5G, the next generation of wireless networking technology, is causing a radical change in the telecommunications space and soon in corporate networks. While 2G, 3G and 4G were faster versions of the original mobile network, 5G did not come from outdated standards. This is the first technology standard in networks that was born in the cloud age and uses software-defined principles, strict policy enforcement and native cloud microservices.
The transformative principles of 5G pave the way for a new “borderless” corporate architecture that will allow organizations to quickly deploy key network and policy services wherever their computing resources are. No wonder unlimited enterprise is one of the most current terms on the web right now. But it is also one of the least understood.
So what does the term actually mean and how will 5G help organizations achieve limitless enterprise? To help me answer these questions, I recently interviewed Rajeev Shah, co-founder and CEO of Celona Networks, a startup that has developed a platform for businesses to deploy private 5G wireless networks. Highlights from my ZKast video with Chess, made in connection with eWEEK eSPEAKSare below:
What is a limitless enterprise?
- The unlimited enterprise describes the current state of the network, where the traditional hard edge is spread in the cloud, in the worker’s home and elsewhere.
- With an artificial definition of “end”, corporate networks close in narrow architectures that depend on where users and applications are located.
- In fact, the edge is where the applications that are changing all the time should be.
- The unlimited enterprise calls for the convergence of network services, applications, cybersecurity tools and the optimization of a wide area network (WAN) of native, software-defined computing platforms available everywhere.
- As a result, enterprise applications can be deployed in a variety of local, private, and public clouds, depending on computational requirements, eliminating the need for a network edge.
How does 5G fit into the limitless enterprise?
- First, 5G revolutionized the telecommunications sector. The innovation can now be applied in the enterprise to build extremely flexible networks.
- 5G is born in the cloud and is highly adaptable to network changes. In fact, 5G is the first network architecture to require the use of cloud principles.
- Although many providers use the term “cloud network”, they refer to cloud management rather than the native cloud microservices that provide networking capabilities.
- Instead of simply managing cloud networks, organizations can use the principles of native 5G software to create a new layer of services that automates enterprise network policies.
- This level of service allows the rapid deployment of any network and some security services in the enterprise. This is crucial for the borderless enterprise, as the connections today are extremely ephemeral.
- Selona uses the spectrum of the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) in the United States to implement 5G in the enterprise, which can work together with existing WiFi networks. 5G is ideal when connectivity is critical, when WiFi provides the best-performing ubiquitous network.
What is micro-slicing?
- One basic principle of 5G for the cloud is multi-lease – a physical infrastructure that can have multiple tenants or sections.
- Selona introduces slicing into the enterprise with a technology called micro-slicing, which automatically imposes and tracks key levels of services – such as latency, jitter and packet error rates – without the intervention of the IT department.
- Micro-slicing ensures that the application performs properly over the wireless network, similar to what it would do over a wired network.
Will the endless enterprise remain on the brink?
- Inevitably, the “brains of the web” are where they need to be. As applications become mobile, the network must be wherever the applications are.
- Whether it’s an individual site, such as a store, multi-tenant cloud services such as AWS or Azure, private data centers, or public cloud, applications can be in any of these locations.
- The network must be immediately accessible to applications, regardless of their location.
Does the internal network in the cloud complement or contradict a software-defined network (SDN)?
- Taking user plane and plane management functions and dividing them so that there is more flexibility is the basis of the 5G cloud architecture. This term, known as control / user plane separation (CUPS), is essentially SDN in another form.
- You don’t need to have separate network hardware, separate security hardware, and separate application hardware if one hardware can run all three.
- With the revolution in the data center, we have seen the convergence of software-controlled computing and storage. The next step is the convergence of computing, storage and software-controlled networks in the borderless enterprise.
Is artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) part of the journey?
- AIOps, a technology that automates IT operations through analysis and machine learning (ML), can respond to things that happen, but it can’t actively influence the network to do things.
- With cloud networks, organizations can actively respond to the needs of their applications, instead of just responding to problems.
- AIOps is undergoing a natural evolution to create networks, approaching self-managed networks rather than self-operating networks.
- Today, all advertising is about automation and digitization, although the focus should be on predictable connectivity. People, applications and networks need to be connected everywhere. This is the ultimate benefit of unlimited enterprise.