2022 promises to be a big year for the next wave of 5G networks. With spectrum auctions over, base stations and towers being deployed, and 5G handsets in market, mobile network operators (MNOs) have all they need to launch services with the low latency, high throughput, network slicing and other features that make 5G a very important technology.
The high-impact of next-wave 5G services will be a major topic at MWC Barcelona (MWCB) (Feb. 28-March 3) – including Intel where our theme is “Built for Wonderful: where there is 5G, there’s Intel.”
5G Foundation Built on Virtualization
Leading up to the auctions and the deployment of new services, there has been a profound evolution of network infrastructure moving from fixed-function compute appliances to virtualized and cloud-native architectures. In a fully containerized environment, services can now be delivered in an agile way where micro-service-based applications are spun up and down at rapid speed for highly efficient service scalability.
The question is then how does an MNO build a network to manage the massive growth of user data? How do you architect your network for agility, allowing it to adjust to new use cases and workloads that include 5G, IoT, AI/ML, AR/VR, etc.? At MWCB, Intel will answer these questions with several demonstrations featuring the Intel® Tofino™ 2 programmable Ethernet switch ASIC that delivers up to 12.8 Tb/s throughput. Intel Tofino 2, built on 7nm technology, supports up to 400GbE port speed for MNO environments and is P4-programmable. This data-plane programmability powered by the P4 programming language enables a protocol-independent switch architecture (PISA) that allows the MNO to adjust and change protocols in software. Finally, network engineers can tune the network data plane and Intelligent Fabric using P4 with Tofino to find the right balance of performance, latency, complexity, and energy consumption, meeting the needs of the workload and 5G end-user.
Network Visibility is Critical
The high throughput of 5G networks means more packets and the potential for more congestion. For better customer satisfaction, SLA performance, and customer retention, service providers must get better visibility of their network traffic. Correlating data from anywhere in a cloud-native world is a challenge with today’s networks.
Figure 1. How Extreme 9920 provides network visibility in a 5G network.
In one MWC Barcelona demo, Extreme Networks is showing a new system based on Intel Tofino 2. This system helps MNOs to monitor and analyze traffic on a per-subscriber basis, identifying new value-added services and billing models while assuring high levels of service and security. Visibility of network traffic, essentially identifying data per subscriber is mission critical. Managing the rising volume of network traffic is essential and the tools to do that are mostly outdated monitoring tools that can’t perform in real time with real-time data sampled from across the network.
The Extreme 9920 is an Intel Tofino 2-based network packet broker (NPB) that collects, filters, and forwards packets to monitoring tools including security analytics, compliance analytics, service analytics, performance analytics and 4G/5G/VoLTE analytics.
The architecture is designed to provide wire-speed traffic aggregation, regeneration, optimization, and load balancing to deliver maximum tool productivity for mobile network operators in all regions.
As a result, service providers can compose or change the nature of their network services based on the use cases identified through Extreme Network’s visibility tools, management, and assurance platform, with the ability to scale anywhere for multiple use cases and workloads.
Visit Us in Barcelona or Online
The Extreme Networks 5G Network Visibility Solution will be demonstrated in the Intel Booth Hall 3, Stand 3E31, at MWC ’22, Barcelona. To see Intel Tofino-based switches in action you can also visit the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) booth in Hall 1, Stand 1F66, SD-RAN demo developed in conjunction with Deutsche Telekom and Radisys. If you are not able to attend MWC in-person, you can join us virtually at intel.com/mwc. Built for Wonderful: where there is 5G, there’s Intel.
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