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Domestic Virtual Operators Use SDN to Deploy 5G Networks

2016-05-25 09:43:08 Author: Qie Yong Zhi Source:Communications World NetworkComment:0  Click:


In the past few years, Software Defined Network (SDN) has become a hot topic in the field of network technology, which has attracted the attention of the industry. The core feature of SDN is to abstract the network operating system platform, mask the differences in the physical details of the underlying network equipment, and provide a unified management and programming interface to the upper layer. The application program is developed based on the network operating system platform to define the network topology through software. Resource allocation, processing mechanisms, etc. The development of SDN can be broadly divided into broad sense and narrow sense. Generalized SDN generally points to the upper application open source interface, which can implement various types of basic network architecture controlled by software programming. The narrow sense SDN refers specifically to the standard Openflow protocol that meets the definition of ONF. Implemented software-defined networking.
At the end of April 2013, the China SDN Conference was held in Beijing.
At the end of 2012, AT&T, BT, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Verizon jointly initiated the establishment of the Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV), aiming to introduce SDN concepts into telecommunications. industry. It is formed by 52 network operators, telecommunication equipment suppliers, IT equipment suppliers and technology suppliers. At this point, SDN and the telecommunications industry formally become involved.
At the end of April 2013, the China SDN Conference was held in Beijing. The three major domestic operators sang the protagonist. China Telecom led the research on the introduction of SDN in the existing network (NGN). It has successfully established the S-NICE standard in February 2014. "S-NICE" is a kind of intelligence that uses SDN technology in smart pipelines. The specific form of pipe application. China Mobile has put forward such issues as "the application of SDN on WLAN networks."
With SDN, telecom operators can shorten the time-to-market cycle of new network features, make CT innovations as fast and diversified as the Internet, and at the same time reduce network management costs. Surveys show that mainstream operators worldwide have begun to explore how to build, manage, and operate networks based on SDN/NFV technologies over the next five to ten years.
Since the country opened the core telecom market to private capital, 42 virtual operators in China have applied for pilot licenses for mobile resale services. During the pilot period, virtual operators have officially entered the SDN technology to transform the original rigid service allocation model into flexible agile service deployment.
A few days ago, in Los Angeles, a private-equity telecom operator Dr. Peng announced the signing of a cooperation agreement with Brocade. Brocade officially became the first partner of Dr. Peng's SDN Open Lab. The signing of the contract also allowed Dr. Peng to take a substantial step in the SDN field and accelerate Dr. Peng's layout in terms of NFV and 5G. 5G brings not only higher bandwidth and lower latency. Its flexible, agile and manageable features will also create more innovative services for operators to better respond to the impact of OTT. The SDN will be the basis for achieving this, and at the same time it has changed the traditional "chimney" architecture that uses a piece of hardware.
As we all know, the mobile Internet, Internet applications in the user to get a new business experience, but also to the network is undergoing tremendous changes. SDN is seen as an inevitable choice for the future development of telecom operators. At present, the global mainstream telecommunications operators have accelerated the SDN/NFV R&D and deployment process. As a leading telecom operator, Dr. Peng also proposed to move towards communication 4.0, which is typically marked by virtualization and software. This time, Dr. Peng's cooperation with Brocade will undoubtedly implement the strategy of Dr. Peng's Communication 4.0 and accelerate its R&D and deployment speed in SDN.
It is understood that Brocade has strong R&D capabilities in data centers, IP, SDN, and 5G, and has a complete SDN commercial solution. It is worth mentioning that currently, Brocade has cooperated with AT&T, SmartSky, and other international telecommunication operations to carry out SDN/NFV cooperation, providing rich deployment, operation and maintenance experience for Dr. Peng's SDN deployment. In terms of mobile networks, as Dr. Peng has set foot in the MVNO business, the mobile business has also become a key area for Dr. Peng’s future business development, and mobile network SDN has also become a key research area for Dr. Peng’s SDN R&D laboratory. Starting from 4G, the IP network is becoming more and more obvious. In particular, the future 5G and pure IP networks will bring profound changes to the core network. SDN's ability to allocate on demand, flexible configuration, and scalability has become the topic of the future of 5G networks. Even the view is that the future mobile network will be an end-to-end complete SDN network. In this regard, Dr. Peng's partner, Brocade, is already in the leading position in the industry and has launched Virtual Core for Mobile (VCM) as a vEPC product suite for 5G requirements, implementing a complete vEPC or Mobility Management Entity (MME), Home Subscriber Server (HSS). ), a collection of service gateways (S-GWs) and packet data network gateways (P-GWs). In addition, Brocade VCM can provide services for the Internet of Things, MVNO, and new services. At the same time, the solution can seamlessly connect with 3G/LTE core network devices. At present, Brocade vEPC solutions have been applied to the Smart Sky network of U.S. air broadband service providers. The network deployed a new network of more than 250 base stations in the United States through the vEPC, providing an Internet experience comparable to that of terrestrial networks for aircraft flying on the continental United States.
According to Dr. Peng, “The Dr. Peng Group's development strategy in the cloud management and cloud + end, in the Chinese market and overseas markets for business promotion and expansion, the company will focus on the layout of four areas: 1, the media, big data as the center Internet TV-related terminal R&D and sales, such as barley boxes, barley routers, barley game consoles, etc.; 2. Collaborative communication platform based on cloud platform R&D and application to form a cross-platform converged high-definition video conferencing, cloud classroom, cloud 3) New hardware research and development centered on SDN network to improve network operation efficiency and release network resources. The popularization and application of 4K, Blu-ray and other video in the future will be the challenge of network carrying capacity. The self-developed terminal products will be adapted. The first choice of network development; 4. R&D and application of LTE-U centered on smallcell. In the future, cellular technology will not be able to meet large-capacity transmissions and seamless coverage. LTE-U technology will compete in the future in areas such as data communications and smart cities. Dr. Peng will focus on these four directions and industrial capital, chip manufacturers, software developers, technology Teams in-depth cooperation, joint product development and incubation, provide facilities and funding resources to support the "highly innovative" and "highly entrepreneurial" eco create a complete industrial chain. " In addition, cooperation with international companies such as Brocade also helps Dr. Peng’s overseas strategy to quickly land. Dr. Peng will invest a great deal of money to set up big data center nodes in Seoul, Los Angeles, and San Francisco to build a world-class global data center cluster.
Currently, more and more 5G architectures have been built based on the SDN concept. For example, the architecture assumed by the mobile communication network NGMN, hardware and software separation, and programmability provided by SDN and NFV cover all aspects of 5G, including equipment. , mobile/fixed network infrastructure, network functions, etc., to achieve the automatic layout of the 5G system.
The agile features brought by SDN can better meet the different requirements of different applications in the 5G era, allowing each application to have specific bandwidth and delay. At the same time, IT personnel can use SDN programmability to turn network resources into independent, end-to-end “slices,” including wireless, backhaul, core, and management domains.
With the support of the SDN architecture, operators have truly implemented the network as a service and managed the network resources effectively while continuously providing services. SDN will also provide operators with the best data transmission path to further optimize the operator's network. In a comprehensive view, the 5G architecture built on SDN will further reduce the capex and opex of operators, allowing operators to have more funds to achieve service innovation, and truly turn the network into value revenue.
The core idea of ​​SDN is to decouple network functions and service processing functions from network device hardware into abstraction functions, and then to control these abstracted objects through external controllers. By splitting the tightly-coupled architecture of a traditional network into a three-tiered architecture with application, control, and forwarding, the network will no longer be a bottleneck that restricts the on-line and cloud efficiency of the service. Instead, it can become a data transmission task, but it can also become Like virtualized computing and storage resources, it becomes a resource that can be flexibly deployed.
From the perspective of technology selection, SDN may not be the best solution to solve network problems, but it may be the most suitable path for achieving service and network adaptation, improving network utilization and reducing network service cost. However, the idea of ​​SDN, while subverting the traditional network architecture, has also brought a difficult question: What kind of criteria does the network evolve from?
The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) hopes that OpenFlow-based SDN can become the new standard of the network. ITU-T and IETF are developing future SDN-based network standards based on the future development needs of the Internet. The ETSI network function virtualization industry formed by AT&T, BT, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefonica and Verizon, together with 52 other network operators, telecom equipment suppliers, IT equipment suppliers and technology suppliers. The normative working group is focused on the research of NFV (Network Function Virtualization), which aims to enable more types of network devices to integrate into industry-standard servers, switches, and storage devices by studying and developing standard IT virtualization technologies. In China, CCSA (China Communications Standards Association) has also initiated research work on future network and SDN related standard projects. CCSATCI has established SWG3 working group, which is a demand scenario, architecture, and protocol for the future data network (FDN) that draws on SDN. Formulate relevant standards.
In addition to these standards organizations, the alliance of IT companies OpenDaylight is also competing for control of the SDN standard, OpenDaylight hopes to create a network programming platform supporting SDN, to create a reliable foundation platform for NFV and more networks of different sizes and sizes. .
Standardization is the basis for the network to achieve interconnection and interoperability. In each historical stage of the evolution of network technology, the competition for standard dominance is extremely fierce, because in a market with a high level of standardization, it must be embodied in the redistribution of market interests. The problem has come, but the opportunity has come. Not only is the problem of SDN landing required to be solved, but also the market's inherent pattern of reorganization. In fact, even if OpenFlow is currently used as a common standard, it is superior to other standards in terms of support. However, network device manufacturers still regard it as a "compatibility item" in SDN products. Some "power" manufacturers still retain their own. The standard.
All people are watching, because the standardization of SDN is still far from the moment when it will be a foregone conclusion, and the “non-standard” situation makes users generally feel that SDN’s related products are unfinished and immature. However, at the NetEvents Asia-Pacific News Analyst Summit held in Singapore on May 26th and 27th, the above-mentioned standardization issues are expected to be discussed by industry analysts and will also address cloud computing in enterprise planning, modeling, and applications. The next generation of OpenStack technologies such as open networks and open cloud computing are discussed in depth. In this regard, the communication world network reporter will follow up the report, so stay tuned.
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