On the Road to Digital Transformation, All Cloud Networks Pave the Way

The digital and physical worlds are merging as one, and as our lives transform before us, the telecom sector faces greater opportunities and challenges than ever before. ICT technology is developing in both scope and depth, while IT, cloud computing and Internet technologies are reshaping the world. Human and business activities are shifting from offline to online, and the digital economy is growing stronger every day. Against this backdrop of challenges and opportunities, global carriers are turning to digital transformation as their strategic path forward, with end-to-end cloudification as the most practical first step. 

Like the evolution to All IP, going "All Cloud" will be a long-term process that requires top-level design. Based on future service demands, cloud-based network architecture needs to be designed in a systematic way, complete with specific network evolution strategies and step-by-step implementation plans. Cloud-based network architecture also needs to support the transition to 5G. 

All Cloud networks have three defining characteristics:

1.Hardware resource pooling: This includes the pooling of DC computing and storage resources, WAN bandwidth resources, and Access network resources such as wireless baseband and air interface. Pooled resources transform traditional silos in network architecture that dedicate one piece of hardware to one application, effectively maximizing hardware resource sharing.

2.Distributed software architecture: This is key to building large-scale network systems. Fully distributed systems based on cloud-native software architecture offer tremendous value in several respects:

  • Scalability – enabling on-demand scale-in/out 
  • Service quality – enabling five-nines reliability for telecoms services on three-nines hardware
  • Service agility – enabling unified gray release and upgrade of data software on PaaS, significantly shortening service development and provisioning times 

3.Automated operations: That is, self-operation, optimization and healing. Backed by hardware resource pooling and distributed software architecture, with big data analytics and machine learning, cloud networks support proactive maintenance as well as automated service deployment, resource scheduling and fault handling, thereby minimizing human intervention and boosting O&M efficiency. 

Huawei's All Cloud strategy has been a long time in the making. In 2012, Huawei launched SoftCOM, a future-oriented All Cloud network architecture, and developed cloud solutions for a wide range of network scenarios. These solutions include CloudAIR, CloudRAN and CloudFAN for wireless access networks, CloudEdge for edge nodes, CloudCore for core nodes, and Cloud Metro and Cloud DCI for bearer networks. Huawei also provides solutions for horizontal network scenarios, such as cloud DC infrastructure, open integrated telecom cloud platforms, and next-gen digital operations platforms — Telco OS. Through a vast network of Open Cloud Labs across the globe, Huawei works closely with customers to design the future of network architecture, and perform integration and verification. 

Building All Cloud networks takes concerted effort between all industry players. In the spirit of openness, collaboration and shared success, Huawei is ready and willing to partner with all members of the industry ecosystem. Together, we can build All Cloud networks that help put carriers on the right path to digitalization, enabling them to tap into the depths of new digital markets.