Service Mesh for Service Providers

What's one more G?

In a word: opportunity. 5G is coming fast, and with it, radical change that will open new revenue streams and transform business models, for you and your customers.  Will you be ready?

5G and Service Providers

As the world becomes more connected, demands on service providers continue to increase. The world of connected devices requires higher speeds and lower latency. Going beyond handsets to IoT and URLLC opens new markets. What does this mean for telecommunication companies? That they must change their view of the world and build in a new way that will support the next generation of connectivity: 5G.

5G Is All About the Edge

With 5G, it's not enough to buy more spectrum and powerful radios.  Economics and physics are forcing service providers from a smaller number of larger cell sites to a larger number of smaller cell sites. With the sizable increase in number of sites, providers can no longer spend big dollars on powerful, specialized hardware. Architectures that scale flexibly to meet capacity demands will outcompete traditional tactics. This flexibility comes from repurposable hardware with specialized functionality delivered by software. That’s the edge.

Scale to Peak Capacity, but Build for Average Capacity

5G service providers will deploy infrastructure in tens of thousands of locations, from clouds to data centers to light posts. Getting capacity wrong has a huge cost: if you provision each site for the highest load, then the average case is idle resources wasting money. Conversely, providers build their reputation on performance and can't fail to serve the peak load, even if it's only occasional. That's why service providers and vendors are building virtualization into every aspect of the network, from vRAN to core to multi-access edge. Done right, virtualization will let service providers move services throughout the network to where the demand is.

5G is all about the edge, which means you need to be able to move around grains of sand rather than bricks in order to granularly provision capacity. How to get there is pretty clear. The only virtualization approach with the speed and flexibility to get the job done is containers on Kubernetes.

Aspen Mesh Helps You Take Advantage of the New Cloud-native World

Once you start to run those containers across tens of thousands of edge sites, the only way to ensure they run efficiently, reliably and securely is by using service mesh to manage layer 7 networking.   If you’re moving to 5G, your view of the world must change to account for new ways people want to use their devices, and more importantly, new ways your customers want to deliver services to their customers.

5G offers a huge amount of opportunity for service providers, but also distinct challenges that emerge as the broader ecosystem moves to cloud-native solutions. As an F5 Networks incubation, Aspen Mesh is uniquely positioned to help you solve the challenges that come with transitioning to 5G and making the most out of cloud-native technologies. 

The Aspen Mesh Service Provider solution gives you:

Sidecars to mesh every Cloud-native Network FunctionThe sidecars proxy traffic for each CNF and are the enabling substrate for the Service-Based Architecture.

  • Elastic, secure and performant fabric for HTTP/2 and JSON as standardized by 23.501 for Northbound interfaces
  • Distributed trace collection to isolate problems that span functions, vendors or sites.
  • Collect rich telemetry from CNFs to rapidly isolate inter-function and intra-function issues, while preserving encryption everywhere.
  • Security and volumetric telemetry for all TCP flows

Cloud Native Control Plane The control plane that makes it all go depends only on Kubernetes, and fits into the tiniest edge sites and scales to the largest core clusters.

  • Automatic sidecar injection

Unique Solutions for 5G Architectures Aspen Mesh and F5 combine the agility of a fast-moving startup in the service mesh space with the technical leadership trusted at the core of the world's largest and most complex networks.

  • Nested Service Mesh unifies CNFs whether or not they have their own service mesh already, on a consistent and secure substrate.
  • 4G tunneling combines F5 Big-IP technology with Aspen Mesh to cover legacy protocols like DIAMETER, SIP, GTPCv2.
  • Service Communication Proxy mode adds some 5G-specific signalling to the Aspen Mesh control plane to implement SCP mode from 23.501 Release 16.

Keep Control Of Your Network

What do you do if your vendors are doing service mesh? In that case, you need an approach that can help you use your service mesh with their service mesh. A multi-layer service mesh makes it possible for you to provide Inter-CNF traffic management, security and encryption. Aspen Mesh makes it easy to adopt this approach so you can ensure you’re able to seamlessly work with all of your partners and customers. 

In addition to providing the critical features you need to effectively provision workloads at the edge, our team has the expertise to help you get the most out of 5G. In other words, the edge.  If you are considering or undertaking your journey to 5G, reach out to us for a consultation on how we can help you make the most out of containers, Kubernetes and service mesh to drive differentiation in the market and open up new use cases.  

Take Aspen Mesh for a Test Drive

Aspen Mesh is the simple, production-ready service mesh. Start your 30-day free trial to find out what it can do for you.

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