Brocade today announced new offerings to help mobile operators re-architect their networks to support 5G services and deliver higher agility and performance at a fraction of the cost of traditional networks. These innovative New IP offerings uniquely position Brocade as a disrupter with 5G capabilities that solve the key challenges facing mobile network operators (MNO) and mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) today.
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The massive amounts of data created and moved by users consuming Internet and video services, as well as the number of connections associated with the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) services, have stretched mobile networks built on legacy architectures to their breaking point. In addition, traditional networks cannot adequately support innovative emerging use cases such as in-flight connectivity and services. Enabling new services and meeting customer demand requires more than just a revamped, higher-speed air interface. A fully mobile and connected society requires a pervasive mobile network infrastructure that is software-enabled, virtualized, modular, scalable and built on open standards.
Brocade is providing a path to deliver on this mobile network vision by simplifying the infrastructure and making it possible for operators to begin the transformation to 5G today. With mobile devices capable of generating diverse traffic patterns in terms of data rate, traffic load, mobility, coverage and criticality, Brocade® offerings address the challenges of emerging services—such as IoT, M2M, high definition video, inflight connectivity and virtual mobile networking—by improving flexibility, cost-efficiency and scalability over legacy networks.
“There is a desire among mobile operators to introduce virtual mobile core technology to support new services and business models at a low cost-of-production,” said Gabriel Brown, senior analyst for Heavy Reading. “However, because it involves a challenging set of applications that are inherently risky to experiment with, they are seeking to identify lead use-cases, such as MVNOs, enterprise VPN and IoT services that can deliver a fast return without adversely impacting the mass-market consumer EPC. Over time, as operators gain experience with the technology, we expect virtualization to become the mainstream operating model. The future 5G core will be ‘cloud-native’ from inception.”
Brocade Virtual Core for Mobile Solution
The Brocade Virtual Core for Mobile (VCM) is the first-of-its-kind, fully virtualized Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) suite of products that supports network slicing with independent localization and scaling of the control and user planes—ahead of the targeted standardization date established by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). Specifically designed for virtual environments, the Brocade VCM transforms mobile networks by eliminating expensive and proprietary hardware devices, long upgrade cycles and over-provisioning. The Brocade solution can be deployed in days instead of months. Depending on specific network and deployment requirements, the same software package can serve as a complete vEPC or a combination of mobility management entity (MME), home subscriber server (HSS), serving gateway (S-GW) and packet data network gateway (P-GW). The overall deployment model of the Brocade VCM can be used to create network slices that are optimized for IoT traffic profiles to enable a mobile packet core-as-a-service offering for hosting MVNO services or to support non-traditional, innovative services from mobile operators. The solution interoperates with all major radio and 3G/LTE core network equipment through standard interfaces and bridges 5G capabilities to older networks.
SmartSky Networks, a provider of high-speed in-flight data communications, has selected the Brocade vEPC to connect its new SmartSky 4G air-to-ground broadband network to more than 250 cell sites that will be strategically placed across the U.S. “Brocade is the only company that offers an end-to-end virtual EPC solution built from the ground up. Other vendors take a short cut by repackaging old solutions,” said David Claassen, vice president of Network and Service Architecture at SmartSky. “With support for separation and independent scaling of control and user planes, the Brocade vEPC solution is enabling us to provide seamless data service across the continent while eliminating redundant functionalities and internode dependencies. As a result, we expect to see dramatically lower total cost of ownership and increased performance compared to physical node-based packet cores.”
Brocade Mobile Edge Computing Capabilities
Mobile edge computing provides the infrastructure to deliver applications, network services and content from the edge of the mobile network. Based on the industry-leading Brocade vRouter, Brocade offers mobile edge virtual infrastructure capabilities that integrate routing, IPsec termination and network firewall functions with the virtualization infrastructure in the host operating system. This approach enables MNOs to capture new revenue by extending the cloud to the edge of the mobile network. These capabilities also allow for consistent introduction of virtual network functions in closer proximity to end users as well as a platform for hosting third-party applications, especially vertical industry applications associated with IoT. To provide a complete solution, these capabilities integrate with the Brocade SDN Controller and the Brocade Virtual Packet Broker.
Brocade also provides a comprehensive network visibility solution for pervasive monitoring of physical and virtual mobile networks. This end-to-end network visibility solution includes network packet brokers and protocol probes, with a software-based approach that delivers real-time programmability of the visibility infrastructure and a dynamic, scale-out architecture that supports an unprecedented 100 million subscribers per packet core.
“Today’s announcements solidly plant Brocade in the business of delivering innovative networking solutions that help MNOs and MVNOs solve their most critical business and technology problems,” said Kevin Shatzkamer, chief technology officer of mobile networking, Brocade. “The combined offerings for vEPC, mobile edge computing and network visibility provide a future-proof technology foundation well in advance of 5G availability which will help MNOs accelerate new revenue streams today.”
Brocade will be demonstrating its solutions and technologies at Mobile World Congress, Feb. 22-25, 2016 in the Brocade booth located in Hall 2 of the Fira, 2G29.