The Complex Journey to 5G Networks
5G promises higher bandwidth and advanced, low-latency network capabilities that enable a wide range of advanced business and consumer applications. 5G has become a catalyst for virtualization and orchestration as Communications Service Providers (CSPs) and enterprises push to deploy more sophisticated network functionality across the network with an increased focus on the network edge. The shift from a relatively centralized mobile core network to a far more distributed core provides new opportunities to mobile network operators, but it adds a significant amount of complexity at multiple layers. First, the shift from physical network functions to virtualized/containerized functions add a new layer of Network Functions Virtualization infrastructure (NVFi). Next, the disaggregation of network functions such as the introduction of the 5G UPF/SMF, and the split of the 5G radio functions into CU/DU/RU, drives up the number of functions on the network significantly. All these changes require a higher level of activity and sophistication at the network layer to ensure the 5G network is functioning optimally.
Automation & Orchestration for 5G / Edge Networks
To maximize the benefits of 5G, mobile service providers will move to a distributed edge cloud that employs virtualization and orchestration technology to support 5G-based applications and services. This so-called “edge compute” or MEC strategy varies among the leading mobile operators and vendors, but one thing is certain – cloud virtualization technologies will be adopted to support the scale of infrastructure that is needed. Operators will have to make major strides in changing legacy deployment and operational processes. In many cases today, management of networks and connections are still managed by using manual spreadsheets. But the scale and magnitude of the 5G deployment has rendered this impossible.
Enhanced Performance & Agility
5G orchestration and automation enables enhanced performance, scalability, and agility.
Reduced Lifecycle Management
5G orchestration and automation helps organizations reduce the lifecycle management required today to support physical network elements.
Orchestration and automation is the only option to roll out 5G services in a cost-effective way.
5G orchestration and automation enables closed-loop capabilities to easily transition from today’s network to tomorrow’s future state.
Simplify & Automate Next-Gen 5G Networks with Itential
To address complex networks, orchestration and automation are required. For those networking teams that do not have a thorough orchestration strategy in place as they transition to the 5G world, supporting such a network will become untenable. 5G networks will require orchestration that can support multi-domain and multi-vendor technologies and services, such as network slicing, will traverse across multiple network segments like radio, access, core, and edge which may contain a mix of virtual and physical network functions in addition to programmable and non-programmable technologies.
Itential is purpose-built for today’s complex multi-domain and multi-vendor networks. From cloud-based networks to branch and data center networks and from NFV to distributed WANs – The Itential Automation Platform is powerful enough to manage the most difficult, large enterprise and service provider network automation projects.
CSPs can take advantage of the Itential platform’s rapid integration capabilities and low code environment to quickly deploy sophisticated 5G orchestration use cases.
Low-Code Workflow Canvas
Drag-and-drop automation canvas for network engineers and non-programmers to build integrated workflows that enable the orchestration of mobile packet core functions, mobile edge compute (MEC) environments, IP backhaul network elements, and API cloud services.
Configuration Management & Validation
Automate 5G network functions and software overlay configurations with Itential’s federated inventory of network CLI devices and API services together for easy visibility and management. Quickly create and manage Golden Configuration templates that can be used to validate changes for compliance.
Bring Your Own Automation
Whether it’s using Perl, Python, Ansible, Terraform or any other technology, Itential allows you to take any existing automations and integrate them into Itential’s Platform so they can be augmented with Pre-check and Post-check processes and integrated with any common IT systems like ServiceNow, Infoblox, and Slack.
No-Code Integration with Everything
Integrate operational processes and connect your entire IT ecosystem such as ticketing, change management, inventory, monitoring tools, and any network technology with Itential’s library of open integrations to 100+ systems.
5G Network Automation & Orchestration Use Cases
Mobile Edge Compute (MEC)
Itential enables network operators to scale their deployment capabilities to meet on-demand requirements of low-latency MEC applications such as business analytics and AI. Though automated orchestration and deployment of new MEC sites, the Itential Automation Platform enables networking teams to move away from manual configuration and orchestration of infrastructure components.
Itential enables CSPs to centralize and modernize the planning, design, engineering, and deployment processes of the IP backhaul network. By eliminating manual methods of management via spreadsheets, the Itential Automation Platform enables network operators to automate the configuration, testing, and integration of cell site and aggregation routers into the network. Once deployed, the Itential Automation Platform can provide automated configuration compliance and lifecycle management functions, including upgrades and migration.
Mobile Packet Core (MPC)
Itential enables mobility teams to orchestrate the engineering and operations activities for their 5G and 4G mobile packet core functions, from deployment and instantiation of the mobile core network functions to lifecycle configuration management, and to service and policy orchestration of the core functions. Mobility teams can embed their institutional best practices within the orchestration flows to ensure optimal performance and availability of the packet core functions.
Itential enables network operators to define, deploy and manage a network slice through automation. The Itential Automation Platform can provision a network segment or “slice” across a 5G network.