As 5G becomes more of a reality and deployments become widespread, enabling service is going to rely heavily on edge virtualization. While this can answer a lot of the challenges of handling new levels of performance, volume and speed on the network, it can also cause problems if it is not architected properly. In many cases, edge virtualization can become more of a bottleneck, rather than helping the enterprise meet customer demands.
As a result, operators taking their network capabilities to the edge to ease the pressure on the core of the network need to be sure they’re creating efficiencies, not hindering performance or speed. There’s no guidebook for a successful strategy, because each enterprise will require a unique approach in creating edge virtualization. There are a few steps that can help ensure your process produces the results you want:
Get on board with the benefits: There are a number of advantages to using edge virtualization, including the ability to support specific applications like autonomous driving or a fleet of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. In the immediate future, you can expect to experience cost savings related to last local/cloud traffic breakout which reduces the pressure on the core network. You can also defer capacity-related capital expenditures.
Besides simple efficiency savings, you will also experience better quality for formats like video. The customer experience will be enhanced, given that video consumption is growing in the daily usage patterns of consumers.
Go proactive with VNFs: While there are a variety of benefits to be gained through network virtualization, there remain some challenges related to migrating from a Physical Network Function (PNF) to a Virtual Network Function (VNF) in an effort to create a fully virtualized network. One challenge is the compute requirements of the typical VNF, which can end up being costly and canceling out some of the benefits of virtualization. Operators should push for VNFs that require fewer cores and take an active role in working with providers to produce this type of VNF. Using microservers may provide part of the answer, because they can be more malleable and support unique requirements.
Instead of waiting for the right solution, build one: Even as enterprises prepare for 5G and IoT requirements by investing in local traffic breakout and service delivery, it’s important not just to plan, but to engage in the furthering of the technology. One way is to leverage local traffic breakout to defer capital spending related to the capacity of the core network. That spending could then be reallocated to technologies at the edge, such as Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) and the necessary platforms to support it.
To learn more about preparing your network infrastructure for 5G and IoT, contact us at TailWind. With high-speed broadband connectivity, we can help you ensure that your network never suffers a problem related to speed or performance.