In a 5G network it is the cloud that is the platform

Martyn Warwick
By Martyn Warwick

Nov 14, 2019

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Kit Beall, VP Data Analytics, VMware

Earlier this year, VMware bought the artificial intelligence and machine learning company Uhana. In this interview, VMware's VP of Data Analytics, Kit Beal, explains that by acquiring Uhana's considerable expertise in data science and its deep understanding of mobile and data networks, the cloud, mobility and 5G and combining them with VMWare's huge, 20 year-long experience of virtualisation technologies, the company will bring AI and ML to the mobile network to enable the delivery of a massively enhanced experience for the user and much improved economics for CSPs.

Uhana built a high-scale, high performance AI and ML suite of products designed to help CSPs not only in operational matters but also to aid them in developing new services applications leading to 5G and network slicing. What's more, Uhana's technology was built as cloud native from the outset and with 5G the cloud becomes the platform because the network is built on top of the cloud. Thus the architecture of 5G ensures and even dictates that in due course 5G will will run as an app on the cloud - with far-reaching consequences.

By leveraging the benefits of the Uhana acquisition VMware can now blend AI, ML and automation and integrate that capability with the VMware product suite for telcos and also extend the network from the traditional CSP domain out into the enterprise through a multicloud environment - and this is where Uhana has particular expertise in in areas such as network performance and workload placement.

So, with VMware's product line bolstered by the Uhana acquisition, CSPs benefit by being able to see and access a fine-grain, high-resolution picture of their network all the way down to the level of the anonymised individual user. They can examine behaviour and actions in individual sessions and analyse them, instantaneously, in real-time to optimise network connections and performance.

One of VMware's major contributions to 5G is to bring a deep understanding not only of how the radio network is performing but also how the cloud is performing. Not only that, VMware's expertise allows adjustments to be made to high-value workloads in real time. This is a vital capability because in the future it will be the  efficiency of the cloud that will dictate the efficiency with which the entire network is running.

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