Deutsche Telekom (DT) worked with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to demonstrate a network data layer proof of concept (POC) designed specifically for a 5G network architecture. The POC used HPE’s shared data environment to simplify the network architecture and make it possible to deploy cloud-native virtual network functions (VNFs) from different vendors.
HPE said that this was the first POC of this type of network data layer. The company added that it is compliant with the principles of the unified data layer as specified by the Next Generation Mobile Network Alliance (NGMN).
One of the primary benefits of deploying a network data layer is that it exposes network capabilities to operators’ services and to third-party applications. This, in turn, makes it faster to deploy third-party VNFs and also saves on network resources.
In this POC, the network data layer incorporated multiple virtual instances of HPE’s shared data environment and handled a variety of different traffic patterns. It also dealt with a various stateless VNFs that externally store all their data.
According to DT, the POC proved that stateless clients, combined with a network data layer architecture, can reduce the complexity of the network by allowing more transparency and better resiliency. It also reduced the cloud integration and configuration process.
DT also said that the network response times were in the range of 1 millisecond.
NGMN members are advocating for a service-based architecture for 5G. In a traditional network architecture, network functions are closely coupled together and implemented in silos where any change requires a lot of network configurations.
But in a service-based architecture, network functions are designed so the interface is lightweight, which means it can be deployed rapidly and uses minimal network resources. This also allows for more automation.