This is part four of a five-part series about how Juniper Networks is helping network service providers (SPs) around the world build out Secure Automated Cloud architectures. See part three here.
The Secure Automated Cloud architecture changes the economics of service delivery and forces a re-think about which services are delivered to which customers across specific geographies. With a revised business case, service providers can now profitably serve segments that were previously unattractive. “Services transformation” can be thought of in two separate but related phases. Cloudifying internal services infrastructure first (as with vEPC, vIMS, etc.) paves the way for new, customer-facing monetization opportunities later.
Juniper Networks offers a framework to transform legacy SP service delivery infrastructure into a new “Telco Cloud” architecture consisting of four elements:>
1. Deploy Telco Cloud with Contrail Automation
SPs can accelerate the Virtual Network Function (VNF) onboarding process through automation. Our Contrail software suite of management and orchestration tools offers a ready-made solution to transform traditional service provider infrastructures into cloudified service delivery platforms, starting in the data center. While media attention is focused on exciting new services such as virtual reality, real SP service delivery transformation starts here, with the internal network infrastructure.
2. Extend to Edge Clouds
The overlay infrastructure should be extended to what we at Juniper have dubbed SP “beachfront property” in edge cloud locations closer to the end users. Control/User Plane Separation (CUPS) architectures can scale control and data planes independently for additional flexibility. SPs can centralize the control plane in the telco cloud and deploy the corresponding data plane closer to subscribers. Edge clouds will enable SPs to serve new requirements for ultra-reliable/low latency communication (URLCC) use cases. The idea is to expose the edge cloud, in the form of APIs, to harness the innovative power of developer communities. Promising areas include video surveillance, augmented reality, connected vehicles and industrial IoT. Ultimately, the business case for the particular application dictates the deployment of IT/networking resources along the edge continuum, from customer premise through to a centralized cloud.
3. Monetize with Software-Defined Enterprise Services
The telco cloud is about new revenue opportunities as much as it is about virtualizing infrastructure to reduce costs. While cloud-enabled delivery allows SPs to offer services more efficiently, it also opens up new revenue opportunities. For example, Juniper’s SD-Enterprise offering delivers a compelling user experience, integrated security and integrated Mist WLAN with telco-grade scalability and reliability.
4. Extend to Multicloud
Incumbent network operators occupy the central position in the multicloud world. From this spot they can strategically use the larger public and private cloud ecosystem occupied by the hyper-scalers and other SaaS providers to enhance their own capabilities and best serve their consumer and enterprise customers. Eventually, we expect SPs will offer “multicloud-as-a-service” that optimizes enterprise workload mobility.
For 5G to unleash a new wave of revenue-generating applications and services for SPs, such as gaming, augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), industrial automation, connected vehicles and 8K streaming video, SPs need mechanisms to efficiently slice the network. Network slicing at scale to serve a myriad of use cases with diverse requirements is dependent on virtualization and automation; without it, 5G becomes an operational quagmire. The truth is, no one can accurately predict what the next big use case may be in 5G, but with a more nimble network based on fungible pools of resources, SPs can respond quickly to capture value when opportunities arise.
In the final part of our series, we will articulate some of the principles Juniper applies to ensure that SPs remain nimble to solidify their position at the center of the multicloud.