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5G Service Velocity & the Distributed Cloud

A services-driven network architecture

Service provider networks are on the verge of significant and lasting change. Leading operators have started to re-architect their networks for the services that will underpin their commercial success in the 5G era. Driven by performance (especially latency) and scalability demands, these operators are distributing cloud infrastructure to network edge locations to enable rapid deployment of advanced network services. Around the world, fast-followers are racing to understand how these interrelated themes of distributed cloud and "service velocity" can apply to their networks.

With specific reference to evolved 4G and emerging 5G mobile networks, this paper discusses the role of edge computing, the IP-based "network fabric" that connects edge data centers, and the critical question of "service velocity." It makes the case for deploying edge infrastructure in combination with network slicing mechanisms to enable operators to create and deploy granular services, optimized to the use case and customer, using cloud-native network functions and management tools.

The performance requirements of advanced 4G and 5G services are a key influence on the design, deployment and operation of this new network architecture. By colocating network functions with end-user content and applications at the edge, there is an opportunity to enable service types that would be expensive, or even impossible, in the classic centralized mobile network. Success, of course, is dependent on the operator's ability to deliver and manage these services in a fast and agile manner. Read More...