Cloud Native and Virtual Networks

Service providers make investments in network evolution to introduce new services AND to reduce OPEX.  Network evolution is a process that sometimes goes (fairly) quickly, but most often it is a long-term, multi-year, phased process. We have seen this play out over the past dozen years with an increasing percentage of network functions having transitioned from physical appliances (proprietary hardware), to virtual machines, to network functions virtualization, and now onto cloud-native functions and automated cloud-native operations.

And this transition has occurred using a service provider’s data center(s), their private cloud, and even the use of one or more public clouds.  The result is that many service providers now have a hybrid infrastructure for their network and services. 

Ribbon’s Telco Cloud software portfolio is designed to work across these hybrid environments and to enable network evolution at the right pace for each service provider and for each specific network function.

Telco Cloud Transition

Cloud-Native Networks

A transition to a cloud-native network means network functions are based upon the adoption of cloud-native architecture principles AND the adoption of cloud-native operations principles.  Only with both will the transition to cloud-native functions (CNFs) meet the high expectations being set by service providers

 

For Ribbon network functions, the adoption of cloud-native architecture principles begins with the design based on container-based microservices.  By doing this our customers can leverage:

  • Common cloud platform services from a growing ecosystem of open-source software.
  • Automation for workload lifecycle management such as provided by Kubernetes
  • Similarly, Ribbon is providing solutions for our cloud native functions enable service provider automation platforms to:
  • Hide the complexity of CNF management
  • Reduce Operations Expense
  • Quickly define and deliver features for network functions

Ribbon’s Role In Enabling SP Automation Platforms

Service providers who are moving workloads to a cloud-native environment are going to be deploying automation platforms and adopting IT operations techniques and tools.  Some examples of these are:

  • Service Orchestrators
  • Domain Orchestrators
  • CI/CD Pipelines
  • GitOps
  • End User Portals

Ribbon’s role is to provide the automation enabling technology for each cloud-native function that hides the CNF complexity with a simple declarative API.

enabling SP Automation platforms

Cloud-Native SBCs for CSPs Whitepaper

Network Functions Virtualization

Prior to the introduction, and now adoption, of cloud-native architecture and operations, many fixed and mobile service providers have been deploying network services on a network functions virtualization (NFV) infrastructure in their private cloud.  Most took this path with the goals of eliminating dependencies on proprietary hardware, driving greater efficiency of scale, improving service agility and fundamentally enhancing the way they do business.

 

Ribbon has been focused on delivering multiple software products as virtual network functions (VNFs) as well as our VNF Manager for orchestration and lifecycle management of our Ribbon VNF portfolio.  Ribbon supports VNF deployment on OpenStack-based private clouds as well as on the three leading public clouds: AWS, Azure, and GCP.

 

Ribbon currently provides the following products as a virtual network function:

Bandwidth Case Study

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