The goal of network modernization is to drive greater classes of service innovation and timely enablement. CSPs are considering the following key objectives as they transform their networks and design for new business and operational models.

Fixed Mobile Convergence

As networks evolved through 2G and 3G generations, the voice and data network architectures particularly the circuit-switched and packet-switched networks were separated. As networks evolved, the CSPs went towards an all IP network, therefore the convergence of fixed and mobile networking. The environments for voice mostly share the core networking components with different access networks. The scale, performance, and management of such converged networks are more critical now than earlier.

Data Intensive Workload Acceleration

The demand for throughput has increased exponentially with smart devices and immersive media services. The networking and compute expenditures continue to grow to meet such demands in traffic throughput. Acceleration technologies such as DPDK, SR-IOV, and hardware offload are at the forefront to reduce OpEx for data intensive applications.

Distributed Clouds

To meet the increased bandwidth and low-latency requirements, network designs are expanding the centralized compute models to distributed edge computing models. Certain level of edge distribution exists in the regional and core data centers. However, further edge distribution is necessary to control traffic backhauling and to improve latencies. In conjunction, VNFs are disaggregating to distribute data plane functions at the edges of the network whereas control functions are centralized. Service distribution and elasticity are vital part of the network design consideration.

Network Slicing

Network slicing is a way for cloud infrastructure to isolate resources and networking to control the performance and security for workloads that are executing on the shared pool of physical infrastructure. With distributed topologies, the concept of network slicing furthermore stretches across multiple cloud infrastructures, including access, edge, and core virtual and physical infrastructures. Multi-tenancy leverages such resource isolation to deploy and optimize VNFs to meet customer SLAs.

Dynamic Operational Intelligence

The cloud infrastructures must be adaptive to meet the needs of workloads. Rightsizing the environment and dynamic workload optimizations, including initial placement, are part of the continuous automation orchestration. The cloud infrastructure environments require integrated operational intelligence to continuously monitor, report, and act in a timely manner with prescriptive and predictive analytics.

Policy-Based Consistency and Management

Model-driven approaches play a key role in the modern cloud infrastructures. Resource modeling, runtime operational policies, security profiles, declarative policies, movement of policies with workloads, onboarding, and so on, ensure consistency and ease of management.

Carrier-Grade Platform

The cloud infrastructure environment must meet the strict requirements for availability, fault tolerance, scale, and performance. Security is necessary across the transport, data, and workload dimensions. The mobility of workloads across distributed clouds introduces a new challenge for its authenticity and integrity.