How do you ensure service performance and scale for key network nodes and services in new virtual environments, while shifting to an agile, DevOps-based delivery cycle?
Currently, operators of all kinds are undertaking what are often complex virtualisation projects. They are transforming their networks from legacy solutions, in which hardware and software have been tightly coupled, often in proprietary solutions, to ones in which virtualised functional and infrastructure elements share common cloud platforms.
As a result, the traditional model in which vendors deliver solutions backed by SLAs is breaking down. Vendors will continue to deliver software solutions for the different functional elements and B/OSS entities, but operators may take on the responsibility of building and managing their own cloud infrastructure.
Of course, this digital transformation is expected to deliver significant benefits. For example, it will enable ,new elastic scalability, as well as greater agility through more frequent and easier updates to service and network functionality, to name but two.
It is also expected that operators will be able to leverage multiple supplier relationships, removing dependency on a primary vendor. As such, operators must deploy multiple solutions in a common infrastructure, which will be tuned to their specific operational needs and chosen vendor and orchestration paths.
In addition, digital transformation is helping operators to adopt a more agile footing, securing better performance and enhanced competitive advantage, supported by the adoption of DevOps approaches for the deployment of new services, upgrades, fixes and so on. Release cycles are expected to be days or a few weeks – not months and years. To support this, constant performance and compliance verification is required through regression testing.
This raises some new and, to some, unexpected challenges. Each new solution must be validated in the virtual environment and its performance must be ensured – particularly when scaling. Solutions that perform as expected with base traffic levels need to be thoroughly proven when they scale with the addition of new virtual resources. This problem is true for all network domains but is particularly relevant for virtual IMS and EPC deployments.
Operators must continuously verify that their networks can deliver in such environments. As such, testing needs to be automated to mirror and support the release cycles in such environments. Evolver provides a solution to this continuous cycle of deliveries, updates and enhancements. It helps operators to adapt to new, agile DevOps cycles and continuous release programmes, by enabling granular test automation and deep modelling of real and forecast traffic patterns, service requirements and user behaviour. Evolver can simulate different domains and entities in the network, across all generations of mobile technology. For example, Evolver can emulate the eNodeB in LTE networks. In this case, it generates traffic that represents user / connected devices, which is presented to the EPC. It provides a flexible solution that can emulate, model and test each node within the mobile network infrastructure, from the edge to the core.
So, ensuring consistency between updates to, say the EPC or to a key value-added service offer, and functional performance as well as behaviour under stress has become more critical than ever.
Why not get in touch to see how Evolver can help you deliver continuous network quality and service performance enhancements? Or, book an appointment with our team at Mobile World Congress this year!
Evolver helps operators to adapt to new, agile DevOps cycles and continuous release programmes, by enabling granular test automation and deep modelling of real and forecast traffic patterns, service requirements and user behaviour.
Emblasoft Test & Measurement AB
120 30 Stockholm, Sweden