This post is by Andy Huckridge, Director of Service Provider Solutions, Gigamon
Operators are facing a slew of new technologies to roll out, but this time around there’s a difference. In the past operators have been able to deploy new technologies in series, that is one after another. With the current new technologies, due to the interdependency on each other, they are linked.
Therefore instead of deploying the new technologies in series, the deployment of one new technology forces the deployment of another new technology, and so on until all three new technologies are deployed. This bog post will explain the three technologies, the interdependencies between them, highlight why this is bad from the operators perspective and explore ways to overcome the resource crunch which will become evident by the deployment of a Unified Tool Rail approach in parallel with the new technology rollouts.
What is the Triple Challenge and why will it occur?
The Triple Challenge defines the operator’s predicament to be able to deploy next generation technologies, which are made up of:
- IP Voice
a) VoLTE, IR.92 primarily for Mobile carriers; PLMN
b) VoWiFi, applicable to Mobile, Fixed or Cable providers; PSTN, PLMN & MSO
c) VoIMS, as the underlying technology to all modern day IP Voice implementations
- High speed transport pipes
a) Multiple bonded 10Gb
- Network Virtualisation
a) Traditional server virtualisation
b) Software Defined Networking
c) Network Functions Virtualisation
The operator is faced with a number of decisions to make:
- First to virtualize the core, then Deploy VoLTE as a Virtualised Network Function,
- or to deploy VoLTE as a legacy function in their traditional network since the network is already in place?
- To upgrade the core beforehand due to worries about DiffServ, MPLS transmission or QoS issues in general,
- or to wait until bandwidth requirements placed upon the 4G/LTE RAN force the move of voice services from the existing circuit switched 2G RAN?
- To upgrade core routers in anticipation of rising RAN traffic,
- or to virtualise the core routing network elements first?
It appears there is no correct answer to whether the horse or the cart goes first. Indeed, it seems there is even a virtual horse involved. So with this level of uncertainty and all-encompassing network transformation, there is only one constant–the need to be able to monitor the new technologies completely and comprehensively; and the network changes involved to make sure the newly deployed technologies are working in the way the network equipment manufacturer has promised during the design phase and are satisfying expectation whence turned-up and actually deployed. It is said that the person who is wrong is the person who can’t prove they are right. Monitoring of packets-in-motion greatly helps to add the legitimacy required in the conversation between the operator and the NEM when deployments of new technology don’t quite go to plan.
Here we see a graphical representation the resource hit and how one technology causes the in parallel rollout of the other “Triple Challenge” technologies:
This is due to the three technologies being interdependent; deploying any one will result in either of the other two technologies also being deployed. Thus catching the operator out with regard to the amount of resources needed to deploy the new Triple Challenge technologies.
Monitoring can play a great part in de-risking the deployment of these three new technologies, and being able to not only find the needle in the haystack, but to find the real needle as opposed to a fake needle, in a reduced number of haystacks.