Telcos stepping up to cloud native challenge – Vodafone

  • DSP Leaders World Forum 2020 session focuses on the telco journey to cloud native deployments
  • Vodafone believes the industry is stepping up to the many challenges
  • Management of hybrid architectures key to successful transition

The shift to a cloud native world is a tough one for communications service providers, but the telecom sector is “stepping up to those challenges now,” noted Vodafone’s Rabi Abdel during the DSP Leaders World Forum 2020 session How to Implement Cloud Native Network Transformation.

Abdel, who is Network Cloud Principal Architect & Senior Manager, Cloud & Automation CoE, at Vodafone Group, noted there are still many challenges to overcome in terms of security and networking, but that the industry has bene collaborating on what is “a journey… Containerization has been working quite nicely in the IT workload – we really need to find a way now to apply it to network virtualization as well,” stated Abdel. He added that CNTT [Common NFVi Task Force] – a LF Networking project – now has more than 50 operators “that are trying to collaboratively create a reference architecture for the containerization platform.”

Diego R. Lopez, Senior Technology Expert at Telefónica, agreed that there are still many “strong challenges” associated with cloud native implementation by telcos, but that this is a long journey: “We will be making the network evolve for the coming 20 or 30 years.”

But the journey has begun: Steve Legge, COO at NetNumber, noted that while there is a “spectrum of readiness” in the telco community – “some operators are just investing in NFV… it depends where they are on their journey to 5G” – cloud native started to appear in RFPs about six months ago, proofs of concept (PoCs) are emerging and “we expect to see PoCs ramp up in 2021.” 

Gary Mackenzie, Senior Solution Architect, EMEA Telco Technology Office, at Red Hat is also seeing evidence of early telco cloud native PoCs “for network functions – a lot of IT workloads are ready.” He stressed also that the shift to cloud native for network operators “is a journey – not an on/off switch or an end point.” Mackenzie stressed the importance of considering the management of hybrid environments, as "it's a given that virtual machines and NFV workloads will continue to exist for some time to come."

Watch the full panel discussion here.  

The shift towards cloud native is just one of the topics to be discussed during our upcoming Extra Shot programs, which will look back at the highlights of the online DSP Leaders event and include the views of special guests. Look out for further details of the Extra Shot programs. 

  • Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV

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