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Nokia claims it’s hatched a ‘telco cloud’ architecture

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Illustration: Nokia

As the move to telco virtualisation gathers pace (that is, probably faster than at first thought) it’s inevitable that the marketing spotlight is turning to the physical environment the new virtual functions are going to operate in. There’s gold in them thar data centres…

On cue Nokia has announced that it’s been giving some thought to what’s needed in a ‘telco’ cloud, given the extra requirements around latency and five nines reliability.

Nokia says that as telcos have headed towards the cloud their first impulse has been to emulate IT ‘best practice and architecture’. This, however, is not sufficient. It argues that to deliver the services of the future, in particular 5G which looks likely to involve stringent latency requirements, there’s going to have to be a flexible environment which enables some functions, sometimes, to be located outside the central data centre and at or near the edge of the network.

“Network architectures will need a re-think, with layered and distributed network topologies containing the optimised hardware needed to deliver unparalleled performance and the greatest flexibility,” it claims.

Enter Nokia’s AirFrame Data Center Solution, designed to fill just this niche. The package includes ultra-dense servers, switches and software-defined storage which, when plugged together, is designed to hit all the telco markers around both QoS and performance as well as specific regulatory requirements.

Nokia today also announced what it claims is the first ‘Telco Cloud Index for operators’, which, it says, is designed to help operators advance their telco cloud strategies and evaluate and close gaps in execution planning.

“The index assesses the maturity of an operator's current cloud technology deployments, and business operations and processes. This enables operators to measure progress toward their telco cloud objectives, identify the technology and process changes needed to meet those objectives, and see how their headway measures up in the industry.”

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