Solar Eclipse: Charting The Path Toward 5G Totality

Oregon, specifically central Oregon, lies in the path of totality for the solar eclipse. While it’s exciting, we’re also bracing for a massive influx of people eager to experience total darkness in the middle of the day. Early reports are predicting up to one million cars hitting Oregon’s highways, which our infrastructure isn’t prepared to handle. Many companies are encouraging employees to work from home so they can experience the first total eclipse to cross the continental United States in 38 years – without getting stuck in 10 hours of traffic. Radisys, located in Hillsboro, Oregon, lies just north of the path of totality. We’ll be stepping outside at 10:00am on August 21 to experience this once-in-a-lifetime event.

But it’s not just our roads that will feel the strain. Cellular infrastructure will be stretched past capacity, especially in rural communities that are preparing for the sudden localized population explosion. Anyone hoping to live stream the eclipse, or even just call their family, may be out of luck. The potential strain on this critical infrastructure has prompted the Oregon Dept. of Emergency Management to create a Special Event Guide for communities. And just as importantly for everyone in those areas, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile are working to increase capacity for mobile networks by deploying portable towers and “cells on wheels.” In essence, these service providers are bringing the network to the edge, and in this case pushing the edge out as far as possible.

Much of what we are seeing in these deployments are various iterations of Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC), an essential part of delivering 5G in the future. By moving network processing functions closer to the end user, MEC enables service providers to deliver the experience that end users expect with today’s low latency, high bandwidth applications and live streaming services. MEC environments provide an optimized environment for improved delivery of many new and emerging services. For example, providing real-time analytics of bandwidth availability can be used to optimize video frame and bitrates of streamed content. This will significantly improve the video streaming service experiences for the tens of thousands of solar eclipse watchers connecting to the network.

The upcoming solar eclipse may not only be a wonder of nature and great for Oregon tourism, but in many ways, this is as unique of an opportunity to observe and learn from a real-world use case as the industry continues to make 5G a reality. As users seek to connect and live stream the eclipse, localized surges in demand will allow us to evaluate how a variety of solutions perform, and identify the challenges and opportunities as the industry continues to leverage MEC to advance toward 5G.

Radisys is excited to watch the eclipse (with the proper safety glasses, of course!) along with all of our current and new friends who will be joining us. We’ll also be watching and learning from all the CSPs who are working diligently to make sure that we are all able to document and share these memories with the rest of the world.

This is a great time for Oregon, and the Telecoms industry. Radisys remains committed to delivering open telecom solutions which will make the lessons learned from this event a reality.

5G Use Cases and Intel Innovation on Display at 5G World in London

5G Use Cases and Intel Innovation on Display at 5G World in London
By Caroline Chan, Vice President, GM 5G Infrastructure Division, Network Platforms Group

The buzz around 5G is about much more than opening up new wireless spectrum and maximizing investments in virtualized networks; it’s the use cases that excite people in every vertical market outside the world of telecommunications.

At 5G World, we will showcase some of the compelling use cases and the underlying innovations that span the core, access and edge of the network. Let’s walk through some of the highlights we have planned in London from June 12-14.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) 5G, Multi-access Edge Computing

We will highlight a recent IIOT 5G use case test with Telia Company Finland* and Nokia* at Nokia’s factory in Oulu, Finland. The use case was of live video from an assembly line where a worker committed intentional process errors. Video data was transmitted over a 5G radio access network (RAN) and a fiber network to a data center. A hosted analytics application scanned the video data and delivered alarms to the assembly line worker resulting in reduced errors and improved performance. The application is intended to improve the productivity and safety of manufacturing conditions for workers.

The benefit of the Nokia AirFrame* solution is that Nokia will continue to monitor factory operations through its existing networks and move to 5G with a simple software upgrade in the future.

Edge Computing: Coordinating Emergency Response
For the first time, Telia Group Sweden*, Skydome* and Intel will showcase a public safety application made possible by high-powered, edge compute resources, biometrics, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR).

Applications use video and data gathered from remote cameras, monitors and sensors to alert city officials of emergency scenarios, such as fires and traffic accidents. Data is retrieved, processed and analyzed locally, reducing latency and supporting real-time responses for city managers who can coordinate and control the response using an interactive, control center, biometrics and VR/AR functionality.

5G Infrastructure Reference Design and Use Cases
Based on Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), the Intel 5G Infrastructure Architecture will make it possible to efficiently use compute infrastructure by dynamically shifting workloads based on demand. Because the infrastructure is software-based, communication service providers (CommSPs) can more rapidly deliver new edge computing solutions and services and lower the cost of operations.

At the event, we are showcasing this technology by demonstrating 4K HEVC video streaming and transcoding with AR/VR running on an Intel architecture-based virtualized RAN and edge computing platform. The demonstration has both commercially available and open source components that will allow CommSPs to quickly stand up edge services.

Amdocs* services portfolio spans the entire network from the RAN and backhaul to EPC and IMS, and can help CommSPs to deploy the required 5G infrastructure in accordance with Intel reference architecture. Intel’s demo showcases an end-to-end virtual RAN running on Intel architecture using:

Radisys*: Layer 2 and 3 software
Wind River*: Titanium Cloud software; virtualization platform
Mavenir*: Virtual evolved packet core (vEPC)
Amdocs: NFV Orchestration and Visualization powered by ONAP
Intel: FlexRAN virtual base band unit (vBBU)
Next Generation Central Office Reference Design
CommSPs are investing in Next Generation Central Offices (NGCOs) to more effectively process existing data traffic and prepare for 5G. These local edge datacenters can support at least five times the number of fixed and mobile subscribers served by traditional central offices. (read Intel blog) At 5G World, we will showcase the first reference design for NGCO deployments, utilizing the Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors.

Accelerating Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) with Intel® Select Solutions

Momentum continues to build around the Intel® Select Solutions for NFVI program to deliver optimized, verified solutions targeting complex network workloads. 5G World London marks the launch of the Advantech* SKY-8201 High-performance Server and FWA-6170 White Box Appliance, based on Intel® Select Solutions for NFVI and powered by dual Intel® Xeon® Platinum 8160T processors. Read more about the Advantech solutions.

We also recently announced our Intel® Select Solutions for uCPE, and partners are busy getting commercial solutions to market. We are really excited with the progress and will share more details soon.

VMware* vCloud NFV-OpenStack 3.0 Utilizes Intel Data Plane Development Kit

In the announcement of its new, network functions virtualization (NFV) platform, VMware disclosed its work with Intel to integrate and optimize the Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) network acceleration with VMware vCloud NFV 3.0. The next-generation VMware solution promises to deliver 3-5x performance improvement and the advanced features required by CommSPs.

Engage Intel at 5G World Sessions

I’m honored to deliver the 5G World keynote for Intel, titled “Enabling New Insights with 5G.” Please join me in the Keynote Theatre on June 13th at 11:25 BST as I share Intel’s vision for 5G, Network Transformation and insights from our earliest deployments.

I will be joining Nokia and RCR Wireless* for a June 14th breakfast session, titled “5G, AI & Edge Computing Tech Brief to Realize Adaptive Networks.” This should be an exciting and information session packed with real-world information from our partnership. You will need to pre-register to attend.

Several of our 5G experts, will join 5G World panels, including “Pioneering 5G Trials” on Wednesday, June 13 and “Towards vRAN Enabling 5G” on Thursday, June 14.

Visit the 5G World website for more information on times and locations of these and other informative sessions.

server rooms

Least Cost Clouding

If you’ve spent time in or around the telecom industry, then you’ve inevitably heard the term ‘Least Cost Routing (LCR)’. If not, here you go:

Least Cost Routing (LCR) is the process of selecting the path of outbound communications traffic based on cost. Within a telecoms carrier, an LCR team might periodically (monthly, weekly or even daily) choose between routes from several or even hundreds of carriers for destinations across the world. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Least-cost_routing 

The method of LCR is a common practice among the telecom industry in an effort to drive down operating expenses but perhaps a newer, more modern term that you haven’t heard is Least Cost Clouding (LCC) – and that is because I just made it up : )

In all seriousness, the concepts of LCR will apply to cloud and with the cloudification of everything, including telecom, the process of selecting the underlying infrastructure provider based on cost to drive down cloud operating expense will eventually become a common practice as well. The (3) significant driving factors being:

  • Cloud competition driving down costs in an effort to obtain market share
  • The continuous migration from hardware-based to software-based components (in telecom those being media servers, SBCs, application servers, load balancers, etc.)
  • The access to, control of and flexibly with each component through an API-centric approach

Consider this, additional capacity is required to accommodate peak-hour traffic within a network – rather than default to a single cloud hosting provider, low-cost spare compute capacity (i.e., AWS spot, Google Cloud preemptible and Azure low-priority VMs) from each cloud provider are priced out. The networking component necessary for the additional capacity is hardware agnostic and can run on any hosted infrastructure, therefore your service selects which cloud provider the new instance will be launched with based on lowest cost.

The result is a fully-scalable, fully-elastic, hosted solution that is seemingly a hodgepodge of underlying infrastructure providers yet cost optimized to deliver the lowest operating expenses possible.

Now that is Least Cost Clouding!

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