VMware | October 27, 2021
Service providers are transforming their RAN to architectures that are open and programmable. This provides an opportunity for developers to create innovative apps and services to be deployed across the RAN. A proponent of this wave of RAN innovation, VMware announced several updates to its RAN portfolio of products and introduced VMware RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC). VMware RIC, along with VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN, will help service providers smoothly transition to Open RAN.
“When it comes to Open RAN, the genie is out of the bottle. The potential benefits of increasing innovation while reducing operational expense are compelling. As such, VMware is pushing to accelerate the transformation of the RAN along with Open RAN principles. VMware is paving the way for service providers to modernize the RAN so it is programmable and intelligent, built with best-of-breed solutions from a vibrant partner ecosystem.”
Sanjay Uppal, senior vice president and general manager, Service Provider and Edge, VMware
Introducing VMware RIC
The RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) is a new function introduced by the O-RAN Alliance that enables service providers to deploy cloud-native control and management apps in the RAN. VMware is today introducing VMware RIC, a platform that abstracts the underlying RAN infrastructure and provides developer APIs for xApps and rApps to program the RAN.
VMware RIC platform will consist of two RICs that can run independent of each other, or together:
VMware Centralized RIC, an implementation of the non-real-time RAN Intelligent Controller (non-RT RIC) in the O-RAN Alliance reference architecture. It will manage and host rApps that have control functions with response timing greater than one second.
VMware Distributed RIC, an implementation of the near-real-time RAN Intelligent Controller (near-RT RIC) in the O-RAN Alliance reference architecture. It will manage and host xApps that have control functions with response timing less than one second, typically on the order of 10’s of milliseconds.
VMware RIC will provide service providers with:
Choice and flexibility to transform the RAN into an open, intelligent RAN while minimizing business disruption.
An agile RAN architecture so they can quickly respond to customer needs, changes in traffic pattern, as well as any unforeseen events that require a sudden shift.
Programmability and intelligence to enable innovations introduced by a broad ecosystem.
Enhanced security to better safeguard a larger attack surface inherent to the distributed nature of RAN sites and the devices connected to them.
VMware has engineered its RIC to seamlessly
integrate with traditional RAN equipment as well as virtualized RAN network functions independent of them being O-RAN compliant. A large ecosystem of xApps and rApps enables service providers to maximize the benefits of an Open RAN to address their unique requirements and priorities.
To drive the growth of this ecosystem, VMware plans to offer a RAN application developer program to help partners jump-start and accelerate development of xApps and rApps with VMware RIC SDKs, access to VMware RIC development licenses, developer support, testing environment, and interoperability certification. The planned program will be centered around the developer experience, from the initial design of the xApp/rApp all the way to the deployment.
Examples of partners who are already working with VMware to integrate their xApps and/or rApps as microservices on VMware RIC through SDKs, include:
Cohere Technologies’ Spectrum Multiplier xApp improves spectral efficiency for service providers by as much as 2x with the use of its unique Delay-Doppler channel representation.
Polte's location xApp pioneers more secure, accurate and global location intelligence for service providers and their customers.
AirHop xApps and rApps support a broad spectrum of use cases, including RAN configuration and operation optimization, interference management, capacity and coverage optimization, and mobility optimization.
Cellwize RAN intelligence technology and rApps enable backward compatibility alongside O-RAN future proof management and orchestration of multi-vendor networks.
Intel is a strategic partner as VMware works with service providers to virtualize the RAN. VMware RIC is based on Intel FlexRAN reference architecture, enabling a flexible and programmable platform for software-defined RANs.
“Intel FlexRAN software allows operators transitioning to a cloud-native architecture to run their RAN and AI workloads on the same standard hardware platform as other workloads, from core to edge to access," saidCristina Rodriguez, vice president of Intel’s Network Edge Group and general manager, Wireless Access Network Division. "VMware RIC, powered with Intel AI and Machine Learning capabilities, supports a wide variety of xApps and rApps that will help operators optimize their network performance, deliver new functions and features, and offer new value-added services.”
VMware RIC SDKs are expected to be generally available in VMware’s Q4 FY22. VMware RIC is expected to be initially available in VMware’s Q1 FY23.
New VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN Capabilities
VMware RIC, combined with VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN, paves a clear and simple path toward RAN transformation. Service providers can virtualize RAN functions on a horizontal platform specifically optimized for RAN. The same platform, with VMware RIC, can be utilized for Open RAN, providing service providers flexibility and a smooth evolution toward the future without disrupting their business operations and overhauling network design.
Advancements to VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN aim to strike a balance between network performance and operational flexibility. The platform’s enhanced performance meets strict latency requirements to support even the most demanding RAN workloads, while its hypervisor functions as the unheralded workhorse to provide operational flexibility.
New VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN features will provide service providers with:
Superior performance: VMware ESXi delivers real-time performance for RAN workloads (read the blog).
Cost reduction: VMware Tanzu for Telco combined with VMware ESXi allows service providers to mix and match various cloud-native RAN workloads and custom 5G applications on the same physical appliance, ideal for open and disaggregated RAN where space is limited at the cell site and the number of sites keeps growing.
Operational consistency: VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN provides a common platform and end-to-end automation and orchestration across 5G networks to prevent creating siloed islands of network functions.
O-RAN Service Management and Orchestration (SMO)
Service providers are adopting a multi-vendor service and orchestration management (SMO) framework as defined by the O-RAN Alliance. This SMO framework includes the non-real-time RIC, O-Cloud management, and FCAPS (fault, configuration, accounting, performance and security) management. VMware’s RAN portfolio is uniquely positioned to address all these functions:
VMware Centralized RIC with associated SDK and rApps.
VMware Telco Cloud Automation for O-Cloud management.
VMware Telco Cloud Operations for FCAPS spanning RAN infrastructure, transport and mobile core.
While the above components will integrate seamlessly for a simplified experience, customers may choose to deploy any component independently.
VMware Partners with Aspire to Streamline RAN Testing and Validation
Aspire Technology is a well-established leader within the Open RAN ecosystem, not only with its Open RAN Lab services, but also through a wide range of projects with global service providers, technology partners, systems integrators and Open RAN communities. Leveraging Aspire’s deep heritage in networks, the Aspire Open RAN Lab enables technology partners, like VMware, and service providers to fast-track development, integration, test and deployment of Open RAN-based networks.
VMware and Aspire are announcing today they have entered into a strategic partnership to accelerate and simplify testing and integration of Telco Cloud Platform RAN as part of a service provider’s end-to-end network.
Bill Walsh, CEO of Aspire Technology, stated, “As an independent supplier, we believe that Open RAN is a transformational move in network disaggregation, thus we are excited to partner with VMware in helping service providers smoothly transition to Open RAN.”
VMware is a leading provider of multi-cloud services for all apps, enabling digital innovation with enterprise control. As a trusted foundation to accelerate innovation, VMware software gives businesses the flexibility and choice they need to build the future. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to building a better future through the company’s 2030 Agenda.
Mercato Partners | September 29, 2020
Today, Mercato Partners, announced the acquisition of its portfolio company, SaltStack, by VMWare, a division of Dell, a global leader in cloud computing and virtualization software and services for an undisclosed amount. Part of the Mercato Traverse Growth Fund III, SaltStack specializes in network, security, and infrastructure automation and management. This marks the fourth portfolio exit in 2020 for Mercato's Traverse Growth Fund. On September 18, Ericsson agreed to purchase Boise, Idaho-based Cradlepoint for a $1.1B all-cash transaction. In June Central Logic was acquired by Rubicon Technology Partners. Finally, in April, Galileo Financial Technologies was acquired by SoFi for $1.2B.
VIRTUAL SERVER INFRASTRUCTURE
Juniper Networks, Sinet | August 24, 2021
Juniper Networks, a leader in secure, AI-driven networks, announced that SINET, one of Cambodia’s largest internet and telecommunication service providers, has selected Juniper Networks to upgrade its network infrastructure, accelerating time-to-value for customers in Cambodia. Building on a long-term relationship, SINET has partnered with Juniper Network for further upgrades and to deploy advanced network solutions, deepening the foundation for its exponential growth.
As one of the fastest-growing economies in ASEAN, Cambodia is on the cusp of a digital revolution, with mobile connections having risen to 128.8 percent of its total population1 in 2021. With SINET’s network infrastructure upgrades, enterprise users can now use a common framework to manage the exponential increase of endpoints accessing campus and data centers. In today’s era of hybrid work environments, SINET delivers high-speed connectivity and services to both business and residential customers for smooth video teleconferencing and streaming services.
With nearly 20 years of presence in Cambodia, SINET has consistently introduced new network solutions to simplify, connect and empower businesses across the country. The company currently operates over 200 active network points of presence (POPs), providing fast and reliable internet connection to main cities and provincial towns, as well as remote districts and villages, fulfilling its vision to connect all corners of Cambodia.
Juniper Networks was selected for this network infrastructure upgrade having grown and delivered quantifiable success alongside SINET as a long-term partner. With the expansion of the Ethernet Virtual Private Network – Virtual Extensible LAN (EPVN-VxLAN) IP Fabric and Metro-Ethernet transport networks expansion project completed in 2018 and early 2021, SINET was able to smoothly implement the solutions from end-to-end, completing both deployments with almost no downtime.
Juniper Networks’ QFX Series Switches provide the building blocks for the EVPN-VxLAN IP Fabric, offering SINET an efficient and scalable way to build and connect its expansive network.
Juniper Networks’ ACX Series Universal Metro Routers are at the core of SINET’s latest 200G Metro-Ethernet expansion project, bolstering its nationwide fiber network and maintaining its competitiveness with one of Cambodia’s most advanced networks.
With the completion of these network upgrades, SINET has provided more stable and secure services to its customers while laying the foundation for future growth in line with the Cambodia ICT Masterplan announced in 2020.
Juniper Networks is dedicated to dramatically simplifying network operations and driving superior experiences for end users. Our solutions deliver industry-leading insight, automation, security and AI to drive real business results. We believe that powering connections will bring us closer together while empowering us all to solve the world’s greatest challenges of well-being, sustainability and equality.