years ago and sold most of their own data centers which they intended to make cloud resident.
In its recent Telco Cloud Evolution Survey 2022, Omdia (owned by Informa) found that both public and private cloud technology specialists are shaping this evolution. In July 2022, Omdia surveyed 49 senior operations and IT decision makers among telecom operator. Their report reveals their top-of-mind priorities, optimism, and strategies for migrating network workloads to private and public cloud.
Transitioning from VNFs to CNFs:
The existing implementations of telco cloud mostly take the virtualization technologies used in datacenter environments and apply them to telco networks. Because telcos always demand “telco-grade” network infrastructure, this virtualization of network functions is supported through a standard reference architecture for management and network orchestration (MANO) defined by ETSI. The traditional framework was defined for virtual machines (VMs) and network functions which were to be packaged as software equivalents (called network appliances) to run as instances of VMs. Therefore, a network function can be visualized as a vertically integrated stack consisting of proprietary virtualization infrastructure management (often based on OpenStack) and software packages for network functions delivered as monolithic applications on top. No one likes to admit, but the reality is that NFV has been a colossal commercial failure.
The VNFs were “lift & shift” so were hard to configure, update, test, and scale. Despite AT&T’s much publicized work, VNFs did not help telcos to completely decouple applications from specific hardware requirements. The presence of highly specific infrastructure components makes resource pooling quite difficult. In essence, the efficiencies telcos expected from virtualization have not yet been delivered.
The move to cloud native network functions (CNFs) aims to solve this problem. The softwardized network functions are delivered as modern software applications that adhere to cloud native principles. What this means is applications are designed independent of the underlying hardware and platforms. Secondly, each functionality within an application is delivered as a separate microservice that can be patched independently. Kubernetes manages the deployment, scaling, and operations of these microservices that are hosted in containers.
5G Core leads telcos’ network workload containerization efforts:
The benefits of cloud-native are driving telcos to implement network functions as containerized workloads. This has been realized in cloud native 5G SA core networks (5G Core), the architecture of which is specified in 3GPP Release 16. A key finding from the Telco Cloud Evolution Survey 2022, was that over 60% of the survey respondents picked 5G core to be run as containerized workloads. The vendor ecosystem is maturing fast to support the expectations of telecom operators. Most leading network equipment providers (NEPs) have built 5G core as cloud-native applications.
Which network functions do/will you require to be packaged in containers? (Select all that apply):
This overwhelming response from the Omnia survey respondents is indicative of their growing interest in hosting network functions in cloud environments. However, there remain several important issues and questions telcos need to think about which we now examine:
The most challenging and frequent question is whether telcos should run 5G core functions and workloads in public cloud (Dish Network and AT&T) or in their own private cloud infrastructure (T-Mobile)? The choice is influenced by multiple factors including understanding the total cost of running network functions in public vs private cloud, complying with data regulatory requirements, resilience and scalability of infrastructure, maturity of cloud platforms and tools, as well as ease of management and orchestration of resources across distributed environments.
Ericsson says the adoption of cloud-native technology and the new 5G SA Core network architecture will impact six strategic domains of a telco network, each of which must be addressed and resolved during the telco’s cloud native transformation journey: Cloud infrastructure, 5G Core, 5G voice, automation and orchestration, operations and life cycle management, and security.
In the latest version of Ericsson’s cloud-native 5G Core network guide (published December 6, 2022), the vendor has identified five key insights for service providers transitioning to a cloud native 5G SA core network:
- Cloud-native transformation is a catalyst for business transformation. Leading service providers make it clear they view the transformation to cloud-native as a driver for the modernization of the rest of their business. The company’s ability to bring new products and solutions to market faster should be regarded as being of equal importance to the network investment.
- Clear strategy and planning for cloud-native transformation is paramount. Each individual service provider’s cloud-native transformation journey is different and should be planned accordingly. The common theme is that the complexity of transforming at this scale needs to be recognized, and must not be underestimated. For maximum short-and-long-term impact tailored, effective migration strategies need to be in place in advance. This ensures that investment and execution in this area forms a valuable element of an overall transformation strategy and plan.
- Frontrunners will establish first-mover advantage. Time should be a key factor in driving the plans and strategies for change. Those who start this journey early will be leading the field when they’re able to deploy new functionalities and services. A common frontrunner approach is to start with a greenfield 5G Core deployment to try out ideas and concepts without disrupting the existing network. Additionally, evolving the network will be a dynamic process, and it is crucial to bring application developers and solution vendors into the ecosystem as early as possible to start seeing faster, smoother innovation.
- Major potential for architecture simplifications. The standardization of 5G Core has been based on architecture and learnings from IT. The telecom stack should be simplified by incorporating cloud native principles into it – for example separating the lifecycle management of the network functions from that of the underlying Kubernetes infrastructure. While any transformation needs to balance both new and legacy technologies, there are clear opportunities to simplify the network and operations further by smart investment decisions in three major areas. These are: simplified core application architecture (through dual-mode 5G Core architecture); simplified cloud-native infrastructure stack (through Kubernetes over bare-metal cloud infrastructure architecture); and Automation stack.
- Readiness to automate, operate and lifecycle manage the new platform must be accelerated. Processes requiring manual intervention will not be sufficient for the levels of service expected of cloud-native 5G Core. Network automation and continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) of software will be crucial to launch services with agility or to add new networks capabilities in line with advancing business needs. Ericsson’s customer project experience repeatedly shows us another important aspect of this area of change, telling us that the evolution to cloud-native is more than a knowledge jump or a technological upgrade – it is also a mindset change. The best platform components will not deliver their full potential if teams are not ready to use them.
Monica Zethzon, Head of Solution Area Core Networks, Ericsson said: “The time is now. Service providers need to get ready for the cloud-native transformation that will enable them to reach the full potential of 5G and drive innovation, shaping the future of industries and society. We are proud to be at the forefront of this transformation together with our leading 5G service providers partners. With this guide series we want to share our knowledge and experiences with every service provider in the world to help them preparing for their successful journeys into 5G.”
Ericsson concludes, “The real winners of the 5G era will be the service providers who can transform their core networks to take full advantage of what 5G Standalone (SA) and cloud-native technologies can offer.”
Omdia says another big challenge telcos need to manage is the fragmentation in cloud-native tools and approaches adopted by various technology providers. Again, this is nothing new as telcos have faced and lived through similar situations while evolving to the NFV era. However, the scale and complexity are much bigger as network functions will be distributed, multi-vendor, and deployed across multiple clouds. The need for addressing these gaps by adopting clearly defined specifications (there are no standards for cloud native 5G core) and open-source projects is of utmost importance.
Overcoming the challenges telcos face on their journey to containerized network functions
Dell partners with Wind River on modular cloud-native telecommunications infrastructure
Dell Technologies, together with Wind River (owned by Intel and Delphi Automotive), is introducing a new telecom cloud infrastructure solution to help communications service providers (CSPs) reduce complexity and accelerate their “cloud-native” network deployments.
To facilitate these solutions, Dell’s telecom partner certification program simplifies the process for technology partners to validate and integrate their products within a rapidly growing open technology ecosystem.
Dell Telecom Infrastructure Blocks help accelerate open, cloud-native network deployments. Dell is taking an entirely new approach to solve the complexities of cloud-native network deployments with Dell Telecom Infrastructure Blocks. The fully engineered, cloud-native infrastructure blocks simplify telecom cloud network deployment and management, while accelerating the introduction of new technologies and lowering operational expenses (OpEX).
As the fastest way to deploy the Dell Telecom Multicloud Foundation, launched earlier this year, these blocks include Dell PowerEdge servers, Dell Bare Metal Orchestrator management software, and a CSP’s choice of integrated telecom cloud software platforms, beginning with Wind River Studio.
Dell is the first company to launch a co-engineered system with Wind River, designed and factory integrated to host telecom workloads that can be scaled easily with automation, with streamlined support from Dell for the entire infrastructure stack3. The validated and pre-packaged blocks of hardware and software are designed to meet specific telecom workload requirements and use cases, spanning the network core to Open RAN Distributed Units (DU) and Centralized Units (CU).
Wind River delivers mature production-ready offerings based on proven Wind River Studio technology, live in deployments with leading operators. Wind River Studio provides the Containers-as-a-Service layer for a distributed cloud and the tools to automate and optimize “Day 2” operations at scale.
Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. said today’s partnership with Wind River is all about making it easier for telecommunications firms to go live on Dell’s hardware and services. “What’s really of note is the new partner self-certification program,” the analyst said. “Partner certification can be slow and is normally always very expensive. So unleashing a self-service process for partners can be a huge accelerator, as long as the quality of the certification is not compromised.
Dennis Hoffman, senior vice president and general manager, Dell Technologies Telecom Systems Business:
As the telecom network disaggregates, network operators are challenged to effectively acquire, deploy, test and operate a myriad of open, cloud-native solutions. With our portfolio of software, solutions, development labs and partner programs, including our first open, telecom cloud engineered system with Wind River, a leader in Open RAN deployments, we can partner with communications service providers globally to simplify their transition to cloud-native technologies.
Kevin Dallas, president and chief executive officer, Wind River:
Our collaboration with Dell will help address complex CSP challenges in deploying and managing a physically distributed, ultra-low-latency cloud-native infrastructure for intelligent edge networks. As the de facto infrastructure for OpenRAN and 5G vRAN and only 5G solution that is commercially deployed at scale, Wind River Studio enables flexible networks and offers validated architectures to help service providers quickly and reliably deploy new services with industry-leading total cost of ownership for a cloud native future.
Huawei Connect 2022: It’s Cloud Native everything!
Huawei’s annual flagship event, Huawei Connect 2022 –“Unleash Digital” opened in Bangkok, Thailand today.
- Ken Hu, the Rotating Chairman of Huawei, spoke about the importance of cloud adoption for enterprises to achieve leap-forward development.
- Zhang Ping’an, CEO of Huawei Cloud, announced the launch of two new Huawei Cloud regions in Indonesia and Ireland, as well as the “Go Cloud, Go Global” program for enterprises to access expertise and experience from Huawei Cloud’s global ecosystem partners.
- By the end of this year, Zhang said that Huawei Cloud will be deployed in 29 regions and 75 availability zones, covering 170 countries and regions worldwide. At the core of its offering is Everything as a Service built on a cloud-native foundation to enable enterprises to innovate faster and accelerate digital transformation.
Zhang Ping’an, CEO of Huawei Cloud
Editor’s Note: The top four Cloud service providers in China are Alibaba Cloud, Huawei Cloud, Tencent Cloud and Baidu. That’s very different from the U.S. where the leaders are Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
Huawei Cloud has already set up 13 localized service centers in the Asia Pacific, with more than 1,000 certified engineers to provide tailored services. In addition, ecosystem development has been fruitful, with more than 2,500 local partners generating more than 50% of the revenue of Huawei Cloud. Huawei Cloud is also forging ahead with industry-government-academia collaboration in the Asia Pacific. Investment in the Huawei ASEAN Academy and the Seeds for the Future Program will be used to cultivate more than 1 million digital experts over the next five years.
Huawei Cloud serves 80% of the 50 biggest Internet companies in China and more than 200 major Internet companies in the Asia Pacific. In Sarawak, Malaysia, Huawei Cloud, together with its partners, has built cloud native infrastructure to support the collaboration of more than 30 government departments in five fields, and provided more than 80 digital government and smart city services to ensure more efficient and better-informed decision-making. In Indonesia, Huawei Cloud has provided a unified data foundation to help CT Corp migrate its media, retail, and finance services to the cloud, enabling precise recommendations for 200 million Internet users. The cloud native technologies of Huawei Cloud have helped Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) in Thailand quickly roll out its digital loan service. Loan approval and issuance, which used to take one month of work, is now fully automated and can be completed in just five minutes.
To address this pain point and unleash digital productivity for thousands of industries, Zeng Xingyun, President of Huawei Cloud, APAC, shared a three-pronged approach: to act with strategic resolve, embrace cloud-native and cultivate digital talent.
Zeng Xingyun, President of Huawei Cloud, APAC
Zeng emphasized long-term planning and a top-down approach to drive collaboration between IT and business departments to modernize blueprints and architecture based on cloud-native technologies. With 90% of enterprises in developed countries already using cloud technologies and 80% of all applications to be cloud-native by 2023, Zeng noted that cloud-native delivers efficient use of resources, agile applications, intelligent services and a secured system that helps government and enterprises stay compliant and grow sustainably.
In his speech, Zeng noted that Huawei Cloud has served more than 200 top Internet enterprises in Asia Pacific and 80% of the top 50 Internet enterprises in China. Huawei Cloud has 13 service centers in Asia Pacific, but more notably, Huawei Cloud is the first public cloud vendor to build local nodes in Thailand, with three availability zone data centers serving the local market.
He spoke about how cloud-native drives digital transformation in public and private sector, elaborating on how Huawei Cloud supports Siam Commercial Bank’s (SCB) automated processes to approve large volumes of loan requests within minutes, helping SCB attract 45,000 digital users and a credit limit worth THB 204 million within a quarter.
He also highlighted the importance of a talent ecosystem to address a digital talent shortage amounting to 47 million by 2030 in Asia Pacific. Through industry-academia cooperation such as the ASEAN Academy and the Seeds for the Future Program, more than 1 million digital talents will be cultivated in the next five years. Meanwhile, the Huawei Cloud Startup Program, aimed to help regional startups adopt cloud agilely, has already attracted more than 120 Asian enterprises since its recent launch. One such enterprise is ReverseAds, a Phuket-founded startup that has successfully secured US$24 million in funding to expand beyond Thailand.
The summit also saw the joint launch of Cloud Native Elite Club (CNEC) APAC by Huawei Cloud and Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). First established in China two years ago, CNEC gathers over 200 members working collaboratively to develop industry standards and promote cloud-native technologies in China. Likewise, the APAC branch will look to further cloud-native technologies.
Cloud-Native 2.0 for Industry Enablement:
An important driving force for service innovation, cloud-native technologies such as container, microservice, and dynamic orchestration empower enterprises to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments.
As cloud-native enters a new developmental stage, Fang Guowei, Chief Product Officer of Huawei Cloud, shared that Cloud Native 2.0 is a new phase for the intelligent upgrade of enterprises, focused on delivering Everything as a Service incorporating Infrastructure as a Service, Technology as a Service and Expertise as a Service to yield breakthroughs in digital transformation for government and enterprises.
An advocate of cloud-native innovations with open source, Huawei Cloud has contributed to the CNCF with open source projects including KubeEdge, Volcano and Karmada, hence growing the CNCF community from 1 Kubernetes project in 2015 to more than 20 categories and over 1,100 projects today.
Huawei Cloud delivers cost-effective cloud services with the innovative full-stack QingTian Architecture, featuring ultra-fast I/O engine, end-to-end security and enhanced operations and maintenance.
Adding to its offerings are more than 15 cloud-native products and services introduced to the global market for the first time. Elaborating on two core cloud-native innovations, Fang introduced the Cloud Container Engine (CCE) Turbo as a new cloud-contained engine that yields increased resource utilization, reduced access latency by up to 40%, and scale out 3,000 pods per minute to cope with traffic surges.
He also featured the Ubiquitous Cloud-Native Service (UCS), a distributed cloud-native service that allows enterprises to connect thousands of Kubernetes clusters to deliver a consistent experience through multi-cloud, cross-region applications.
Introductions were made to new services based on four pipelines: ModelArts to help AI developers effectively achieve one-stop data-tagging/model training; DataArts for an efficient and intelligent data governance pipeline; DevCloud for a secure and productive software development pipeline; and MetaStudio to provide better media experience. Other upcoming offerings include MacroVerse aPaaS such as KooMessage, KooSearch and KooGallery.
Fang also took the opportunity to release the Cloud-Native 2.0 Architecture White Paper to help enterprises embark on digital transformation.
Articulating the impact of Huawei Cloud’s innovations on industries, Hu cited AI adoption in the Pangu Drug Molecule Model to yield faster drug discovery for the First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University – successfully reducing R&D costs by 70% and development to approval time from a decade to a month for the world’s first broad-spectrum antimicrobial drug.
As one global network, Huawei Cloud has launched more than 240 cloud services, aggregating more than 38,000 partners and 3 million developers to release more than 7,400 applications in the cloud market.
With cloud-native technologies becoming a key engine to unleash digital productivity, Huawei Cloud demonstrates a commitment to harness cloud-native, Everything as a Service to spur economies.
Casa Systems and Google Cloud strengthen partnership to progress cloud-native 5G SA core, MEC, and mobile private networks
Andover, MA based Casa Systems [1.] today announced a strategic technology and distribution partnership with Google Cloud to further advance and differentiate Casa Systems and Google Cloud’s integrated cloud native software and service offerings. The partnership provides for formalized and coordinated global sales, marketing, and support engagement, whereby Casa Systems and Google Cloud will offer Communication Service Providers (CSPs) and major enterprises integrated Google Cloud-Casa Systems solutions for cloud-native 5G core, 5G SA multi-access edge computing (MEC), and enterprise mobile private network use cases. It’s yet another partnership between a telecom company and a cloud service provider (e.g. AWS, Azure are the other two) to produce cloud native services and software.
This new partnership enables Google Cloud and Casa Systems’ technical teams to engage deeply with one another to enable the seamless integration of Casa Systems’ cloud-native software solutions and network functions with Google Cloud, for best-in-class solution offerings with optimized ease-of-use and support for telecom and enterprise customers. Furthermore, Casa Systems and Google Cloud will also collaborate on the development of unique, new features and capabilities to provide competitive differentiation for the combined Google Cloud – Casa Systems solution offering. Additionally, this partnership provides the companies with a foundation on which to build more tightly coordinated and integrated sales efforts between Casa Systems and Google Cloud sales teams globally.
“We are delighted to formalize our partnership with Google Cloud and more quickly drive the adoption of our cloud-native 5G Core and 5G SA MEC solutions, as well as our other software solutions,” said Jerry Guo, Chief Executive Officer at Casa Systems. “This partnership provides the foundation for Casa Systems and Google Cloud’s continued collaboration, ensuring we remain at the cutting edge with our cloud-native, differentiated software solutions, and that the products and services we offer our customers are best-in-class and can be efficiently brought to market globally. We look forward to working with Google Cloud to develop and deliver the solutions customers need to succeed in the cloud, and to a long and mutually beneficial partnership.”
“We are pleased to formalize our relationship with Casa Systems with the announcement of this multifaceted strategic partnership,” said Amol Phadke, managing director and general manager, Global Telecom Industry, Google Cloud. “We have been working with Casa Systems for over two years and believe that they have a great cloud-native 5G software technology platform and team, and that they are a new leader in the cloud-native 5G market segment. The partnership will enable a much wider availability of premium solutions and services for our mutual telecommunications and enterprise customers and prospects.”
Casa also partnered with Google Cloud last year to integrate its 5G SA core with a hyperscaler public cloud, in order to deliver ultra-low latency applications.
Note 1. Casa Systems, Inc. delivers the core-to-customer building blocks to speed 5G transformation with future-proof solutions and cutting-edge bandwidth for all access types. In today’s increasingly personalized world, Casa Systems creates disruptive architectures built specifically to meet the needs of service provider networks. Our suite of open, cloud-native network solutions unlocks new ways for service providers to build networks without boundaries and maximizes revenue-generating capabilities. Commercially deployed in more than 70 countries, Casa Systems serves over 475 Tier 1 and regional service providers worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.casa-systems.com.
Image Courtesy of Casa Systems
Dish Network & Nokia: world’s first 5G SA core network deployed on public cloud (AWS)
Dish Network is just a month into the commercial launch of its cloud native based 5G core network, but is already planning how it will expand that architecture to take advantage of multicloud and hybrid cloud environments.
During a Dish-Nokia fireside chat this Tuesday (sponsored by Nokia) on LinkedIn, Jitin Bhandari – CTO and VP, Cloud and Network Services, Nokia interviewed Sidd Chenumolu, VP of technology development and network services at Dish Wireless, provided some insight into the carrier’s current use of Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud resources.
Chenumolu said Dish’s 5G core was currently using three of AWS’ four public regions, was deployed in “multiple availability zones and almost all the local zones, but most were deployed with Nokia applications across AWS around the country.”
[AWS Outposts GM Joshua Burgin had previously explained to SDxCentral that Dish would be using a mixture of AWS Regions, Local Zones, and Outposts, specifically the smaller form factor AWS Outposts servers, to power its network. This includes the deployment of single 1U Outpost servers, some with an accelerator card, to run network functions in single-digit milliseconds at cell sites, he said in a phone interview.]
AWS Local Zones, which are built on Outpost racks and span 15 locations around the U.S., some of which were deployed to meet Dish’s demands, run Dish’s less latency-sensitive functions, Burgin explained. Dish’s operations and business support systems will run on AWS Regions.
“How to we deploy 5G SA core network on multi-cloud,” Sidd asked but did not answer. He then started to turn the tables and interview Jitin via a series of questions.
Chenumolu did not provide an update on Dish’s use of AWS’ Wavelength platform, which the cloud giant initially launched in partnership with Verizon to marry the network operators’ 5G networks with AWS’ edge compute service. Burgin had previously stated that support “could come down the line.”
The usual hype and back slapping/praise with glib expressions like “disintegrated disruptor, uncharted territory, automate learning with AI, cloud RAN,” etc. characterized the session.
Telefónica Tech to integrate Red Hat’s OpenShift platform into new enterprise cloud service in Europe and Latin America
Telecom technology integrator Telefónica Tech has signed an agreement with IBM/Red Hat to integrate Red Hat’s OpenShift platform into a new cloud service marketed at enterprises across Telefónica’s footprint in Europe and Latin America.
The integration will be marketed as the Telefónica Red Hat OpenShift Service (TROS), which will tap into the use of containers to help organizations modernize their cloud applications and drive their digital transformation. It will allow those organizations to migrate applications to hybrid cloud or multi-cloud environments using either private or public clouds from hyperscalers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
OpenShift is based on the Kubernetes container orchestration project that allows for the migration of applications across different cloud and on-premises environments. A recent report from TBR Senior Analyst Catie Merrill noted that Red Hat’s OpenShift platform has four-times as many customers as it did before IBM acquired the company for $34 billion in mid-2019.
Red Hat OpenShift differentiates itself by combining multiple hardened open source technologies to provide a more complete modern application platform, enabling organizations to use it as the foundation for current and future IT strategies. Additionally, the use of Red Hat OpenShift allows for use in any type of cloud, facilitating the creation of this Multi-Cloud service for Telefónica Tech.
This new, open hybrid, multi-cloud approach will allow Telefonica Tech to strengthen and differentiate its value proposition, and provide more flexibility to its customers in their digital transformation and application modernization in the markets where Telefónica Tech is present.
The complementary nature of cloud technologies integrated in TROS will enable Telefónica Tech, Red Hat and IBM to jointly define innovative use cases and provide high value-added professional services to customers to help them make the process more efficient, cost-effective and cost-optimal.
The strategic agreement also enables Telefónica Tech to develop additional services on TROS based on Red Hat technologies and IBM Cloud Paks so that customers can accelerate their transformation to cloud-native applications, enabling a more consistent user experience both in their own cloud and on the hyperscalers.
María Jesús Almazor, CEO of Cybersecurity and Cloud at Telefónica Tech, said: “This strategic agreement allows us to strengthen our differential multicloud offer by integrating world class technologies from Red Hat and IBM and consolidate our position as a leading partner for the digital transformation of businesses. We continue to evolve our ecosystem of alliances to enhance the digital capabilities of our professionals and to include in our portfolio the most innovative proposals in the market, fundamental aspects to continue offering the best service to our customers.”
Horacio Morell, IBM General Manager for Spain, Portugal, Greece and Israel: “This alliance enables us to take a quantum leap in our business collaboration with Telefonica Tech to continue co-creating enterprise multi-cloud and cybersecurity solutions that will enable companies around the world, across all industries, to implement their technology transformation strategies with greater speed, consistency and agility, while ensuring data control, privacy and reliability and increasing decision-making efficiency through the unique capabilities of IBM’s technologies.”
Julia Bernal, Country Manager for Spain and Portugal at Red Hat, said: “Red Hat is fully committed to helping our customers and partners optimize their business with open hybrid cloud and focus on innovation rather than simply managing their IT infrastructure. Our mission is to mitigate the complexities of modern cloud-scale IT environments and with managed cloud services they can do just that. Telefónica Red Hat OpenShift Service enables customers to free resources to create and manage applications more quickly across multiple clouds, streamlining time to market and accelerating growth opportunities.”
“It is going to be the way forward and what many customers who want to evolve their business models,” said Santiago Madruga, VP for ecosystem success in EMEA at Red Hat, in an interview with SDxCentral. “When going digital, it’s not just putting workloads on the cloud but really transforming businesses.” Madruga added that the use of OpenShift also allows for the micro-segmentation of application components that will open the door for edge distributed cloud work.
Telefónica Tech launches ‘Telefónica Red Hat OpenShift Service’ with Red Hat and IBM to drive customers’ transformation to the cloud
Cloud Native Computing Foundation -Kubernetes and container technologies; ABI Research 5G Telco Cloud-Native Platforms
I. Cloud Native Computing Foundation:
Are the ITU, ETSI, IETF SDO’s obsolete with the move to “cloud native” telecom? Maybe so. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation® (CNCF®), which builds sustainable ecosystems for cloud native software, recently announced the addition of 68 new Silver and end user members and end user supporters. These new members will work side by side with over 775 other members to build and use the cloud native technology that is enabling organizations across the world to respond to the challenges of 5G, edge, massive scale, and more.
For sure, “cloud native,” which is recommended by 3GPP for 5G SA core networks, has replaced and knocked out the previously highly touted NFV and SDN which never realized critical market mass, despite outrageous claims that they would usher in a new era/ new epoch and replace all conventional hardware based telecom equipment.
According to the CNCF Annual Survey, 2021 was the year that Kubernetes crossed the chasm, with 96% of organizations who participated in the survey either using or evaluating Kubernetes. Adoption has also increased measurably across CNCF projects, notably by 500% for containerd, 53% for Fluentd, and 43% for Prometheus.
“We have seen an acceleration in new member growth which we can attribute to the maturation and ubiquity of Kubernetes and container technology,” said Priyanka Sharma, executive director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. “CNCF’s projects have been integral in helping end users like Allianz Direct, Fidelity Investments, and Vodafone respond to pressing and evolving infrastructure challenges. We are thrilled to have so many new members on board to continue our mission to make cloud native computing ubiquitous.”
About the newest Silver Members:
- Airlock covers all functions of modern application security, combining web application and API protection (WAAP) with customer identity management (cIAM) deployable on-premises, in the cloud, or as lightweight security micro gateway, designed specifically for use in container environments.
- Akuity was founded by Argo co-creators Hong Wang and Jesse Suen and is on a mission to help companies modernize their Kubernetes tooling by leveraging Argo, the leading open-source suite of Kubernetes-native application delivery tools.
- Amido is the cloud-native consultancy for better business outcomes.
- Argonaut is the first cloud platform that enables engineers to manage infrastructure and application deployments in one place, focusing on developer experience.
- Automat-IT delivers exceptional CI, CT, CD, DevOps, Cloud services, and 24×7 support, to large enterprises, startups and everything in between, to untangle IT complexities and deploy ‘time to market’ technologies.
- Avisi is a Software Development and Cloud Services Company that offers Managed Services using the Change-mindset, allowing their customers to continuously innovate their mission-critical software.
- Axcelinno is an IT Technology Consultancy and Professional Services company that helps organizations define and implement their DevSecOps adoption and cloud migration.
- Baolande is a listed high-tech corporation founded in 2008, it focuses on providing infrastructure software, intelligent operation and maintenance products and solutions for innovational digitalized business.
- Clastix is a tech company providing a unique blend of products and services to accelerate the Cloud Native revolution, delivered from 100% upstream open-source components.
- CloudCasa by Catalogic is a powerful, cyber-resilient, backup service for protecting Kubernetes workloads, cloud databases, and cloud native applications, that is free to start using.
- Cloud Kinetics (CK) is a leading cloud MSP (managed services provider) with operations in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Thailand, USA and Germany.
- CloudMatos, pioneering the world of self-governed cloud infrastructure, our solution provides self-healing, awareness, resilience, security, and intelligent remediation to your cloud infrastructure by deploying policy driven governance, security controls, networking controls, and more using IAC or PAC.
- CodeZero allows developers to work on software in a Kubernetes cluster creating parity between their local machine and production.
- Cortex gives organizations visibility into the status and quality of their microservices and helps teams drive adoption of best practices so they can deliver higher quality software.
- CrafterCMS is an open-source, Git-based headless CMS for enterprises that seek faster and easier development of large-scale, content–rich digital experiences such as global personalized websites, customer portals, employee intranets, OTT video, e-commerce, consumer mobile apps, AR/VR, and more.
- Cribl is an observability pipeline company built to reduce, normalize, enrich, and route observability data to where it has the most value.
- DataCore Software delivers the industry’s most flexible, intelligent, and powerful software-defined storage solutions for block, file, object, and container storage, helping more than 10,000 customers worldwide modernize how they store, protect, and access data.
- Daugherty Business Solutions is an advisory services and technology consulting firm delivering results through innovation and technology.
- Era Software observability data management offers modern IT and security organizations the ability to route, ingest, store, and analyze massive amounts of data to get actionable insights in seconds.
- Expert Thinking is a team of industry-certified cloud experts who will partner with your organisation, supporting every stage of your cloud journey – rapidly optimising your use of the ever-changing cloud technology landscape at scale to maximise value and benefit for your organisation.
- Finout‘s cost management platform combines your AWS, K8s, Datadog & Snowflake invoices into one mega bill, enabling an unparalleled view of your cloud spend in minutes with no heavy lifting.
- Fournine is a leading multi-cloud solution provider empowering enterprises’ digital transformation with key cloud native development solutions such as Kubernetes, DevOps, and building and delivering container based applications.
- GienTech is a leading financial digital consulting and software provider based on full stack information technology in the world, moreover, an expert in digital transformation services in key industries.
- Helios is a production-readiness platform that leverages OpenTelemetry to give developers the power to understand, troubleshoot, and test distributed applications, so they can deliver production-ready code faster – and with more confidence.
- Innogrid is Korea’s leading cloud computing solution and service company that supports successful digital transformation based on cloud native environments.
- itopia makes hybrid work easy for software teams by delivering containerized developer environments in a browser, enabling companies to onboard developers fast and prevent exfiltration with precise security controls, and devs to launch spaces with all their tools pre-installed and start coding in seconds.
- KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services with 227,000 outstanding professionals working together to deliver value in 146 countries and territories.
- KSOC is an event-driven SaaS platform built to automatically remediate Kubernetes security risks and enforce least privilege access control across distributed cluster infrastructures.
- Lightlytics empowers teams of all sizes to code and deploy configurations with speed and confidence.
- Lightrun is the world’s first IDE-native developer observability platform, that enables engineering teams to continuously identify and tackle critical issues in live applications without hotfixes, redeployments, or restarts by securely adding read-only logs, metrics, and traces in real-time and on-demand
- mogenius is a code to cloud platform that deploys and runs any application on a fully automated cloud infrastructure by simply connecting to a code repository.
- Mondoo is an easy to use security platform for DevOps and Security practitioners who want to automate manual security processes, find misconfigurations, and improve their security posture.
- Mycelial is the Edge Native platform for distributed, local-first applications.
- NHN Cloud is a leading cloud service provider based in South Korea, offering public, private, and hybrid cloud in various industries with reliable, flexible, and secure services.
- Okteto enables organizations to instantly spin up pre-configured environments in the cloud and start developing within seconds.
- OnGres (“ON postGRES”) is a highly specialized Postgres startup, creators of the Open Source project StackGres, the most advanced platform for running Enterprise Postgres on Kubernetes.
- Orca Security provides instant-on security and compliance for public cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure, and GCP － without the gaps in coverage, alert fatigue, and operational costs of agents or sidecars.
- Oxeye.io delivers an application security testing platform designed for cloud-native apps and modern architectures, offering a contextual, effortless, and comprehensive solution to ensure no vulnerable code ever reaches production.
- Polar Signals is an observability company focusing on continuous profiling, empowering every developer to understand performance measurements down to the source code line number across their entire infrastructure to safe cost on cloud bills, improve performance, and improve the reliability of software.
- Posedio, based in Austria, specialises in the cloud-native journey of enterprise customers in the DACH region, providing deep technical knowledge and hands-on experience in running applications at scale.
- ProfiSea is an Israeli DevOps and Cloud boutique company that implements best practices of GitOps, DevSecOps, Kubernetes-based Cloud environments deployment automation and provides FinOps premium services using a unique AI-based Cloud management platform.
- RNG Technology is a leading cloud native digital acceleration technology partner that provides fully managed & engineered multi-cloud IaaS, BaaS, DRaaS, BCaaS, Kubernetes and DevOps solutions enabling enterprises to rapidly accelerate the delivery of innovative solutions.
- ScaleFlash is a software-defined, cloud native storage for Kubernetes, providing persistent storage for stateful Kubernete under Bare Metal DPU Servers connected with low latency RDMA network to achieve multi-milllion of IOPS performance.
- Scribe makes software trustworthy, by allowing software producers to attest to it and consumers to validate.
- Seekret is an API-first platform that empowers developers with revolutionary eBPF-powered APIOps through automation, governance, and observability.
- Spyderbat provides Linux runtime security, protecting dynamic environments by proactively tracking all user activities by their causal connections to detect and resolve external attacks, misconfigurations, and insider threats.
- Successive Technologies is an Enterprise Cloud Consulting Company that helps you leverage most popular container orchestration with their enterprise-class managed Kubernetes services to make cluster management and integration workflows easy and effective.
- True is an Amsterdam-based Managed Service Provider with 20+ years of experience in hosting scalable SaaS applications.
- Uffizzi is an open-source full-stack preview engine that provides on-demand cloud environments powered by Kubernetes and configured with Docker Compose.
- VNET Group, a leading carrier- and cloud-neutral Internet data center services provider in China, provides hosting and related services, including IDC services, cloud services, and business VPN services.
- Webera has the vision to help innovators build their own platforms by providing DevOps services breaking down silos, improving workflows, and using cloud-native technologies. See what happens when technology gets out of the way.
- Whitestack is delivering unprecedented value to the IT and Telecom industries, changing the existing paradigms by deploying open-source solutions that help Data Centers, Telcos and Corporations to implement hyper-scalable clouds, for mission-critical workloads.
- Wowjoy Technology is dedicated to providing healthcare digital platform construction and data services to governments and medical institutions. All products and applications are developed and served upon cloud native architecture.
- Zoi is a cloud-native IT consulting company that bridges the gap between hidden champions and the latest cloud technology – born in “THE LÄND”, made in the Cloud.
About the newest End User Members:
- Bancolombia: Colombian financial group with 147 years of history that provides financial and non-financial services to more than 20 million clients in Colombia, Panama, El Salvador and Guatemala.
- BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider – North America’s 8th largest bank by assets, providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers globally.
- Fannie Mae advances equitable and sustainable access to homeownership and quality, affordable rental housing for millions of people across America.
- Lockheed Martin Corporation, headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 114,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services.
- LSEG: Your trusted global financial markets infrastructure and data provider.
- ZenHub helps scaling teams get ship done, with enhanced visibility for software projects, automated agile experiences, and real-team productivity insights.
About the newest End User Supporters:
- BitMEX, founded in 2014, is one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency derivatives exchanges with a fully verified user base and the creator of the Perpetual Swap.
- FATMAP is the leading app for the mountains, featuring thousands of routes and guidebooks, professional terrain tools, national TOPO maps (including a 3D IGN map), and downloadable maps for offline use – it’s everything you need for your next adventure.
- MasterClass‘s mission is to unlock human potential by inspiring a learning lifestyle in everyone.
- TomTom is a geolocation company that provides maps, navigation software, real-time traffic information, and APIs.
- Vermiculus delivers innovative, modern, and high-quality solutions for clearing houses and exchanges all around the world. Leading the way with cloud-based and AI powered microservices.
About the newest Non-Profit Members:
- Cispi‘s goal is to promote cloud computing and open source in Israel.
- The Open Compute Project Foundation (OCP) was initiated in 2011 with a mission to apply the benefits of open source collaboration to hardware and rapidly increase the pace of innovation in, near and around the data center’s networking equipment, general purpose and GPU servers, storage devices and appliances, and scalable rack designs, and now being applied to advance the telecom industry & EDGE infrastructure.
- CNCF Newsletter
- CNCF Twitter
- CNCF Blog
- Learn About CNCF Membership
- Learn About CNCF End User Supporters
- Join the CNCF conversation on Slack
About Cloud Native Computing Foundation
Cloud native computing empowers organizations to build and run scalable applications with an open source software stack in public, private, and hybrid clouds. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) hosts critical components of the global technology infrastructure, including Kubernetes, Prometheus, and Envoy. CNCF brings together the industry’s top developers, end users, and vendors, and runs the largest open source developer conferences in the world. Supported by more than 500 members, including the world’s largest cloud computing and software companies, as well as over 200 innovative startups, CNCF is part of the nonprofit Linux Foundation. For more information, please visit www.cncf.io.
II. ABI Research did an in-depth and objective evaluation of the telco cloud platforms offered by eleven 5G Telco Cloud-Native Platform players. The companies are evaluated in the following order of ranking:
- Market Leaders: VMware, Red Hat
- Mainstream: Nokia, ZTE, Canonical, Huawei, Google, Ericsson, Wind River
- Followers: AWS, Microsoft Azure
“CSPs are looking to enable cloud-native 5G capabilities through the deployment of a horizontal platform that can span their entire network from the core to RAN to edge. Some of the key criteria that CSPs are looking for include the ability to build a multi-vendor network and avoid vendor lock-in. As the 5G SBA value proposition revolves around providing services on-demand through microservices and cloud-native principles, flexibility, agility, and scalability become major factors CSPs look out for when choosing a platform,” says Kangrui Ling, Industry Analyst at ABI Research.
VMware and Red Hat are assessed as leaders in the market, with VMware coming out on top due to their strong multi-vendor Network Function (NF) partnership program supporting more than 220 NFs. Red Hat follows closely behind with their Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and hybrid cloud and multi-cloud capabilities. Both providers are also top innovators, with VMware offering a variety of telco-specific features, including RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC), SD-WAN, and orchestrators, while Red Hat offers auto-scaling of clusters and zero-touch provisioning through solutions such as Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes, Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, and Operator Lifecycle Manager (OLM).
“Cloud native is critical for telco applications in 5G, and is crucial in bringing automation, scale, performance, efficient operations, faster time to market, an improved CI/CD pipeline, and the easy introduction of new software and features. Newer trends are also emerging which include multi-vendor capabilities and hybrid cloud/multi cloud support as networks become more open and disaggregated,” concludes Ling.
These findings are from ABI Research’s 5G Telco Cloud-Native Platforms competitive ranking report. This report is part of the company’s 5G Core & Edge Networks research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights. Competitive Ranking reports offer comprehensive analysis of implementation strategies and innovation, coupled with market share analysis, to offer unparalleled insight into a company’s performance and standing in comparison to its competitors.
About ABI Research:
ABI Research is a global technology intelligence firm delivering actionable research and strategic guidance to technology leaders, innovators, and decision makers around the world. Our research focuses on the transformative technologies that are dramatically reshaping industries, economies, and workforces today.
NEC expands partnership with AWS for global 5G, digital government, hybrid cloud
NEC Corp. expanded its collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) in areas that include global 5G, digital government, and hybrid cloud in support of accelerating digital transformation for business customers.
In November 2020, NEC and AWS concluded a corporate-level strategic collaboration agreement and have been developing offerings and strengthening delivery functionalities since then. NEC will now expand this collaboration and strengthen efforts in the following areas: global 5G, digital government, and hybrid cloud as follows:
1. Global 5G
NEC aims to develop an end-to-end 5G offering and to provide it globally by combining NEC’s high-performance cloud-native open 5G mobile core, OSS/BSS solutions, local 5G use cases etc., and AWS cloud and edge solutions. NEC will accelerate telecom carriers’ cloudification of network workloads and enhance digital transformation for enterprises by deploying 5G-based infrastructure and applications at the network edge. This combined solution stack will be supported by NEC’s system integration services to enable customers to efficiently deploy and scale 5G networks, enhance automation and drive significant improvement in operational economics.
2. Digital government
NEC has been certified as an AWS Government Competency Partner based on the strategic collaboration that started last year and its achievements for governments to date. Going forward, NEC will further strengthen its relationship with AWS and focus on developing and providing a menu of offerings to accelerate the digital transformation for government activities in Japan.
3. Hybrid cloud
By collaborating with AWS, NEC aims to develop and provide a menu of offerings that connects on-premises and cloud environments securely, at high speed, and with low latency. This will contribute to the acceleration of digital transformation through modernization that utilizes the customer’s existing information technology (IT) assets.
To accelerate these initiatives, the NEC Group has increased the number of AWS-certified engineers to 2,000 at present, aiming for 3,000, double the number from the start of collaboration in 2020, and firmly maintains one of Japan’s largest delivery capabilities for cloud projects. Going forward, NEC will continue to strengthen these positions and to ensure that it responds to customers’ digital transformation demands.
NEC also intends to enhance its hybrid cloud offering with support from AWS, providing services that connect both on-premises and cloud environments in order to support enterprise digital transformation strategies. NEC has already been building up expertise in this field. The Japanese IT vendor has increased the number of AWS-certified engineers to 2,000, up from 1,500 in November 2020, and is aiming for 3,000 in three years. Furthermore, NEC has been certified as an AWS Government Competency Partner and said it will focus on “developing and providing a menu of offerings to accelerate the digital transformation for government activities in Japan.”
Comments from both companies on this collaboration are as follows:
“NEC is pleased to announce the expansion of its strategic collaboration with AWS. Last year, NEC announced this global collaboration as the first of its kind between AWS and a Japanese company. It has been a great year, seeing many successes in the areas of government, modernization and in the skill enhancement of NEC engineers. NEC is now expanding the collaboration with AWS in the areas of global 5G, digital government and in enhanced hybrid cloud offerings. With the strong global support from AWS, NEC will help drive digital transformation in the government sector and across industries as part of orchestrating a brighter world,” says Toshifumi Yoshizaki, Executive Vice President at NEC Corporation.
“We are delighted to deepen our relationship with NEC. AWS welcomes NEC’s commitment and delivery of solutions built on AWS to deliver high-quality solutions that accelerate customers’ digital transformations. We look forward to NEC’s continued expansion of offerings and further expansion of delivery capabilities to optimize these transformations,” says Doug Yeum, Global Head of Alliances & Channels at Amazon Web Services, Inc.
NEC and its Netcracker subsidiary have already deployed their 5G core and full stack digital BSS/OSS on AWS cloud infrastructure to orchestrate and automate 5G digital services. The service was demonstrated at Mobile World Congress 2021, when NEC deployed its 5G core control plane on an AWS Region and its 5G UPF on an AWS Outposts’ edge location.
Other NEC cloud related partnerships:
- NEC’s collaboration with Rakuten Mobile, Japan’s disruptive open RAN and cloud-native 4G/5G wireless service provider, has certainly raised its open RAN and 5G Core profile. In May, Rakuten Mobile signed MoUs with Fujitsu and NEC to try and accelerate “global expansion” of Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP).
- In June, NEC and Rakuten Mobile said they would jointly develop the containerized standalone (SA) 5G core network (5GC) to be utilized in Rakuten Mobile’s fully virtualized cloud native 5G network.
- Later in June, Rakuten Mobile, NEC and Intel announced that they have achieved a performance of 640 Gbps per server for the containerized User Plane Function (UPF) on the containerized 5G SA core network jointly developed by Rakuten Mobile and NEC running on the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP).
- In July, NEC expanded its “multi-year strategic partnership” with Microsoft whereby NEC adopted Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform provider. (But now it’s in bed with AWS?)
- In August, NEC announced a collaboration with Fujitsu on interoperability testing for 5G base stations that conform to specifications from the O-RAN Alliance.
About NEC Corporation:
NEC Corporation has established itself as a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies while promoting the brand statement of “Orchestrating a brighter world.” NEC enables businesses and communities to adapt to rapid changes taking place in both society and the market as it provides for the social values of safety, security, fairness and efficiency to promote a more sustainable world where everyone has the chance to reach their full potential. For more information, visit NEC at https://www.nec.com.
To view and hear the comments from Toshifumi Yoshizaki, Executive Vice President at NEC Corporation and Matt Garman, Senior Vice President at Amazon Web Services Inc (pictured above), please visit: https://www.nec.com/en/press/202109/global_20210908_01.html
Rakuten Mobile, Inc. and NEC to jointly develop the containerized standalone (SA) 5G core network
Why It’s Important: Rakuten Mobile, Intel and NEC collaborate on containerized 5G SA core network