Runs proof of concept project in collaboration with leading global operator
In a recent proof of concept project, Nokia Siemens Networks and a leading global operator have jointly demonstrated that core virtualization and cloud management are viable technologies for deployment by operators. The scope of the project included identifying the requirements for cloud computing and virtualizing the mobile core network elements in the cloud. The virtualizations approach is part of the company’s Liquid Core architecture.
Core virtualization is deployed in steps starting with hardware consolidation. Nokia Siemens Networks’ core network products already run on a common hardware platform, which is commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware based on Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture (ATCA®). In the second step, a common virtualization infrastructure enables the core applications to share the resources of the common COTS ATCA hardware pool according to traffic needs.This proof of concept, which will be further developed commercially, has demonstrated Nokia Siemens Networks’ capability to deploy core network element software into a virtualized infrastructure.
Core virtualization helps operators achieve greater hardware efficiency and flexibility by dynamically allocating network resources and processing power to where they are needed. A flexible cloud network can support more subscribers and more advanced services. They can also benefit from a smaller equipment footprint and reduced operational costs from lower energy consumption, less hardware and simplified operations and maintenance.
“With the explosion of data traffic created by the popularity of smart devices and new high-definition (HD) voice and video, core networks must deliver virtually unlimited scalability, flexibility and efficiency with superior customer experience”, said Michael Clever, head of Voice and IP transformation at Nokia Siemens Networks. “Identifying concepts for adapting telco network capacity and service management in the cloud will help operators understand the advantages of telco cloud technologies and the power of virtualization.”
Core virtualization allows the core network, comprising the packet-switched, circuit-switched and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) domains, to run on a common resource pool of generic multipurpose hardware. Nokia Siemens Networks ran the technology trial using its own cloud framework for deploying and managing the virtualized core network elements on the cloud.
The cloud prototype developed by Nokia Siemens Networks incorporates network elements such as an MSC Server (MSS), Mobility Management Entity (MME), Call Session Control Function (CSCF) and Telecom Application Server (TAS) into a virtualized infrastructure running on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware based on Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture (ATCA®) or any other commercially available IT server platforms depending on the operator’s preference. The virtualized network elements and cloud framework are integrated into NetAct, which provides an end-to-end view of the status of the virtualized network, as well as managing all Nokia Siemens Networks core network products.
“With this proof of concept project, Nokia Siemens Networks and the operator are blazing a trail for telco cloud deployment,” continued Clever. “The project demonstrated our capability to quickly develop a prototype for migrating core network element software into a virtualized infrastructure. There were also lessons learned on the limitations of today’s IT virtualized infrastructures.”
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