GlossaryJuly 5, 2022
What is Multiservice Network Architecture?
As service providers (SPs) seek to integrate multiple services onto a single platform, they are driven by factors such as growth in bandwidth demand, cloud computing, 5G network rollout, IoT adoption, and network complexity. This service convergence is essential for preventing service providers’ revenue leaks, as they lose the monetization battle to over-the-top (OTT) companies and hyperscalers, leaving them with infrastructure investment debt. There is still more that can be done to address this service convergence issue and stop SPs’ ongoing revenue leaks.
What is DriveNets multiservice architecture?
DriveNets Network Cloud is ahead of the curve, already enabling service providers to construct scalable and cost-effective networks that enhance their ability to launch new services. DriveNets Network Cloud offers a shared network infrastructure with tools for deploying, operating and managing any network function, including core, peering, aggregation and other functions. However, can a shared network infrastructure truly be called “shared” if only one service can use it? In the case of cloud computing, the shift from on-premises to the cloud was attractive and successful due to the ability to run multiple applications on the same existing hardware. The same applies to DriveNets multiservice.
The DriveNets multiservice platform provides access to and control of existing networking and compute resources to any network function through its DriveNets Network Cloud API. This enables the hosting of multiple network functions, including third-party applications and network functions.
For instance, a service provider can build a multiservice cluster that hosts a core and peering router, along with a third-party firewall and DDoS protection solution. All of these can operate independently and utilize the same underlying hardware, sharing existing networking and compute resources.
To understand better the DriveNets multiservice platform, let’s review the following three key capabilities:
- Any service can be served at any port
- Optimal infrastructure utilization
- Faster innovation of new services
#1 Any network service can be served at any port
In traditional edge networks of SPs, various services such as mobile, business services (e.g., Layer 2 or Layer 3 VPN), and internet edge are aggregated by single-service peering edge (PE) routers. Each router specializes in performing a specific task and may have different operational environments and teams. At the other end, the local core acts as an intermediary for communication between domains and connecting PEs within the same network.
This setup is inefficient as resources from one PE cannot be shared with others; for example, business service links cannot use resources from the mobile PE or internet PE even if they are available.
Multiservice architecture solves this issue by completely virtualizing the cluster resources, enabling any port to access any service and utilize any necessary hardware resources. This means flexibility, as any cluster port can be used for any service, and scaling is performed at a cluster level without the need to predict which service or use case will require more resources. Additionally, all intra-cluster connections are done logically on the fabric level, eliminating the need for physical links and their associated costs.
#2 Optimal network infrastructure utilization
Traditional networks can utilize up to 20 different boxes, such as core, aggregation and peering boxes. Maintaining a network with so many different components can be a significant operational burden. When evaluating these components, we find a balance between different resources. For instance, core services prioritize bandwidth (number of ports used), while they consume minimal routing resources (TCAM) and have lean QoS policies. On the other hand, VPN services require a lot of routing resources but have lower bandwidth requirements.
DriveNets multiservice architecture offers optimal resource allocation based on real-time needs. Instead of adding more physical routers to the network, additional containerized service instances (SIs) can be installed on the existing network hardware, with the cluster hypervisor allocating the necessary resources for each service. This simplifies scaling, reduces total cost of ownership (TCO), and decreases operational overhead.
#3. Faster innovation of new network services
Multiservice within DriveNets Network Cloud goes beyond grouping existing network functions under one roof. With decoupled data and control planes, new network functions can be added to existing networks by containerizing them and interfacing with Network Cloud’s open API for optimal performance by utilizing both X86 compute and network-oriented compute (NPU). This allows for easy and fast introduction of new services with a simple click of a button, reducing time to market (TTM) of new revenue-generating services.
An example of such new services could range from VPNs and IoT control functions to unique services aimed at increasing ARPU and preventing user churn.
One shared network architecture
DriveNets Network Cloud’s multiservice platform enables service providers to take advantage of grouping existing and new network functions under one shared architecture.
Addressing the inefficiencies of traditional solutions with separate hardware resources, this solution results in cost savings, optimal hardware utilization, simplified operations, a smaller footprint, reduced power consumption, and minimized physical interfaces.