Evolution of Telecommunications – Part 2
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Praveen Batta

March 11, 2022

Introduction:

This blog is continuation of the blog https://knowledgeacademy.io/evolution-of-telecommunications/. With this blog let’s understand "How VMware is contributing to achieve Telecommunications Challenges."

  • To provide the acceleration needed by telco devices VMware has come up with different reference architecture and respective products to address telco challenges and much more than that.

Corelating ETSI NFV Architecture with VMware Architecture:

NFV Architecture
VMware Architecture

VMware TCP - Telco Cloud Platform

TCP – Telco cloud platform: This is the stack that VMware is bringing with the set of solutions along with the platform.

VMware TCP -  Telco cloud platform

TCI: Telco Cloud Infrastructure

1. VMware has a strong infrastructure base with vSphere, vSAN, NSX. And built good solutions on top of that base with the products VCD [vCloud Director], VIO [VMware integrated Openstack], Tanzu i.e vCloud NFVi. While VMware vCenter is providing the compute services, VCD and VIO is supporting the VIM layer of NFVi architecture and TKG is supporting Cloud Native Network Functions [CNFs]

2. This also covers VRops which complements the TCI stack by serving the resource utilization needs with respect to analysis, utilization, etc.

3. TCI is supporting as the base platform for VNF’s and CNF’s and serving the needs of Telco requirements.
Few examples are below:

  • Precision Time Protocol [PTP] configuration on ESXi and VM’s which is complementing the Telco solutions.
  • Scheduling Latency: Reducing Jitter to 15 micro-second average.
  • Takes care of CPU Pinning, NUMA, SRIOV, DPDK.

4. VM resources: VMware also supports CPU and Memory reservations along with the Latency sensitivity option.

5. Configurations from Network Virtualization:

NIC Teaming: Provides redundancy and load balancing avoiding a single point of failure.

Network I/O control: Network I/O Control enforces the share value specified for different traffic types. Network I/O Control applies the share values set to each traffic type. As a result, less important traffic, as defined by the share percentage, is throttled while granting access to more network resources to more important traffic types.

This also supports bandwidth reservation for the specified traffic by doing resource control at VM network adapter level.

SRIOV: The VM and the physical adapter exchange data directly without using the VMkernel stack as an intermediary. Bypassing the VMkernel for networking reduces the latency and improves the CPU efficiency for high data transfer performance.

VMware automation and Orchestration

  • VMware has come up with a special product explicitly for Telco called TCA [Telco cloud automation].
    This helps customers to automate the VNF and CNF deployment on multiple domains with the required customization to the infrastructure and the NF’s. TCA is playing a key role in automating deployments of NF’s [VNF and CNFs] through CSAR packages. And this is unique feature from VMware to Telco industry.

Note: There are multiple domains like RDC [Regional data center], NDC [National data center], Cell sites.

  • TCA supports node level and VM level customization

o PTP [Precession time protocol] with.
o Resources alignment with NUMA, CPU Pinning etc.

  • Being part of TCP (Telco Cloud Platform), it has access and liberty to orchestrate the ESX and Tanzu which are already optimized for RT RAN workloads. And TCA leverages VMware vCenter design with management vcenter and workload vcenter to place VNF’s and CNF’s in a better place.

VMware Partnerships:

VMware partnerships with vendors are key to getting vast success in the Telco domain. Below is the data and references which talk about it.

  • VMware solutions and vendor VNFs/CNFs on carrier grade platform gives the best performance with respect to resiliency, High availability, Performance, scalability.
  • Hybrid-Cloud: VMware supports Telcos by hosting VNF’s on VMC on AWS. Also provides services with entire portfolio like TCA, TCOps.
  • VMware partnerships with vendors to serve Telco needs.
    + NVIDIA : To Enable AI and Deep Learning Approaches to Optimize Spectral Efficiency and Network Slicing
  • VMware and Cohere Technologies Demonstrate the Power and Potential of Open RAN.

Refer:

https://blogs.vmware.com/telco/oran-cohere-partnership/

  • Vodafone, Cohere Technologies, VMware, Capgemini Engineering, Intel and Telecom Infra Project (TIP) have successfully demonstrated how a powerful new Open Radio Access Network (RAN) platform can further boost the capacity of 5G where multiple customers are using the same site.

Refer:

https://www.vodafone.com/news/press-release/vodafone-and-partners-boost-5g-capacity

  • VMware and Intel work with OEM’s and RAN software vendors to enhance the vRAN and address certain use cases like traffic steering, dynamic slicing, etc.

Best part of this partnership is – Intel exposes DPDK at the processing level and VMware takes advantage of that and extends to software-defined NSX-T switches. With this it yields high bandwidth and throughput with low latency which is required to position the VNF’s and run the bandwidth intensive applications like IoT.

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