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Home Archives for Angela Whiteford

Author: Angela Whiteford

The Importance of Performance in a 5G World

by Angela Whiteford Angela Whiteford No Comments

The industry is racing to the next generation – 5G – which will be virtualized, replacing the costly, legacy, hardware-based infrastructure that has been in place for decades with common off the shelf (COTS) servers that offer a host of cost and operational advantages.

But did you know they also offer performance benefits as well?

As network operators transform existing 4G networks the need to continually improve performance and scalability has become a key business imperative to drive the cost per bit delivered. With the arrival of 5G, this need becomes even more pronounced in order to profitably serve the bandwidth demands of 5G applications and services. 5G will require significantly more data-processing horsepower from the network than we have ever seen to support the exponential rise in high-bandwidth data traffic (e.g., video), the creation of data-rich services and the introduction of billions of “talking” machines via the Internet of Things (IoT).  This performance will be required across all areas of the network, especially the mobile core.

And, these performance gains are not a one-time event.

We are fortunate to be part of an industry that never stands still, and that continues to innovate and improve.   In no area is this more evident than in the continued advances in processing technologies from leaders like Intel.

By combining these advances with innovative, market-proven NFV solutions for the mobile core, we have achieved performance gains of as much as 10X over purpose-built mobile core offerings and competitive virtualized offerings.

For those of us at Affirmed Networks seeing this type of performance confirms what we’ve known all along: virtualized network functions (VNFs) that leverage the latest server technology and are architected for high data plane throughput are the best path to building the high-speed, high-capacity networks that 5G will require.

Learn more about the performance advantages of vEPC over legacy hardware in this Intel Performance Report.

10 Tips for a Successful NFV Deployment

by Angela Whiteford Angela Whiteford No Comments

Over the past eight years, Affirmed Networks has helped leading service providers successfully transition to NFV based architectures and realize exceptional returns. Along the way, we’ve learned some valuable lessons on how providers can avoid underwhelming NFV results and realize the technology’s full transformative benefits.

To help CSPs across the world ensure success deploying NFV as they prepare for 5G, we have identified 10 key lessons for a successful deployment that we are now sharing in a new paper titled “Lessons Learned on the NFV Front Lines,” that we recently published.  The paper highlights many key areas that service providers should take note of as they continue to transform their networks, including:

  1. Not all hardware is created equal
  2. The packet forwarding architecture and hypervisor need attention too
  3. Don’t oversubscribe the application
  4. NFV isn’t a simple plug-and-play solution
  5. Redundancy needs to be built into the application and not just the NFVI architecture
  6. Telecom applications require built-in load balancing
  7. VMs need to scale independently
  8. Ownership is important
  9. One EMS is better than two (or three)
  10. Take the time to learn from the leaders

To gain a better understanding of the insights behind all of these tips for a successful deployment, read the paper in its entirety.

Why CSPs Should be “Open” to New Architectures

by Angela Whiteford Angela Whiteford No Comments

By now it’s clear that that Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are facing considerable competition from a new breed of market entrants.  To make matters worse, these new players are not playing by the same rules, or are held to the same standards, as those who have provided reliable services to all of us for decades.  With today’s field of play tilted in the favor of these new of these new players, what are the CSPs to do to remain competitive as 5G comes into play?

In short, the answer lies in being open to new approaches and architectures that are part of the way networks are becoming virtualized.

While the first wave of virtualization was focused on reducing costs and increasing performance, the second wave has taken us toward cloud-native architectures that can be universally deployed.  But we aren’t done yet.

We believe that in order to effectively take advantage of these new approaches, CSPs should keep in mind three main areas: Cloud Native, Open Source and Telco grade functionality.

When cloud-native architectures are coupled with open-source technology, the benefits are becoming even more profound. Specifically, cloud-native architecture that leverage open-source systems are allowing CSPs to move forward using standardized methods in this new era of building networks that are carrier grade.

When embarking on this new approach importance of being “Telco Grade” should not be overlooked.  Telecom networks have stringent requirements in the areas of interoperability, latency, service delivery and policy management that must be addressed when building a next-gen 5G mobile core.  To be successful, several things must be accounted for, including:

  • Support for Multi-Network Interfaces – to support container environments
  • Data Plane Acceleration – to provide the performance that will be required by 5G workloads
  • Integrated Network Probing – to provide analytics and real-time data without impacting performance
  • Integrated Workflows – to allow efficient creation of new service creation
  • Topology and Environmental Awareness – to handle the unique topologies (edge/core) of telecom networks

By deploying a cloud-native platform that leverages open source technology and delivers web-scale performance, speed and simplicity, CSPs can move confidently with their transformation, while keeping themselves open to all the possibilities and opportunities that 5G will provide.

To learn more about how Affirmed Networks can support CSPs in this area, read our recent paper, An Open Approach to Building 5G Networks.”

The Importance of Performance as Operators Race to 5G

by Angela Whiteford Angela Whiteford No Comments

Today, Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are facing competition on many fronts while continuing to operate in an industry in the midst of one of its most significant transformations it has ever faced. While industry pundits have many ideas in terms of what is needed to compete in this changing environment, the un-ending growth of data on networks globally is making it critical for CSPs to focus on improving both the scale and performance on their network.

The types of performance and scalability improvements that are required, however, cannot be achieved through traditional approaches. Mobile service providers need a different model for scaling their networks: one that relies on software rather than hardware to cost-effectively grow the network.

As a trusted provider to CSPs, Affirmed Networks has always been focused on improving the speed and performance of VNFs in the mobile core. We deliver the highest levels of performance across the industry by leveraging the latest advancements and innovations in chipsets and processors developed by partners such as Intel. To prove this point, recent joint testing with Intel achieved record-breaking performance benchmarks with our vEPC that reached speeds 10X higher than competitive alternatives—over 150 Gbps on a single Intel Xeon server — allowing CSPs to significantly lower their cost per bit.

Achieving these levels of performance will be critical for CSPs to support the high-bandwidth applications such as fixed wireless and augmented/virtual reality.

in the face of increasing competition and an industry in transition, CSPs can feel confident that a focus on turbocharging their network will pay dividends as they race to 5G.

Affirmed Networks Selected to the Inaugural Class of the “GSMA 100”

by Angela Whiteford Angela Whiteford No Comments

Affirmed Networks is pleased to announce that it has been named one of the first companies to be included in the “GSMA 100,” a global innovation initiative developed by the GSMA to identify and advance the next generation of connectivity and digital services. Comprised of the world’s most promising growth-stage companies and selected by mobile operators and investment partners, the GSMA 100 represents operator innovation priorities in key areas such as 5G and networking; consumer experience; data and analytics; the Internet of Things; media and entertainment; and security, among others.

The GSMA 100 companies were nominated by GSMA operator members, ecosystem companies and leading technology. Following a competitive review process, Affirmed Networks earned inclusion among the first 29 companies named to the GSMA 100 and will be participating in a series of events and interactions with top mobile operators and investors prior to the start of the MWC Americas event taking place in Los Angeles next week.

As a company focused on the needs of our customers as they transform their networks to the virtualized networks that will support 5G, Affirmed is honored to receive this recent distinction from such an esteemed group, and one of the leading groups driving the future of our industry.

Deployed in over 85 networks worldwide including Tier 1 operators such as AT&T, Vodafone, Telus, Etisalat, Softbank, and Turkcell, Affirmed Networks’ webscale solutions allow operators to transform the economics of deploying and scaling 3G, 4G, 5G and WiFi mobile services.

We would like to thank the GSMA and its members for selecting us as part of this inaugural group and would like to congratulate the other members who will be joining us at this event.

If you are attending MWC Americas, please stop by to see us in in booth W.802 to learn about how you can benefit from Affirmed’s mobile solutions.

For further information on the GSMA 100, visit: www.gsma.com/aboutus/gsma-100.