The cloudified 5G standalone (SA) network presents big visibility challenges for operations and engineering teams to assure and secure the network.
The Big 5G conference is coming back to the Austin Convention Center May 15–17. This year’s conference theme is “Unleashed: 5G in the Cloud Era,” with session tracks on 5G RAN, 5G standalone (SA), enterprise services, fiber and fixed wireless network (FWA), and telco cloud. The 5G evolution is unlike anything that has come before it in the telco world, so there is a lot to talk about!
New Visibility Challenges Demand New Strategies
The conference website advises attendees to “Define your cloud and network evolution strategy at the Big 5G event!” Indeed, every network evolution involves challenges for operations and engineering teams whose mission is to operate the network and ensure the delivery of high-quality services. The cloudification of the 5G network presents a new set of challenges: Visibility to the network and services become “hidden” with the disaggregation and virtualization of network elements transitioned onto various compute and container cloud resources, and each 5G control plane interface is secured with Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption.
Network slicing is perhaps the ultimate expression of the 5G network cloudification, because network elements deployed on cloud/container resources will be logically connected, with custom-tuned attributes (latency and bandwidth, for example), and dedicated to exclusive customer traffic. Visibility for assurance and automation will be needed to deliver these slices—and furthermore, to monetize them with service level agreements (SLAs). Automation will be needed to turn up and down slicing compute resources and instances in response to network traffic demand. That automation will need intelligent data sources to inform the orchestration engine to perform those instantaneous actions on compute and cloud resources.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) for both the control plane and user plane on a per-slice basis will be needed to assure high-quality service and ensure SLAs are met. To monitor 5G slice KPIs per application on the user plane, virtualized instrumentation will be needed at the User Plane Function (N3/N4 interfaces), with continuous application and latency monitoring. Similarly, control plane monitoring will need virtualized instrumentation at N1/2/4/7/11/22/58 interfaces. 5G slicing KPIs should be available at the device, data network name (DNN), cell, location, and radio access technology (RAT) to have the greatest utility to the operations and engineering teams.
NETSCOUT Solutions for Cloudified 5G Networks
Communications service providers (CSPs) know that nothing is predictable with network traffic. The changing nature of network patterns is a challenge when providing the predictable, always-on services that discerning clients demand. To address these challenges, mobile operators must have comprehensive visibility and actionable intelligence on the 5G network.
At this year’s Big 5G conference, NETSCOUT will share its solutions for the cloudified 5G SA network. NETSCOUT products provide visibility from the RAN to the edge and access layers through the core, with cloud-optimized and virtualized instrumentation that creates what NETSCOUT calls Smart Data and actionable intelligence for operations and engineering teams.
For more information on NETSCOUT at Big 5G, go to our events page, and please visit us at booth #401 in Austin May 16–17.
Learn more about NETSCOUT visibility solutions for service assurance, analytics, and security.