Next-Generation Telco Cloud Based on Cloud Native

As cloud-based transformation advances, global mainstream operators have leveraged NFV-based telco cloud to build efficient, agile, and elastic basic networks. Faced with the differentiated requirements of 5G in various industries, the telecom industry is turning toward the next-generation telco cloud based on Cloud Native as a solution to mitigate potential influence of unpredictability and has been continuously exploring the potential of its technology.

Cloud Native is borrowed from IT and enhanced based on NFV. Comprising key technologies and excellent practices, it is a system paradigm of building, running, and managing software in the cloud environment. Cloud Native's introduction to the telecom industry facilitates the construction of a next-generation telecom network featuring resource elasticity, robustness, and agility based on virtualization.

Cloud Native: Embraced by the Industry

Standards organizations, open-source organizations and communities represented by 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), and Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) have been dedicated to promoting Cloud Native in the telecom field.

3GPP Release 15 first introduced the service-based architecture (SBA), in which network functions can be decoupled and abstracted as network services for independent scaling and evolution. In March 2018, CNCF officially released Kubernetes, a container management system built to efficiently manage cross-host container clusters and resources, as well as automatically deploy applications. To enable container-based deployment, ETSI introduced Cloud Native to the telco cloud field based on the existing NFV standards and architecture.

Figure 1: Network topology under SBA

As a leading global provider of ICT infrastructures, Huawei has actively contributed to building the Cloud Native ecosystem. It has also contributed not only to key capabilities for the Kubernetes community, such as parallel scheduling and cluster federation, but also to key capabilities for the Docker community, which include enhanced control of CPU and memory. Until now, Huawei has been regarded as the largest contributor to standards organizations and communities among all telecom equipment suppliers.

5G-Oriented Telco Cloud

To help operators adapt to the ever-changing 5G business requirements, Huawei proposed Telco Converged Cloud (TCC). It is the industry's first Cloud Native-based, next-generation telco cloud solution and a product of Huawei's continuous R&D in the Cloud Native field and extensive experience in cloud transformation practices.

Figure 2: TCC architecture

This solution features:

  • Dual-stack architecture: The TCC platform supports OpenStack-based VMs and Kubernetes-based containers. In addition, while enabling existing VNFs deployed on VMs to continue providing services, TCC introduces containerized applications to drive innovation in B2B, B2C, and B2H businesses in the 5G era. Benefiting from the vast agility brought by containers, TCC helps carriers quickly meet market requirements and achieve business success.
  • Unified resource management (URM): URM integrates the underlying compute, network, and storage resources, and provides available resources on demand for upper-layer applications including VMs and containers. Moreover, URM-based deployment requires fewer resources than those required by the independently deployed VM or container pool.
  • Carrier-class performance and reliability: Cloud Native has become the future of telco cloud. However, native Kubernetes applications fail to meet the reliability and performance requirements in the telecom field. Leveraging technologies such as CPU isolation, NUMA anti-affinity, and huge page memory, Huawei enhances the performance of Kubernetes-based applications and provides features such as stateless design, N-way redundancy, and A/B testing to achieve carrier-class reliability.
  • Huawei TCC provides the cornerstone for network transformation and builds future networks to drive 5G service innovation. We believe that with TCC powered by Cloud Native, Huawei can help operators build elastic, robust, and agile 5G core networks, and seize new business opportunities brought by 5G.