AI Getting in on the Ground Floor of Networking

AI is coming to enterprise networks in a number of ways, but the most fundamental shift will likely be on hardware. As can be expected, AI workloads are quite large and quite complicated, incorporating sophisticated algorithms, abundant compute cycles and highly dynamic data management. Already, leading organizations are finding it difficult to handle all of this on traditional CPUs, GPUs and FPGAs, which is why the processor industry is working overtime to produce new generations of AI-ready silicon

Spotlight

Meta Networks

Meta Networks is reinventing the secure enterprise network for the cloud age. With Meta's Network-as-a-Service, you can rapidly connect people, applications, clouds, data centers and offices, and secure them with a software-defined perimeter. The Meta NaaS is user-centric, leveraging a cloud-native global backbone to deliver high-performance.

OTHER ARTICLES
Network Infrastructure, Network Management

How to Increase Network Security with SD-WAN

Article | July 10, 2023

Network security today is losing the battle and a lot of it is blamed upon the traditional security devices. Imagine running next-gen IT Infrastructure secured by security tools made to secure legacy IT.Data breaches have increased substantially and IT professionals are continuously looking at new ways to improve their network security. In this scenario, SD-WAN emerges as one formidable option to implementthat will bolster your network security. Table of Contents: - What is SD-WAN? - How does SD-WAN work? - What are the main benefits of SD_WAN to network security? - What are the other advantages of SD-WAN? . Let’s dig into it. What is SD-WAN? SD-WAN stands for software-defined wide area network (or networking). A WAN is a connection between local area networks (LANs) separated by a substantial distance—anything from a few miles to thousands of miles. The term software-defined implies the WAN is programmatically configured and managed. So, it can be easily adapted quickly to meet changing needs. How does SD-WAN work? An SD-WAN connects end users to virtually any application, hosted at any location (e.g., in the public cloud or a company data center), via the best available or most feasible transport service, whether that’s an MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching), broadband, cellular or even satellite internet link. To deliver this level of flexibility and performance to users in digital workspaces, an SD-WAN utilizes a control function that continuously analyzes traffic flows across the WAN and intelligently directs traffic in accordance with current policies. Centralized control The primary means of control in an SD-WAN is centralized. It often resides in a SaaS application running on a public cloud. Control is decoupled from the hardware to simplify network management and improve the delivery of services. SD-WAN appliances (and virtual appliances) follow operational rules passed down from the central controller. This greatly reduces or eliminates the need to manage gateways and routers on an individual basis. Multi-connection, multi-transport SD-WAN gateways support hybrid WAN, which implies that each gateway can have multiple connections using different transports—MPLS, broadband Internet, LTE, etc. A virtual private network (VPN) is typically set up across each WAN connection for security. Consequently, the SD-WAN can be an overlay spanning a diverse communications infrastructure. Dynamic path selection Another feature of SD-WAN is dynamic path selection—the ability to automatically and selectively route traffic onto one WAN link or another depending on network conditions or traffic characteristics. Packets may be steered onto a particular link because another link is down or not working very well, or to balance network traffic across all available links. SD-WAN can also identify packets by application, user, source/destination, etc. and send them down one path or another based on those characteristics. Policy-based management Policy is what determines where dynamic path selection will steer traffic and what level of priority (quality of service, or QoS) it is given. Business intentions can be implemented as policies via the central management console. New and updated policies are translated into operational rules and downloaded to all SD-WAN gateways and routers under control. For example, to ensure the best performance for VoIP and interactive web conferences, a policy may be created by giving their packets transmission priority and routing them onto low-latency paths. Cost savings can be realized by sending file back-ups across a broadband Internet connection. WAN traffic that requires a high level of security can be restricted to private connections (e.g., MPLS) between sites and required to pass through a robust security stack when entering the enterprise. Service chaining SD-WAN has the ability chain itself together with other network services. WAN optimization (acceleration) is often combined with SD-WAN to improve network and application performance. Internet traffic leaving and entering a branch office may be routed across a VPN to a cloud-base security service to strike a balance between performance, security, and cost. Read more: GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR SD-WAN: FEATURES YOU NEED TO START USING TODAY What are the main benefits of SD_WAN to network security? Eliminate VPN concerns One of the first areas in which SD-WAN impacts security is when a company uses the internet as a method of transport. Before SD-WAN came along and companies were using internet as a backup or even a primary transport method, they would build a VPN or a DMVPN to ensure secure transport of their traffic. This introduces a couple of issues, the first of which is this proliferation of VPNs that has to be managed. The company must have firewalls sitting at their data center, along with a VPN device or firewall sitting in the remote locations to be able to do these VPNs. Every site is dependent on the effort to be up on the network. - Hamza Seqqat, Director of Solutions Architecture, Apcela Failover is an issue with this VPN approach, he said. Companies can’t seamlessly failover from a fiber-based type of transport without having to strike some keys in between. It's hard and expensive to do seamless failover. “Now you don't have to have firewalls for VPNs. You don't have to worry about building your own VPNs or encrypting your traffic,” Seqqat said. “Every SD-WAN product comes with a controller that takes care of things seamlessly. That means there is this smart software-defined engine that builds all these IPsec tunnels between all the locations as soon as you plug the device in. You're not actually having to build a VPN—the controller does it automatically for you, so all you have to do is give the device an IP address or enable DHCP and let it pick an IP address from the DHCP server. Suddenly it's on the network and its building tunnels to all the sites.” He added that the SD-WAN controller builds a full mesh, so it can talk to every one of the sites without having to go back to the data center. This feature alone can reduce a company’s security footprint significantly because the site-to-site traffic becomes secure, easy, and seamless. Reduce traffic going through security A second significant benefit of SD-WAN that impacts security strategy is that it reduces the amount of traffic that needs to go through security parameters because all site-to-site traffic is encrypted. This makes security a bit easier to manage.“For a lot of companies, when they do VPNs for site-to-site traffic, they have to go through firewalls or some kind of encryption mechanism, and that increases their security footprint. It increases the complexity and the cost of security,” Seqqat said. “SD-WAN changes how traffic is routed through security.” Seqqat gave an example of a site that has a gig worth of bandwidth, and out of that gig of bandwidth, some traffic goes to the internet and some goes to site-to-site. “Without SD-WAN, generally you would have to run that whole gig through a firewall, and the firewall will split the traffic into what goes to the data center and what goes to the internet,” he said. “When you do SD-WAN, you don't have to do that. You can separate the traffic at the SD-WAN with a split tunnel, so you take half of the traffic and push it through the firewall to go to the internet and the other half goes straight site-to-site without having to go through a security parameter. Now you have a firewall to handle 500 megs as opposed to a gig, and that makes a huge difference because most security products are based on throughput and utilization. So, that can bring some cost benefits and ease management as well.” Security inherent to SD-WAN A third area where SD-WAN changes security strategy is the fact that certain security features can be implemented directly through the SD-WAN platform, which reduces costs and complexity in the actual security platform. “This depends on what aspects of security you're talking about,” Seqqat said. “For example, security is included in the Silverpeak SD-WAN product, so the Silverpeak devices really do most of the security for you. You don't have to deploy another firewall on top of that. With Versa’s SD-WAN, you can virtualize the firewall, so there’s no need to deploy physical firewalls.” For sites that simply need very basic security, SD-WAN has some inherent security capabilities. It can do things such as allow and deny certain sites and limit traffic that goes to certain sites. When you look at most SD-WAN products, you can usually kind of steer toward one or another based on your security requirements. Deploying SD-WAN in itself can really eliminate the need for security at several locations or extend the security you have been using. - Hamza Seqqat, Director of Solutions Architecture, Apcela Simplify use of security platforms In his final point, Seqqat said SD-WAN providers are making a lot of progress in partnering with both cloud security providers and cloud service providers. By making traffic encrypted and secure via SD-WAN, security platforms will only have to deal with public internet traffic. “SD-WAN providers are really working towards partnering and certifying different security products,” he said. “Consider Zscaler as an example. Some SD-WAN products automatically route all your traffic through Zscalar, which does a cloud-based security parameter before it goes out to the internet or to cloud service providers.” Seqqat said the most important part comes in the fact that Zscalar is distributed across 35 or 40 data centers that are all security parameters. “Making that routing decision as to what data center your traffic goes through before it goes out to the Internet is extremely important to performance,” he said. “If your Office 365 instance is hosted in Seattle and your users in Europe are trying to reach that, which Zscalar data center the traffic is going to go through before it goes through the Seattle instance of O365 makes all the difference in what latency is going to be at round trip. “SD-WAN provides somewhat of an automation and optimization of how traffic goes through Zscalar data centers based on performance metrics. SD-WAN can pull latency and jitter and packet loss and all that kind of stuff, so there is some intelligence that happens when a routing decision is being made as to where user traffic is going to go for security scrubbing or security features before it goes out to the cloud provider or to the Internet. That’s a huge feature that comes into play whenever you deploy SD-WAN.” Read more: FOR SERVICE PROVIDERS SD-WAN IS A MIXED BLESSING What are the other advantages of SD-WAN? SD-WAN has many advantages when implemented well: More predictable and reliable application performance, which helps support users in any digital workspace, across all connections. Superior connection security for cloud applications, without the performance tradeoffs of MPLS backhauling. Congestion reduction due to lack of bandwidth or brownouts with aggregation of bandwidth via multiple bonded and disparate or redundant links. More reliable access to apps and fewer slowdowns due to congestion. Resiliency and redundancy with fast failover when outages impact WAN connections. Quality of service for prioritizing business-critical application traffic. Fast deployments that fuel business agility when bringing applications online at a branch office, or simply changing the configurations. Zero-touch provisioning allows fast set up of sites in minutes with local staff instead of hours or days. Reduced network transport costs and more flexibility through the use of MPLS-alternatives like broadband and cellular. Quick procurement of bandwidth from multiple transport services, contrast to the long lead times needed with legacy WAN carrier-based technologies. Simplified administration with a centralized console eliminates the complexity of configuring edge devices in the field. Deep SD-WAN analytics to monitor links for performance characteristics. Analytics benefit administrators who can use them when troubleshooting problems across the WAN. Simpler branch office infrastructure that doesn’t require management of as many single-function devices Intelligent traffic steering and dynamic path selection Integrated security with leading 3rd-party solutions, including those for SaaS security Conclusion Interest in SD-WAN among organizations is on the rise, and we hope to see a tremendous rise in its adoption in network security strategies over the next few years. Vendor selection will be one of the factor for successful implementation of SD-WAN, as many are quickly developing new and effective software-defined platforms. An ideal vendor would be the one who effectively addresses your specific pain points and is able to meet your current as well as future requirements. Read more: SD-WAN SECURITY: THE IMPACT OF ORCHESTRATED SERVICES MULTIPLICITY

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Wireless, 5G

5G VS Wi-Fi 6: Companions or Competitors?

Article | May 18, 2023

Advancements inconnectivity have fueled the rapid progress in digitalization. From 1G in the 1980s to 4G in the last decade, wireless connectivity has constantly contributed to the transformation of businesses and the global economy. Today's 5G and Wi-Fi 6 technologies provide exciting features that are critical to increasing corporate productivity and improving people's digital experiences. When we refer to the 5G and Wi-Fi 6 revolutions, we're not talking about undisturbed movie streaming or faster downloads; we're talking about making sci-fi movie fiction a reality. Things you used to only see in movies, like robots doing chores, autonomous vehicles, smart cities, virtual reality gaming experiences, remote surgeries, telemedicine, automated assembly line production, augmented reality marketing strategies, and the way you shop, travel, work, and get medical consultations, will undergo a transformation beyond imagination, and 5G will make it happen. 5G VS Wi-Fi 6 5G and Wi-Fi 6 Carving the Future of Businesses Together When it comes to addressing particular needs, both 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are competitive depending on the industry vertical business environment, operation, devices, and applications. While Wi-Fi will be the dominant technology for indoor operations, as well as non-critical applications and the usage of unlicensed spectrum, 5G cellular networks will be used for outdoor coverage, mission-critical applications, highly guarded settings, and the anticipation of various QoS features. According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, the priorities of companies were 5G and Wi-Fi 6, the importance of which isonly anticipated to grow in the future years. Adoption of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G is regarded as a strategic requirement, leading businesses into a new era of wireless connectivity. With the convergence of Wi-Fi and 5G, organizations can do business everywhere while being highly productive and providing the greatest user experience. Businesses will attain the following primary goals by transitioning to this enhanced wireless 5G technology: increased effectiveness enhanced security Taking advantage of the benefits of these two forces, such as big data analytics, AI, and edge computing. The overall objective of leveraging this deadly mix is to unlock the possibilities of other emerging technologies such as IoT, cloud, Edge computing, big data analytics, VR, AR, robots, and others. Together, 5G and Wi-Fi 6 operate as a revolutionary multiplier. Closing Note 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are two separate technologies that can work in tandem. They share the following characteristics: low latency, faster data rates, increased capacity, and excellent performance. Even though 5G and Wi-Fi 6 complement each other's capabilities, the environment, sensitivity of the application, and business use cases will determine which is the best match. A holistic approach of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G is the optimum method for developing a smart city that is entirely networked or offering powerful Internet connectivity for families and businesses. Both technologies are critical in today's world, and every breakthrough in connection, whether it's 5G or Wi-Fi 6, contributes to our society's overall growth and innovation.

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Unified Communications, Network Security

Edge use cases need a 5G and beyond user plane

Article | July 10, 2023

Emerging virtual and hybrid private 5G solutions are enabling communication service providers (CSPs) to address a large number of new consumer and enterprise edge use cases. Each of these edge use cases will require a specific network deployment model and edge user plane connectivity. That’s why we’ve designed our 5G edge user plane to tackle five distinct key capabilities: support of flexible network deployments, 3GPP dual-mode support, integrated Gi LAN services, integrated probing with edge analytics and edge exposure enablement. Let’s dive into this blog post to learn how the powerful 5G edge user plane is unlocking new 5G edge use cases. How technological innovation creates value and benefits society has always interested me, influencing my work as a mobile network technologist and sales professional. Since mobile data was introduced in late 90s, both mobile network technology and mobile consumer use cases have evolved enormously. Indeed, a rapid increase in connectivity speed and the introduction of smartphones have pushed the market to adopt mobile web and video and create thousands of new applications. However, sometimes ‘killer use cases’ require both business case and application ecosystem maturity. One example is video conferencing, one of the key services 3G was designed for but was only introduced when the over-the-top (OTT) vendors disrupted the content provider market and popularized social media. Creation of mobile technology has indeed its own innovation cycles and research feeds and therefore can't depend on market pull, but you can draw the conclusion that the time to value greatly benefits when the broad business and technology ecosystem in the value chain collaborate and co-create solutions. Precisely, what’s really exciting about 5G is that it coincides with the maturity of other two disruptive technology enablers for end applications: artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud edge computing. It also comes at a moment when there’s both an urgent need and huge financial support to digitalize society and industry. In fact, more than ever, we are witnessing a close collaboration between technology and business ecosystems. Over the past few years, there have been a large number of public-private consortiums to feed service requirements into 5G standards, explore and validate the value of 5G technology. For example, just to name few, the 5G alliance for connected Industries and automation (5G-ACIA) or European 5G infrastructure Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects. For years, 3GPP standards have been preparing to define advanced 5G connectivity solutions for edge computing and vertical digitalization use cases. In addition, all sorts of consumer and enterprise edge applications are being developed at the same pace in many areas such advanced video processing, AI analytics, immersive gaming, smart grid applications, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) controls or industry automation. The edge ecosystem is particularly complex and involves different players. One key pillar is the wireless connectivity service CSPs offer. 5G-ACIA introduced the concept of virtual private and hybrid private 5G solutions, two emerging solutions that CSPs are exploring to complement their private 5G network offerings. Such solutions allow CSPs to leverage their existing public networks and offer new services in an agile and cost-effective manner using new 5G capabilities such as network slicing. In order to address edge use cases, virtual and hybrid private 5G solutions need to bring the user plane connectivity to the edge by deploying 5G edge user plane functions. The 5G edge user plane supports flexible network deployments One key learning from industry experimentation with 5G is that each use case brings a unique combination of connectivity requirements, in terms of end-to-end performance (uplink and downlink latency, jitter, packet loss and throughput), data privacy and security, robustness, wide vs local area coverage and mobility. Latency and security requirements drive the selection of the edge location, which can be the enterprise premise, CSP access or regional data center or even the extended public edge such as content delivery networks (CDN) content provider or a hyper cloud provider’s (HCP) edge data center. For example, a mobile gaming application can be located in the CSP regional data center or HCP edge, whereas video processing and AI for a factory automation application is located on the factory premise. Also edge distribution can be accounted by CSP for those use cases which produce significant amount of data such as fixed wireless access (FWA) to optimize backhaul costs. Ericsson has a vast experience supporting and driving the ecosystem to realize time critical communication use cases at scale and has conducted detailed latency analysis for different type of deployments. The RAN deployment needs to be carefully planned according to the specific use case performance characteristics. Some use cases can be achieved with existing macro RAN environment -4G or non-standalone 5G-, with macro RAN standalone 5G with or without dedicated quality of service (QoS) profiles or even may require network slicing to partition macro RAN. In contrast, some other use cases will need dedicated RAN deployments. In addition, most use cases will benefit from a dedicated edge user plane function, as it provides a higher level of performance and robustness. In summary, the concrete edge use cases to be offered and CSP’s own solution preferences drive the type of network solution and deployment, which can be a private 5G network, a virtual or a hybrid 5G private network using existing macro or dedicated RAN, with or without network slicing. The edge 5G user plane function should allow for such deployment flexibility and enable the different edge use cases characteristics. Ericsson Local Packet Gateway (LPG) addresses this by: Supporting any access technology, radio deployment model and RAN vendor Seamlessly integrating with Ericsson’s existing dual-mode 5G Core. which is prepared for slicing, efficient routing to edge (also called edge breakout) and advanced QOS and many other 5G edge features described in more detail in next section. Supporting a fast time to service, deployment simplicity and a very low footprint enabling deployment at scale in any type of edge location, up to on enterprise premises. See our previous LPG 5G edge user plane: key requirements for success for details. Providing a high level of robustness and failure resilience by means of a cloud native user plane application designed for high availability and fault resilience, support of geo-redundancy and support of 3GPP control plane and user plane split (CUPS) interface which can be deployed in full mesh with multiple control planes. User plane can also be deployed as a dedicated function within a slice to secure further characteristics and isolation or as a shared function for various slices. 5G edge user plane should enable transition from 4G to more sophisticated 5G connectivity Most of CSPs are embracing edge opportunities. They are viewing the opportunities as an evolution of their existing offerings rather than a revolution, meaning existing 4G enterprise use cases will still need to be supported for some time as the ecosystem matures to support time-critical communications type of use cases. This means 5G edge user plane should be dual-mode and support such a wide breadth of technology. 5G edge user plane should support both 3GPP compliant serving/packet gateway user function (S/PGW-U) and user plane function (UPF) and evolve with advanced UPF features for time-critical communications, such as more stringent end to end QoS and transmission robustness for ultra-reliable low latency communications (URLLC) or Ethernet connectivity for advanced edge industrial use cases. It should also support 5G peak rates and do not degrade use cases performance characteristics. It should also support dynamic edge routing solutions which are efficient, deployable by multipurpose terminals and mobility proof such as dynamic network slice selection which is preferrable to UPF as uplink classifier as starting solution until standardization evolves. 5G edge user plane should work in conjunction with the CSP’s dual-mode core system, which supports dynamic slicing orchestration, dynamic slice selection, ultra-reliable low latency communications and advanced 5G edge connectivity features such as different service continuity and user plane re-anchoring modes depending on mobility and application resilience needs. Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core with Local Packet Gateway provides such advanced 5G connectivity in a pre-verified manner. In fact, the Ericsson Local Packet Gateway Cloud Native Function (CNF) is based on the same software as the Ericsson Packet Core Gateway (PCG), the market leading cloud-native user plane, which is deployed in 5G live networks today. Such deployment flexibility in edge user plane allows CSP to offer distinct use cases. For example, CSPs can offer mobile gaming service by deploying a cloud virtual reality (VR) gaming center application in their regional data centers. Connectivity with guaranteed low latency QoS can be provided by a dedicated 5G network slice with the dedicated Ericsson Local Packet Gateway, deployed close to the gaming application and connected to the CSP’s existing central core network. The mobile gaming application can use a portable device such as VR glasses or use a multi-purpose smartphone or tablet that supports dynamic slice selection. CSP can reuse their existing public network and macro 5G RAN. As another example, CSP can offer 5G edge connectivity to factories or logistic centers for augmented reality (AR) quality inspection. The AR application is deployed on the factory premise and needs an ultra-reliable and low-latency QoS connection to process in real time all the factory images. This is provided by a dedicated Ericsson Local Packet Gateway with ultra-reliable low latency QoS and redundant configuration being deployed on premises. Edge use cases will require user plane services beyond 3GPP There is a set of non-standardized user plane functions deployed in today’s networks (also called GI/N6 LAN functions) for mobile broadband service that would be also relevant for edge use cases. These functions can be categorized as: Traffic acceleration and optimization of access resources e.g., transport layer optimizers or advanced video traffic shapers Network services e.g., carrier grade NAT devices or external load balancers Service aware traffic monitoring and enforcements needed to realize customized CSP charging data plans or comply with some country regulatory such as content filters Network security functions protecting CSP infrastructure and UEs of security attacks such as subscriber firewalls or distributed denial (DDoS) mitigation systems, and Service chain policers and forwarders to chain and offload these GI/N6 LAN functions. Those can be integrated with operator policy framework to compose and program a unique data pipeline which addresses the specific connectivity needs of a given subscriber and application in the context of a certain use case The current GI/N6 LAN market is very fragmented and addressed by many different vendor specific user plane functions. These functions are deployed as separate appliances or virtualized functions, each with their management system, policy integration and cloud orchestration system which significantly increases CSP’s total cost of ownership (TCO) when deploying and managing them. As CSPs start their edge journey they will need to bring some of these GI/N6 functions to the edge. A very simple and cost-efficient strategy to consolidate these functions in one single edge user plane function. This approach is being adopted by Ericsson Local Packet Gateway: it integrates these functions, including advanced integrated Packet Core Firewall, together with the UPF/S/PGW-U functions. This dramatically reduces the TCO and provides a single hop to the end application, which reduces further the latency. Ericsson Local Packet Gateway also allows to compose and tune the set user plane functions applied to a given traffic in one configuration click, which allows to customize the connectivity for each edge use case. Another consideration is that these GI/N6 functions were designed for legacy mobile broadband. This means they will need to evolve to support 5G peak user throughput rates and new 5G segment requirements, e.g., traffic optimizations should focus on optimizing the throughput of uplink transmissions and reducing the overall jitter and latency. Service aware charging models will evolve as 5G gets monetized, security for edge enterprise connectivity will keep evolving as well. Technological innovation in this space is a must for any edge user plane vendor and should be holistic considering the entire ecosystem and end-to-end solution behavior. As one example, edge user plane can leverage 3GPP exposure interfaces for application detection, use collaborative solutions with content providers or RAN to optimize traffic delivery or even adapt traffic optimizations to new end to end rate adaptation mechanisms such as low latency low loss scalable throughput (L4S). Ericsson, as an end-to-end network provider and key contributor to 5G standardization, is working actively in this space. Edge connectivity needs to be monitored and assured CSPs need to monitor, troubleshoot, and assure the edge user plane connectivity. In many cases the CSP organizations dealing with enterprises services have their own analytic and management systems. Those systems need to evolve to provide visibility of the 5G encrypted communication, up to on enterprise premise and without compromising 5G security and provide advanced insights to meet the stringent service level agreements of edge use cases. Example of user plane data feeds are traffic packet and patterns statistics, key performance indicators at transport level or service quality of experience estimates per application, area of interest, slice and subscriber type. CSP analytic use cases will also evolve, meaning network assurance and service experience management use cases will increasingly adopt AI/ML models with distinct and very demanding UP data sets running in parallel. External probing solutions were not designed for these requirements. The cost of evolving and deploying such solutions to thousands of edges is unaffordable. Ericsson Local Packet Gateway addresses this challenge by supporting integrated dual-mode probing capabilities which includes rich, granular data with pre-processed data and advanced data collection profiles avoiding the need of deploying external taps, packet broker and probes at edge. Software probes are a unique Ericsson dual mode 5G Core feature – a feature that’s very popular with our customers for public network and enterprise solutions. CSP will also introduce network data analytics function (NWDAF) function to enable 5G analytics for further 5G automation, new exposure APIs for verticals and data efficiency. An NWDAF can collect edge user plane and public network data to provide real time analytics which can be consumed by the network functions or by the end edge application to improve further the edge connectivity. Example of those analytics are user mobility, network congestion, quality of service, service experience or abnormal user behavior. Ideally, the NWDAF should be distributed at the edge and deployed co-located to the edge user plane for data efficiency, security and lower actuation latency. Ericsson NWDAF supports such distributed and co-located deployment and analytics and can collect pre-standard data from the Local Packet Gateway data until 3GPP rel-18 specifies UPF event exposure. Edge exposure for advanced edge connectivity Exposure through APIs on the edge is becoming increasingly important for CSPs to enable new services, increase their relevance in the 5G ecosystem and become more attractive partners for hyperscale cloud providers, application ecosystems and other players. Edge applications will be able to consume network capabilities and data to provide advanced services and innovate. Data extracted from edge user plane function will be of high value. For example, to determine the exact UE sessions being anchored by a given edge user plane, the actual monitored QoS, etc. Such exposure capabilities in edge user plane allows application to adapt the content delivery or reconfigure dynamically the connectivity, e.g., change dynamically the negotiated QoS or influence edge routing. As mentioned previously, NWDAF user plane analytics can be also exposed for advanced edge use cases. Ericsson is already working with our customers to create new edge use cases using Ericsson Local Packet Gateway and Edge Exposure Server. Stay tuned! Summary: In this blog post we’ve explained the different considerations that need to be taken into account when selecting the 5G edge user plane, and how it enables flexible virtual private and hybrid 4G private solution deployments and address the user experience idiosyncrasy of myriads of edge use cases. The 5G edge user plane has to be small, cost efficient, easy to deploy but still extremely powerful and advanced in terms of dual connectivity and added value features. Ericsson Local Packet Gateway is designed with all these capabilities in mind and integrates seamlessly with existing CSP dual-mode 5G Core, delivering edge use cases was never that easy.

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The network and security must converge for 5G-enabled edges

Article | May 3, 2021

In tandem with the deployment of 5G networks is the emergence of edge computing and edge clouds – placing data processing and storage in close proximity to where it’s needed on the enterprise edge. Moving computing closer to the enterprise edge improves network performance and reduces cost as traffic no longer needs to be routed to central clouds. 5G networks and edge computing are creating new business opportunities and richer consumer experiences. Many mobile service providers are planning to shift their network delivery from a few mega-capacity central clouds to thousands of edge clouds that support more agile, customizable services. Without integration, the new 5G network edges are where the new security challenges will likely occur. The performance of 5G networks has to be matched by the associated security and computing components. Without strategic security planning, the necessary security solutions could inadvertently create bottlenecks that negate the value of edge computing. Enabling applications to perform at 5G speeds to ensure expected user experience is one thing, but ensuring that this happens securely, across more network access points than ever before, presents an entirely new set of very serious challenges. Organizations need to be prepared today with stronger, broader, integrated and automated security foundations.

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Spotlight

Meta Networks

Meta Networks is reinventing the secure enterprise network for the cloud age. With Meta's Network-as-a-Service, you can rapidly connect people, applications, clouds, data centers and offices, and secure them with a software-defined perimeter. The Meta NaaS is user-centric, leveraging a cloud-native global backbone to deliver high-performance.

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Enterprise Mobility,Mobile OS

MATRIXX Software’s Digital Commerce Platform Available in Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace

MATRIXX | January 27, 2023

5G monetization solutions leader, MATRIXX software, yesterday announced that the MATRIXX Digital Commerce Platform (DCP) is now available on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, an online store providing software and services to be used with the Azure cloud computing platform. MATRIXX DCP, a cloud native monetization platform gives Communications Services Providers (CSPs) a wide range of monetization options, making it simpler to take advantage of 5G revenue prospects. By installing MATRIXX DCP on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), CSPs may take full advantage of the reliable Azure cloud platform's benefits for the vital goal of monetizing new and cutting-edge services. With a no-code, cloud-native, real-time platform, MATRIXX DCP, a 3GPP-compliant converged charging solution, enables telcos to monetize at web scale. With MATRIXX DCP, operators can scale swiftly in the 5G era and beyond, create differentiated digital consumer experiences, and drive innovation. Marc Price, CTO at MATRIXX Software, said, “Multi-cloud deployments are increasingly important for operators around the world, and are defining the next era of telecommunications.” He further added, “MATRIXX empowers our customers to have access to advanced monetization capabilities, wherever they choose to deploy. Microsoft is a trusted cloud ecosystem partner for CSPs, and with MATRIXX DCP in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, telcos can easily procure and deploy monetization capabilities for emerging services.” About MATRIXX Software Matrix Software provides converged charging and commerce solutions. It’s cloud-native Digital Commerce Platform offers mission-critical, network-grade software that opens new prospects for network monetization. MATRIXX gives service providers the agility they need to quickly build, deploy, and monetize new products and services because to its no-code configuration features. Many of the world’s top IoT players, network infrastructure providers, and communications firms run on the MATRIXX platform. Utilizing business innovation and on-demand customer experience through MATRIXX enables businesses to compete better, produce new revenue, and pursue growth possibilities across markets and verticals.

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Wan Technologies,Wireless,5G

AMD and Viettel Collaborate on 5G Mobile Network Expansion

AMD | December 05, 2022

AMD and Viettel High Tech (Member of Viettel Group) today announced the successful completion of a 5G mobile network field trial deployment conducted by Viettel and powered by AMD Xilinx Zynq™ UltraScale+™ MPSoC devices. As the largest telecom operator in Vietnam serving more than 130 million mobile customers, Viettel High Tech has a rich history of using AMD radio technology with prior 4G deployments and is now accelerating new networks via new 5G remote radio heads. Designed to meet the growing capacity and performance requirements of mobile users globally, the Viettel 5G mobile network is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. AMD is the exclusive radio unit silicon supplier for Viettel’s indigenous 5G radio development. After the successful completion of the first field trial, Zynq MPSoCs are now set to be extended to an additional 300 Macro 8T8R base stations and 900 5G 8T8R Macro radios. The Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC was also chosen by Viettel for its first-generation 64T64R Massive MIMO radio which is currently being optimized for field trials. Viettel is developing the next generation of radios to also include Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC devices, to provide industry-leading integration and higher performance. “Viettel is committed to advancing mobile technology leadership by working closely with AMD to incorporate its adaptable SoC technology into our new generation of 5G networks. Going from VHT's history of making 4G BTS, this decision to scale for the growing demands of 5G was based on evaluating various factors including flexibility, simplification, design stability and the experience of engineers.” Nguyen Vu Ha, general director of Viettel High Tech “5G provides new opportunities to offer higher levels of performance, power efficiency and new services along with increased reliability required to meet the growing data demands of cellular networks,” said Yousef Khalilollahi, corporate vice president of APAC sales, Adaptive and Embedded Computing Group, AMD. “We are proud of our close collaboration with Viettel and remain focused on enabling its mobile network to deliver the optimal end-user experience as well as the flexibility to evolve and grow as Viettel’s user base and required bandwidth continue to increase globally.” About Viettel High Tech As the R&D arm of Viettel Group, Viettel High Tech develops full 5G network architecture including 5 layers: Service/App layers, Core layers, Transportation layers, Access layers, Devices; makes Vietnam one of the few countries that can produce 5G equipment. Collaboration with the leading partners is VHT’s strategy. With the desire to experiment, exchange knowledge, further develop diverse fields, VHT is moving to accompany the international high-tech community. About AMD For more than 50 years AMD has driven innovation in high-performance computing, graphics and visualization technologies. Billions of people, leading Fortune 500 businesses and cutting-edge scientific research institutions around the world rely on AMD technology daily to improve how they live, work and play. AMD employees are focused on building leadership high-performance and adaptive products that push the boundaries of what is possible.

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Network Infrastructure,Network Management,Wan Technologies

Verizon continues to deploy 5G Ultra Wideband faster than expected

Verizon | December 06, 2022

Verizon now covers more than 175 million people with their ultra fast, ultra reliable 5G Ultra Wideband service, and will offer nationwide 5G Ultra Wideband in Q1 2023. The ongoing C-Band rollout is a full 13 months ahead of the original schedule, and continues to accelerate. Less than 21 months after announcing the results of the FCC’s C-band auction and after securing early access to an additional 30 markets this year, Verizon accelerated its build plan and surpassed its goal of reaching 175 million people covered by the end of 2022, a month ahead of schedule. “Our customers don’t stand still and neither does our network. Today, more than one out of every two Americans now have access to 5G Ultra Wideband. We know our customers rely on our service every day and we work for them – continuously enhancing, expanding and improving our wireless network. And as proud as I am to have crossed this milestone, I am equally proud of the way we are building our network – with the most advanced technologies, industry leading security, a robust fiber underpinning and a robust and varied spectrum portfolio. We are building this right. We are building this as a platform for innovation for years to come.” Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO of Verizon. Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband brings power and performance comparable to a wired broadband internet connection to customers’ pockets. With download speeds up to one gigabit per second and the capacity to support data-heavy actions, 5G Ultra Wideband frees people up to do things on the go that many could only do before when connected to their home internet service. This includes everything from downloading huge documents and seamlessly streaming movies in HD audio and video, to playing console quality games and conducting video chats, video conferencing and FaceTime calls with clear sound and video. Verizon customers have much more to look forward to Verizon will continue to build out its 5G Ultra Wideband network using C-band spectrum providing service for millions more customers in the coming months, but Verizon’s engineers are not losing sight of the other critical components that will give customers the most reliable, secure, and robust experience possible on the Verizon network. In addition to providing greater coverage, especially in rural and suburban areas, Verizon will also enhance capacity by activating 100 MHz of C-Band spectrum in many markets, a significant step up from the 60 MHz of spectrum available when deployment first began. Once all of its licensed spectrum is made available, Verizon will have up to 200 MHz of C-Band spectrum deployed in many markets, which will provide exceptional speed and capacity. Complementing the wide coverage of Verizon’s premier C-Band spectrum, Verizon will continue deploying 5G on mmWave spectrum which provides for exponential capacity in areas with significantly dense populations such as venues, stadiums, arenas, airports, major metro areas, office complexes and more. mmWave will also continue to be used for private network deployments when enterprise customers need the fastest, most robust 5G service available for their enterprise applications from wireless manufacturing solutions to connected vehicles to remote healthcare and more. In addition to making 5G more accessible to more people, Verizon will continue focusing on building out the advanced technologies that provide increased security, reliability and customized experiences for customers. Those advancements include fully deploying the 5G core with Verizon’s proprietary cloud platform built specifically for telco workloads, advancing the fiber network to handle exponential increases in data traffic, continuing massive virtualization of the network to add programmability and flexibility into the network, using artificial intelligence to drive reliability and performance, continuing to develop edge computing capabilities to drive down latency, and continuing to advance antenna configurations to drive speed and efficiency.

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Enterprise Mobility,Mobile OS

MATRIXX Software’s Digital Commerce Platform Available in Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace

MATRIXX | January 27, 2023

5G monetization solutions leader, MATRIXX software, yesterday announced that the MATRIXX Digital Commerce Platform (DCP) is now available on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, an online store providing software and services to be used with the Azure cloud computing platform. MATRIXX DCP, a cloud native monetization platform gives Communications Services Providers (CSPs) a wide range of monetization options, making it simpler to take advantage of 5G revenue prospects. By installing MATRIXX DCP on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), CSPs may take full advantage of the reliable Azure cloud platform's benefits for the vital goal of monetizing new and cutting-edge services. With a no-code, cloud-native, real-time platform, MATRIXX DCP, a 3GPP-compliant converged charging solution, enables telcos to monetize at web scale. With MATRIXX DCP, operators can scale swiftly in the 5G era and beyond, create differentiated digital consumer experiences, and drive innovation. Marc Price, CTO at MATRIXX Software, said, “Multi-cloud deployments are increasingly important for operators around the world, and are defining the next era of telecommunications.” He further added, “MATRIXX empowers our customers to have access to advanced monetization capabilities, wherever they choose to deploy. Microsoft is a trusted cloud ecosystem partner for CSPs, and with MATRIXX DCP in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, telcos can easily procure and deploy monetization capabilities for emerging services.” About MATRIXX Software Matrix Software provides converged charging and commerce solutions. It’s cloud-native Digital Commerce Platform offers mission-critical, network-grade software that opens new prospects for network monetization. MATRIXX gives service providers the agility they need to quickly build, deploy, and monetize new products and services because to its no-code configuration features. Many of the world’s top IoT players, network infrastructure providers, and communications firms run on the MATRIXX platform. Utilizing business innovation and on-demand customer experience through MATRIXX enables businesses to compete better, produce new revenue, and pursue growth possibilities across markets and verticals.

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Wan Technologies,Wireless,5G

AMD and Viettel Collaborate on 5G Mobile Network Expansion

AMD | December 05, 2022

AMD and Viettel High Tech (Member of Viettel Group) today announced the successful completion of a 5G mobile network field trial deployment conducted by Viettel and powered by AMD Xilinx Zynq™ UltraScale+™ MPSoC devices. As the largest telecom operator in Vietnam serving more than 130 million mobile customers, Viettel High Tech has a rich history of using AMD radio technology with prior 4G deployments and is now accelerating new networks via new 5G remote radio heads. Designed to meet the growing capacity and performance requirements of mobile users globally, the Viettel 5G mobile network is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. AMD is the exclusive radio unit silicon supplier for Viettel’s indigenous 5G radio development. After the successful completion of the first field trial, Zynq MPSoCs are now set to be extended to an additional 300 Macro 8T8R base stations and 900 5G 8T8R Macro radios. The Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC was also chosen by Viettel for its first-generation 64T64R Massive MIMO radio which is currently being optimized for field trials. Viettel is developing the next generation of radios to also include Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC devices, to provide industry-leading integration and higher performance. “Viettel is committed to advancing mobile technology leadership by working closely with AMD to incorporate its adaptable SoC technology into our new generation of 5G networks. Going from VHT's history of making 4G BTS, this decision to scale for the growing demands of 5G was based on evaluating various factors including flexibility, simplification, design stability and the experience of engineers.” Nguyen Vu Ha, general director of Viettel High Tech “5G provides new opportunities to offer higher levels of performance, power efficiency and new services along with increased reliability required to meet the growing data demands of cellular networks,” said Yousef Khalilollahi, corporate vice president of APAC sales, Adaptive and Embedded Computing Group, AMD. “We are proud of our close collaboration with Viettel and remain focused on enabling its mobile network to deliver the optimal end-user experience as well as the flexibility to evolve and grow as Viettel’s user base and required bandwidth continue to increase globally.” About Viettel High Tech As the R&D arm of Viettel Group, Viettel High Tech develops full 5G network architecture including 5 layers: Service/App layers, Core layers, Transportation layers, Access layers, Devices; makes Vietnam one of the few countries that can produce 5G equipment. Collaboration with the leading partners is VHT’s strategy. With the desire to experiment, exchange knowledge, further develop diverse fields, VHT is moving to accompany the international high-tech community. About AMD For more than 50 years AMD has driven innovation in high-performance computing, graphics and visualization technologies. Billions of people, leading Fortune 500 businesses and cutting-edge scientific research institutions around the world rely on AMD technology daily to improve how they live, work and play. AMD employees are focused on building leadership high-performance and adaptive products that push the boundaries of what is possible.

Read More

Network Infrastructure,Network Management,Wan Technologies

Verizon continues to deploy 5G Ultra Wideband faster than expected

Verizon | December 06, 2022

Verizon now covers more than 175 million people with their ultra fast, ultra reliable 5G Ultra Wideband service, and will offer nationwide 5G Ultra Wideband in Q1 2023. The ongoing C-Band rollout is a full 13 months ahead of the original schedule, and continues to accelerate. Less than 21 months after announcing the results of the FCC’s C-band auction and after securing early access to an additional 30 markets this year, Verizon accelerated its build plan and surpassed its goal of reaching 175 million people covered by the end of 2022, a month ahead of schedule. “Our customers don’t stand still and neither does our network. Today, more than one out of every two Americans now have access to 5G Ultra Wideband. We know our customers rely on our service every day and we work for them – continuously enhancing, expanding and improving our wireless network. And as proud as I am to have crossed this milestone, I am equally proud of the way we are building our network – with the most advanced technologies, industry leading security, a robust fiber underpinning and a robust and varied spectrum portfolio. We are building this right. We are building this as a platform for innovation for years to come.” Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO of Verizon. Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband brings power and performance comparable to a wired broadband internet connection to customers’ pockets. With download speeds up to one gigabit per second and the capacity to support data-heavy actions, 5G Ultra Wideband frees people up to do things on the go that many could only do before when connected to their home internet service. This includes everything from downloading huge documents and seamlessly streaming movies in HD audio and video, to playing console quality games and conducting video chats, video conferencing and FaceTime calls with clear sound and video. Verizon customers have much more to look forward to Verizon will continue to build out its 5G Ultra Wideband network using C-band spectrum providing service for millions more customers in the coming months, but Verizon’s engineers are not losing sight of the other critical components that will give customers the most reliable, secure, and robust experience possible on the Verizon network. In addition to providing greater coverage, especially in rural and suburban areas, Verizon will also enhance capacity by activating 100 MHz of C-Band spectrum in many markets, a significant step up from the 60 MHz of spectrum available when deployment first began. Once all of its licensed spectrum is made available, Verizon will have up to 200 MHz of C-Band spectrum deployed in many markets, which will provide exceptional speed and capacity. Complementing the wide coverage of Verizon’s premier C-Band spectrum, Verizon will continue deploying 5G on mmWave spectrum which provides for exponential capacity in areas with significantly dense populations such as venues, stadiums, arenas, airports, major metro areas, office complexes and more. mmWave will also continue to be used for private network deployments when enterprise customers need the fastest, most robust 5G service available for their enterprise applications from wireless manufacturing solutions to connected vehicles to remote healthcare and more. In addition to making 5G more accessible to more people, Verizon will continue focusing on building out the advanced technologies that provide increased security, reliability and customized experiences for customers. Those advancements include fully deploying the 5G core with Verizon’s proprietary cloud platform built specifically for telco workloads, advancing the fiber network to handle exponential increases in data traffic, continuing massive virtualization of the network to add programmability and flexibility into the network, using artificial intelligence to drive reliability and performance, continuing to develop edge computing capabilities to drive down latency, and continuing to advance antenna configurations to drive speed and efficiency.

Read More

Events