New IP world De­mands !

The au­to­mated and con­verged home, en­ter­prise and ser­vice provider net­works of­fer a plethora of op­por­tu­ni­ties to so­lu­tion providers pro­vided they de­velop skills and so­lu­tions to meet the de­mands of the new IP world.

Voice&Data - - COLUMN -

The 21st cen­tury ush­ered in some key changes to the tele­com net­works. The TDM net­works were grad­u­ally re­placed by the more scal­able IP-based packet net­works. The mono­lithic tele­com switches were re­placed by dis­trib­uted switches based on ForCES (For­ward­ing and Con­trol El­e­ment Sep­a­ra­tion) bring­ing in more in­no­va­tion and choice.

2G based cel­lu­lar tech­nolo­gies and ar­chi­tec­tures were up­graded to packet based LTE tech­nolo­gies. The Eth­er­net / IP tech­nolo­gies moved out­ward from the LAN into the Ac­cess, Metro and Core parts of the net­work lead­ing to pro­lif­er­a­tion of IP ad­dressed devices and equip­ment.

The IPv4 ad­dress­ing scheme be­came a bot­tle­neck lead­ing to the in­dus­try mov­ing to the IPv6 ad­dress­ing scheme and it laid the foun­da­tion of the ubiq­ui­tous con­nec­tiv­ity of the IoT (In­ter­net of Things) world.

Though the IP based net­works and sim­plic­ity of 4G net­work ar­chi­tec­tures brought in im­proved flex­i­bil­ity and speed in triple play ser­vice cre­ation in tele­com net­works, the net­work scal­a­bil­ity and speed of ser­vice cre­ation still lagged be­hind the de­mand due to the na­ture of the net­work el­e­ment de­sign and the net­work ar­chi­tec­ture.

Mean­while, the use of large num­ber of multi-core gen­eral-pur­pose pro­ces­sors in data cen­ters, vir­tu­al­iza­tion tech­nolo­gies and au­to­ma­tion meth­ods in the En­ter­prise IT world pro­vided new ideas in­volv­ing NFV to the world of tele­com net­works.

Net­work Func­tion Vir­tu­al­iza­tion (NFV) al­lows net­work el­e­ments used by net­work oper­a­tors to be vir­tu­al­ized and ex­e­cuted on pri­vate/ pub­lic cloud en­vi­ron­ments.

It has emerged as a foun­da­tion to bring in the much needed Auto-scal­ing, Flex­i­bil­ity of Net­work Op­er­a­tions and au­to­mated ser­vice cre­ation to meet the grow­ing de­mands of the users of the tele­com net­works and ser­vices.

The NFV paradigm al­lows ex­treme flex­i­bil­ity to oper­a­tors to use Vir­tual Net­work Func­tions (VNFs) from a va­ri­ety of VNF ven­dors and open-source so­lu­tions bring­ing in choice and re­duced cost of op­er­a­tions and up­grades. NFV has bought in a huge op­por­tu­nity for the so­lu­tion providers to solve the chal­lenges of In­ter­op­er­abil­ity of VNFs, Telco Cloud Se­cu­rity, Op­ti­miza­tion of NFVI, Seam­less mo­bil­ity of VNFs be­tween Pri­vate and Pub­lic clouds and the like.

LTE mean­while con­tin­ues to grow from strength to strength as a wire­less con­nec­tiv­ity tech­nol­ogy and presents a huge op­por­tu­nity. Vir­tu­al­iza­tions of EPC el­e­ments as well as Cloud-RAN-based ar­chi­tec­tures have been an­nounced by sev­eral play­ers.

The ben­e­fits of IMS (IP Mul­ti­me­dia Sub­sys­tem) are get­ting re­al­ized via VoLTE (Voice over LTE) and ViLTE (Video over LTE) ap­pli­ca­tions. The LTE-U/LAA and LTE-M prom­ise to take the LTE into the worlds of un­li­censed spec­trum us­age and the low power M2M devices. 3GPP stan­dards are evolv­ing for use of LTE in pub­lic safety and de­fense net­works.

An­other big chal­lenge and hence op­por­tu­nity in the New IP world ap­pears in the Man­age­ment Plane func­tions.

As the IP based bil­lions of IoT devices also get added in the 5G net­works, the man­age­ment layer would get fur­ther stretched. The REST API based so­lu­tions are aid­ing in­te­gra­tion at th­ese lay­ers. It is im­per­a­tive that this layer is de­signed for ex­treme scale and per­for­mance.

The New IP World prom­ises to pro­vide so­lu­tions to meet the ex­pec­ta­tions of the hu­mankind in­ter-con­nected with IP based devices. The au­to­mated and con­verged Home, En­ter­prise and Ser­vice Provider net­works of­fer a plethora of op­por­tu­ni­ties to so­lu­tion providers pro­vided they de­velop skills and so­lu­tions to meet the de­mands of the new IP world.

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