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An Intern’s First Week

by Affirmed Affirmed No Comments

Charlie Sebastyn writes about his first week at Affirmed

An internship before my 20th birthday at Affirmed Networks, a tech start-up who was just declared one of the biggest winners at Mobile World Conference 2019. How did I end up here? Honestly, it’s kind of a blur. It began when I started to browse for companies that I may be interested in for internship in the summer following my sophomore year when my dad mentioned Affirmed Networks. In the past, my father had worked with Scott Heinlein, Affirmed’s senior marketing director, and Ashwin Moranganti, Affirmed’s vice president of product management and marketing. His connections certainly helped, but as I read up on the company was taken aback by some of the technology they were working on and I became determined to end up here. Fortunately, after sending my application with a few emails, I have landed at Affirmed as summer 2019 intern.

First Impressions

As most people would be, I was nervous being that it was my first day working in an office and I had no idea what to do or what to expect. Thankfully, my coworkers were very warm and accepting. I was shown to my desk space first and although it’s nothing special it will my own for the summer. As the rest of the week continued, my nerves settled down each day as I became comfortable with my routine.

My tasks

Up to this point, I have worked closely with Scott Heinlein and Anudha Sawarkar, getting my daily tasks and projects from them and they have kept me quite busy. The focus of my first two days was getting settled and learning to use the different software implemented by Affirmed. To adjust to the software, I worked on the biweekly sales newsletter sent out to inform the sales team of progress and updates on our products. In addition, I also have been working on a customer newsletter outlining Affirmed’s 5G educational blog series. Another newsletter I have worked on is the market intelligence report where I was tasked with familiarizing myself with the information and organizing it into a simple newsletter.

Following the newsletters, I designed a QR code flyer for the Affirmed booth at 5G World London taking place June 11-13. The QR code prompts visitors to download the Affirmed UnityCloud eBook. Trending towards growing our brand, I have also been tasked to increase traffic on our LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook pages. Affirmed has given me the software needed to track our progress with a wide array of data and statistics to make it much more intuitive.

End Goal

There are a lot of things I hope to learn from my time here. I am still in college, so this internship is a great way for me to apply what I have learned so far and create a foundation of experience and knowledge to take back to school with me. Personally, I want to feel comfortable with a multitude of tasks ranging from social media work to technical writing and some design concepts. As far as skills to take away from this experience, I’d like to learn how to better manage my time, market a product to potential or current customers, expand my software portfolio and understand how enterprises go about their everyday business.

Overview of the First Week

Coming into this internship, I expected to be the office mule and do grunt work all day for the next 3 months. Fortunately, that is not the case and I have been assigned projects to apply what I have learned in school. In addition, my coworkers treat me as an equal rather than a subordinate which makes life in the office much more joyous. The people here have been nothing short of wonderful during my first week here making me feel as comfortable as possible in a new environment. I am extremely proud to call myself an employee of Affirmed.

Team Sticky Rice

by Affirmed Affirmed No Comments

Affirmed Networks is helping to end the hunger crisis in Massachusetts. Some people may not realize that in Massachusetts, 1 in 10 people are experiencing hunger, along with 7 in 10 certain communities. How is Affirmed helping this cause? Members of the Affirmed team participated in the Boston Walk for Hunger the past two years. The Boston Walk for Hunger is put on every year in May with a goal to raise money for the hungry people of Massachusetts. The walk begins on Beacon Street, takes walkers past Boston College, Eliot Church, Charles River Road, Harvard University, and ends after a walk over the Mass Ave Bridge back to the Boston Public Gardens.

This past May, team “Sticky Rice”, led by Affirmed’s, Thuy Fernandes, helped raise $1,200 to end the hunger crisis in Massachusetts. Thuy chose Sticky Rice as the group’s name because they are sticking together as friends and they added rice to the end because of the walk for hunger. They were able to raise money through the Project Bread website, where they could send out a link to friends and family. Project Bread is the group that puts together the Walk for Hunger and accepts donations directly through the site. Another Affirmed employee, Maureen O’ Boyle, helped Sticky Rice get the word out by sending a companywide email asking all employees to donate. Thankfully, many of them were kind enough to open their hearts and wallets to give back to the community. Also taking part in the walk was Affirmed employee, Poornima Ravishankar. This was Poornima’s first year taking part in the walk, but it has left a powerful impression on her. According to Poornima, she was motivated to join by Thuy and once she was there, she could not believe the amount of support for the cause. To this day the experience motivates her to do more fundraising and volunteer work.

Thuy said many other people from Affirmed participated in the hunger walk, just not as a member of Sticky Rice. If you are interested in joining the Sticky Rice team, Thuy is always looking to add someone who can “rice” to the occasion for a good cause.

Affirmed Networks Delivers VMware-Based 5G Mobile Core Solution

by Affirmed Affirmed No Comments
Affirmed and VMware are working together to develop a new reference architecture that allows mobile operators to seamlessly and rapidly deploy 5G services in a webscale, hybrid cloud environment

ACTON, MASSACHUSETTS, USA, June 14, 2019—Affirmed Networks, Inc., the leader in virtualized mobile networks announced today that it will deliver the industry’s first 5G Mobile Core solution validated for VMware that enables Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to rapidly deploy 5G services on a multi-cloud infrastructure. As part of this news, VMware was announced as Affirmed’s preferred platform for 5G solutions. The solution includes the VMware vCloud NFV OpenStack Edition and Affirmed Networks suite of virtualized mobile core solutions.

Affirmed Networks, the pioneer of network virtualization, is at the forefront of innovation that automates multi-cloud solutions for MNOs. This reference solution leverages technologies from both companies that enable service providers to rapidly create network services that scale to unprecedented levels of granularity for the enterprise, consumer and IoT network verticals. The reference solution includes the Affirmed virtualized portfolio of solutions running on VMware cloud infrastructure, allowing customized and differentiated services to be created and deployed quickly.

“Operators face the daunting task of both transforming legacy networks to cloud architectures and deploying cloud-native applications, to serve the needs of their customers. VMware’s Telco Cloud platform with Affirmed’s virtualized mobile core solutions delivers a solution that greatly simplifies this transformation,” said Dr. Hassan Ahmed, President, and CEO of Affirmed Networks. “Affirmed Networks is looked to by Mobile Operators as a trusted strategic advisor, leveraging our experience in their transformation journey and, as part of that journey, we note the importance of VMware’s multi-cloud strategy. We will continue to work with select technology leaders to deliver uncompromising, high-quality technology solutions to serve the needs of our customers.”

Affirmed Networks’ virtualized software architecture includes vEPC, Gi (Gateway-internet) value-added services, network slicing, automation, virtual probing, analytics, and assurance. VMware’s Telco Cloud framework combines its NFV infrastructure with other components of its multi-cloud architecture providing robust container orchestration, operations management, security, and service assurance. These capabilities allow service providers to deploy a high performance, predictable telco stack for building and managing their 5G networks.

“Customers are increasingly adopting Affirmed Networks solutions on the VMware Telco Cloud as the foundation of their network modernization and 5G enablement. The two companies have a long-standing relationship, and have helped service providers transition to a virtualized webscale and cloud-native Telco Cloud foundation that can provide uniformity across network and IT,” said Shekar Ayyar, executive vice president, strategy and corporate development and general manager, Telco NFV Group at VMware. “VMware looks forward to working with leading companies like Affirmed to help service providers maximize the benefits of software-defined networking and network functions virtualization and open new business opportunities.”

Today, Affirmed Networks has more than 100 customers across five continents, including some of the world’s largest and most innovative operators.

About Affirmed Networks, Inc.
Affirmed Networks was founded to transform the future of the mobile industry. Our vEPC and cloud-based solutions are enabling operators to change the economics of deploying and scaling networks. Operators have deployed Affirmed’s NFV solutions to deliver differentiated 5G services including mobile broadband, IoT, carrier-grade Wi-Fi roaming, connected cars and more. Proven in more than 100+ networks and over 80 countries, our NFV solutions are deployed in the world’s largest networks. For more information, please visit www.affirmednetworks.com.

VMware, vCloud, and vCloud NFV are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other jurisdictions.

Service Providers Agree on the Core Appeal of 5G

by Affirmed Affirmed No Comments

The arrival of 5G will usher in a new era of high-bandwidth/low-latency applications, break open enterprise markets to mobile service providers, dramatically reduce network costs, make driving exams obsolete and create lasting world peace. That is, if you believe half of the things that you read about it.

The reality is that 5G has a good shot at doing some of those things, because it’s already doing them today. In a new e-book from Light Reading, “The Critical Role of Next Gen Core Solutions,” you can read how leading providers such as AT&T, Verizon and Turkcell are using 5G technology to deliver better customer experiences with much better cost and service delivery efficiencies. And because it’s from the folks at Light Reading, you know it will be a good read packed with the kind of insights you would expect from people who can separate the hope of the future from the hype of today.

At the core of this 5G future is, fittingly, the mobile core. While RAN upgrades are important, Light Reading’s Ray Le Maistre shines the spotlight where it belongs in the opening pages by stating “the full potential of 5G can only be realized once the core network is also upgraded.” Telco executives agree. In a separate survey conducted by Heavy Reading, seventy-four percent of surveyed executives felt that a 5G core was necessary to obtain the full benefits of 5G. That number underscores the fact that most telcos are thinking of 5G for more than cheap bandwidth; they have their eye on enterprise services that will require network slicing, agile service creation and other “core” capabilities.

If you really want to know what the early future of 5G will look like, take a look at Turkcell and AT&T: two companies with an early lead in the race to 5G. You’ll find case studies of both service providers in Light Reading’s e-book, showcasing how NFV and cloud services are helping these virtualization visionaries capitalize on new market opportunities. Interviews with Affirmed’s CEO, Hassan Ahmed, and senior director of product management, Seshadri Sathyanarayan, provide additional insight into where 5G core capabilities are headed.

Sponsored by Affirmed and Intel, “The Critical Role of Next Gen Core Solutions,” is a short (20-minute), informative read that highlights the early success of 5G core implementations and reveals why so many major telco operators are betting their future on it. If you’re sick of reading fictional accounts of the 5G-driven future, Light Reading’s non-fiction e-book is the perfect antidote.

Take Back Control of Your Mobile Network, and Destiny with Affirmed UnityCloud

by Affirmed Affirmed No Comments

At Affirmed Networks, we know you, mobile operators, want to successfully transition your network (and business) to 5G and ultimately become a 5G leader. In order to do that, you need a 5G mobile network that works with you and for you – a network you completely control.  The problem is that today you don’t control your network, your legacy hardware network vendor does, and this makes you feel frustrated since you don’t feel you control your own destiny.  We believe that 5G represents a huge opportunity and that to effectively compete and succeed in 5G, you need to be in complete control of your network.  We understand the complexity and risks of transitioning your network to 5G since we have the most extensive experience virtualizing networks including over 100 deployments.  We’ve leveraged all of our learnings and experience over the past eight years to build Affirmed UnityCloud. Affirmed UnityCloud gets you ready for 5G.  It puts you in complete control, so you can stop feeling frustrated about not controlling your own destiny and instead start becoming a leader in 5G innovation.

Affirmed UnityCloud is a true cloud-native 5G core platform that allows you to:

  • Innovate Faster with an Innovation platform that allow services to be quickly deployed in days/weeks vs. months
  • Build Once Deploy Anywhere from core to edge on public, private or hybrid clouds
  • Converge All Networks including 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G (NSA/SA) and wireline on a single platform

Microservices is what enables you to innovate faster and is also a key component of cloud-native architectures. We didn’t take the same path as other mobile core vendors by simply lifting monolithic software out of legacy hardware platforms and shifting it into virtual machines and containers, calling it ‘cloud-native’. We call this ‘cloud-washing’. In fact, we don’t have a legacy hardware platform. This frees us to go ‘all-in’ on virtualization because we don’t have billions of revenues to protect with old legacy technology. Because of this, we’ve natively built all services, including the 5G services, from the ground up for the cloud.  This gives you the ability to scale services up or down as needed to serve any sized market.  In addition, all UnityCloud microservices are autonomously released – every microservice has its own separate release cadence.  This is critical to ensure you have the most agile platform to compete in the 5G era.

In addition, we added something we believe is critical to the future of your success: openness. UnityCloud embraces open-source technology because the next great idea in 5G won’t come from a single vendor, but from many working together. That’s why our cloud-native platform includes a PaaS layer that supports the best in open-sourced technology today: Kubernetes, Helm, Istio, Envoy, Jaeger, and many other technologies. Using the UnityCloud open-source APIs allows mobile operators to bring more ideas into the mix and share the network across many applications so it’s easier and quicker to deploy new services.  You are not dependent on one vendor; you are free to use as many as you need to build the services you want – you control your network.

And these services can run anywhere in the network – from core to edge on public, private and hybrid clouds.  This provides you with the ultimate flexibility to run services where it makes the most sense.  High bandwidth and/or low latency-sensitive services can be run at the network location that will ensure the required performance – closer to the customer or even at the customer premise.  Other services might be best deployed in the cloud.  Affirmed UnityCloud gives you the flexibility to deploy services anywhere in the network.

Affirmed UnityCloud enables network operators to unify 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G services as well as fixed services onto a single, simple, flexible, and powerful standalone 5G core (5GC) platform. And if that sounds like music to your ears, it should: UnityCloud is a game-changer, providing you—once and for all—with a clear path to 5G and puts you back in control of your network and your own destiny.