ZTE “IP+Optical” Enables Elastic Slicing – Mobile World Live

ZTE “IP+Optical” Enables Elastic Slicing

18 MAY 2019

PARTNER FEATURE: 5G services need slicing ability of the transport network to meet diverse requirements from individuals and enterprises. However, slicing brings two problems: One is the low efficiency of network resources. The network resources occupied by different 5G slices are isolated from each other, so it can not be shared.Each slice has to apply for abundant network resources according to the maximum requirement of the service, resulting in low resource utilization. The other is complicated O&M (Operation & Maintenance). Since a physical network is cut into multiple slices, the network configuration, service provisioning, and fault locating become more complicated than those of the traditional networks, thus increasing the O&M workload and complexity.

ZTE’s innovative IP+Optical-based elastic slicing solution introduces the scheduling and O&M concepts in computing resources in cloud data center into the operators’ transport network. It offers elasticity to the slices by adjusting the network resources for each slice on demand, so as to improve the utilization of network resources. The solution also decouples the slices from physical devices by virtualization, realizing network automation to improve O&M efficiency. ZTE’s solution solves the existing two problems of 5G slicing and helps build a highly efficient and quick 5G slicing for customers.

As shown in the above figure, similar to server virtualization in cloud data center, ZTE’s SDN Controller works as the Network Hypervisor to manage all IP and Optical physical resources, abstract them into a network resource pool, and creates virtual slices based on the abstract network resources. The mapping between virtual slices and physical network resources is implemented automatically by Network Hypervisor on demands to achieve elastic and automated slices.

  • Elastic Slice

IP+Optical synergy offers the elasticity to network slices. The IP network and optical network resources are in a pool for network slices. When the link bandwidth of a slice is insufficient, network hypervisor will dynamically apply for more resources from the pool to expand the link bandwidth. When the link bandwidth of a slice is more than enough, the Network Hypervisor will release the redundant resources to the pool, which can be used by other slices. In this way, the network resources are shared by all slices, thereby greatly improving the utilization of network resources.

  • Automated Slice

IP+Optical synergy offers the automation ability to network slices. Network Hypervisor decouples the virtual slices from IP and optical physical devices. So during the process of creating, modifying and deleting a slice, O&M engineers don’t need to pay any attention to the status of physical devices. The Network Hypervisor will automatically allocate network resources to meet the requirements of the slice. Similarly, when a physical device fails or a physical device needs to be manually expanded, the O&M engineers do not need to pay any attention to the slices or the services on them. The Network Hypervisor will allocate new physical resources for the slices to guarantee stable operation of the slices. At the same time ,the Network Hypervisor provides a global view of the originally separated slices, IP network and optical network to achieve automated display, locating and processing of slice failures.

ZTE provides elasticity for 5G slices. It borrows the Auto Scaling mechanism in cloud data center to enable network resources to be shared among different slices. The slices apply and release network resources according to the actual demands of 5G services so that the resource utilization is improved by 50%. Automated slices change the O&M mode of networks: O&M engineers only need to focus on the demands of slices and the status of physical devices. The correlations between them are completed automatically by the Network Hypervisor. In this way, the time for manual configuration and deployment is reduced and the O&M efficiency is greatly improved by 40%.

By far, ZTE has cooperated with many operators around the world in 5G slicing to jointly promote 5G development and prosperity. As one of the leading companies in the field of IP network, optical network and SDN, ZTE will continue assisting operators in improving their network service capabilities, promoting the technology innovation and development , and accelerating the commercial deployment of 5G (slices).

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