VMware Telco Cloud is a purpose-built, carrier-grade cloud services platform, containing NFV features that are designed to support the Communication Service Provider (CSP) requirements for any telco workload including OSS/BSS, VAS, and 4G (LTE), 5G core, and RAN network functions.

The following diagram illustrates the Telco Cloud reference model, with each tier representing an abstraction of the Telco Cloud functional components.

Figure 1. Abstraction Layers of VMware Telco Cloud
Abstraction Layers of VMware Telco Cloud
Telco Cloud Layer


Physical Tier

Represents compute hardware, storage, and physical networking as the underlying pool of shared resources.

Telco Cloud Infrastructure Tier

The lowest tier of VMware Telco Cloud. The Telco Cloud Infrastructure layer provides the virtualization run-time environment with network functions and resource isolation for VM and container workloads. Virtualized compute, storage, and networking are delivered as an integrated solution through vSphere, vSAN, and NSX.

The infrastructure tier is aimed at VM-based Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) and is delivered through a Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM) layer. The VIM layer provides tenancy, resource isolation and guarantees for operating VNFs in a multi-vendor environment.

The Infrastructure tier is optimized for telco-class workloads to enable the delivery of quality and resilient services. Infrastructure high availability, performance, and scale considerations that are built into this tier serve as the foundation for upper-level tiers.

Telco Cloud Platform Tier

Provides service management and control functions that bridge the virtual resource orchestration and physical functions to deliver Container Infrastructure Service Management and onboarding / instantiation of Network Functions and Services (both VNF and CNF).

The Telco Cloud platform tier is aimed at Cloud-Native Network functions. These functions are delivered through the CaaS management capabilities of Telco Cloud Automation, including Kubernetes cluster creation and lifecycle management as well as function design, instantiation, and lifecycle management.

The design, instantiation of VNFs from the Telco Cloud Platform tier is also supported, allowing integration with the VIM layer from the Telco Cloud Infrastructure tier.

The Telco Cloud Platform Tier is a centralized control and management function embedded with automation and optimization capabilities and leverages the capabilities provided by the Telco Cloud Infrastructure Layer.

Telco Cloud Operations Tier

An integrated operational intelligence for infrastructure day 0, 1, and 2 operations that spans across all tiers. The functional components of the operations management tier provide bare-metal provisioning of the host OS, logging, topology discovery, observability frameworks, health monitoring, alerting, issue isolation, and closed-loop automation and remediation for 4G, 5G Core, and RAN environments.

Business Continuity Tier

A suite of processes, design considerations, and applications are designed to support Data Replication, Backup, and Restore capabilities alongside a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plan.

Security Tier

The Security Tier is responsible for implementing/applying end-to-end security policies such as firewalling, micro-segmentation, and intrusion detection across all tiers within the Telco Cloud.